Monday, June 29, 2009

The All in All that Is

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did 'in the beginning.'"
"Oh, is that so? Tell me..." replies God.

"Well, " says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man."

"Well, that's interesting. Show Me. "

So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh no, no, no. . ." interrupts God. "Get your own dirt. . . ."
Down through history, we humans have been very Human-centric.
Every culture from primitive times even until the present has perceived itself as central to the Universe and, somehow, more favored in the eyes of its Deity[ies] than all other cultures.
This is evidenced by the fact that those cultures we’ve been able to check on, at least, had a word that meant, ‘People’ and the same word meant their own personal tribe. Many, if not all, of those same tribes had another word that meant ‘Other’ and, almost universally, that word translated as something akin to ‘Barbarian’ or ‘Savage.’
Well into recorded history, it was a criminal offense in some cultures to suggest that humans weren’t the center of everything.

Little by little, however, science has shown us that that is, in fact, not the case. It turns out that we live on a small rock circling a nondescript sun in one arm of a not especially distinguished galaxy.
Our only claim to fame is that we are at the center of the Universe. But, since the universe is expanding in all directions at once, even that’s not special—every point in the universe is the center.
Heck, it even seems as if there’re an infinity of universes, fergoshsakes!

Even today, though, read most natural history books—watch almost any nature program on T.V.—and you will still find allusions to the idea that humans are at the top of the heap among all the species on the planet. It is assumed that that is our rightful place.

Now, enter the story of the All that Is that dreamed us into existence. It’s tempting, when we envision the dreaming All that Is whose dreams are becoming self-aware, to assume that ‘self-aware’ means what we think of when we apply it to ourselves. It doesn’t.
As the story above illustrates—the All that Is dreamed dirt into existence at the same nano-second that it dreamed us. Not only dirt. Hydrogen, too. And helium. And protein. And DNA. And bacteria. And termites. And dogs and cats and fish and birds and . . . . but you get my point.
Of course, we can argue, those things didn’t exist in that first nano-second. But, then, neither did we. At least not in the sense of fully-fashioned-entities-made-in-the-image-of-God. The potential was there but the ‘finished product’ had yet to emerge. Or, more accurately, our bodies didn’t exist then. We [along with every other particle and wave and string] in the universe were there all along waiting for the universe to settle into a level that could support life/reality as we know it. In fact, we were helping that to happen. Not only the human-potential was helping the potential-that-was-the-universe during its plasma phase right on down to this nano-second [and beyond] every possible creation was there right alongside us helping to create the NOW.
I have to admit, I like this story better than the Six Day Story, myself. But that’s just me. Other people’s reality is the one about Six Days—literally. And their reality is every bit as valid as mine.
After all—What do we know, for sure, anyway?


Ghost Dansing said...

the human struggle to understand God is universal. religions themselves are artifacts of this endeavor.

human conceptualization of God is always anthropomorphic because humans are trapped within the conditions of human existence.

God is always "just like us", except "better"..... actually fundamentally different.

for us God created in "time", but God is in our concept atemporal, timeless, immortal..... all the things that humans categorically "are not".

for Christians, the "word became flesh" so that they could better understand God..... but the essence of Jesus was always something that transcended his physical presence on earth.

two crows said...

'human conceptualization of God is always anthropomorphic because humans are trapped within the conditions of human existence.

God is always "just like us", except "better".....'
hi, ghost dansing---
until I found the latest teachings I've been quoting, try as I might, I couldn't help seeing 'God' as a Father Figure.
even then, it took a while to begin, on an emotional level, to see the All that Is or the Tao [Path] as something other than Human with a Capital H.

over the last several years I've finally been able to do that. I'm not saying that my current perception is any closer to the TRUTH, of course. none of us have anything to base our conceptualization on.

I think the best we can do is concede that, 'God' ain't human-- let alone a human male. at least, that's the best _I_ can do.

two crows said...

oops -- just one more--
I also agree with you, ghost dansing, about the "time" issue.
I've just given up trying to talk about this stuff without alluding to "time". I've tried, believe me, to leave that concept out of the posts and found it to be impossible.

my next challenge: to attempt to stand aside from "time" as we perceive it and write from that perspective I have no idea if I'll ever get there. actually, I kind of doubt I'll be able to.

Mary Ellen said...

I think this is the problem most humans have, we want to think of God as equal or better than ourselves, but our vision of what better is can't encompass such a reality. Wait...I know that doesn't sound right, but it's difficult to explain.

The Christians see God as "Father" because that's how Jesus (his Son) explained it. He often used the term Father, which gave us God on a more personal level.

The way I figure it, I don't think whatever the entity we call God or Father cares what we call Him, The Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, etc. names or how we see something isn't what's important. Didn't somebody once say, "What's in a name?" Oh was my daughter. I always get them mixed up, they know who I'm talking to. ;-)

Great post, kiddo.

an average patriot said...

That's funny, that was a good story. I find it dismaying that man thinks he is the chosen one, better than all the rest of life, the decider of this earth.
That is looking true but we are merely a part of the whole which is one life, the planet!

Ghost Dansing said...

personal Jesus

Mary Ellen said...

Ghost Dansing- I liked that video so much I'm going to put it on my other blog. Thanks.

two crows said...

'we want to think of God as equal or better than ourselves, but our vision of what better is can't encompass such a reality.'
hey, Mary Ellen --
it sounds exactly right, to me.

and, yes, Jesus named God as our Father.
imo, this stemmed from the fact that we, as a planet, were moving from a period when 'God' was perceived as angry and vengeful. [what the teachings I study call the Baby Soul period].
it was important, then, to temper that view with one of mercy and love. totally new concepts at the time.
again, my opinion, which is exactly as valid as anyone else's-- no less and, certainly, no more --is that, today the planet is moving into another level [From the Young Soul era into the Mature Soul age].

pretty much all of us have got the "God Loves Us" concept down, now. so we're ready for the next lesson -- this Being that loves us is lots bigger than we had ever imagined it to be.

just my take on things as I go wondering along. :)

two crows said...

'I find it dismaying that man thinks he is the chosen one, better than all the rest of life,'
Agreed, AAP---
that viewpoint has gotten us into a world [or maybe universe] of trouble.
we'd better start looking at ourselves through a different lens before its too late.

two crows said...

awesome video, Ghost Dansing--

Mauigirl said...

Very thought-provoking, Two Crows. I like the story - get your own dirt. Makes you realize we just aren't thinking big enough when we try to imagine where everything came from.

I'm an agnostic but the creation of the universe is still a mystery to us all. That is why I will never call myself an atheist. I don't think anyone can scientificaly explain where it all came from. It is a question that will fascinate us and intrigue us always because it's something that can never be proven one way or the other.

One thing we forget is what a short time in the history of the world that human beings have existed. My husband even suggests our genome may be unstable and we could devolve as quickly as we evolved, under the right circumstances. Who knows, a few thousand years from now, dolphins or whales could be the intelligent species here and we may be more like apes. You never know...

two crows said...

hi again, Mauigirl--
one thing I've noticed when I've watched tv shows on astronomy and quantum physics: of all the hard scientists, these are the most likely to say things that SOUND as if they believe in God. I can't say for sure that they DO believe in it, but that's how they sound.
it seems some things are just too big to explain without referring to something bigger than us.
'our genome may be unstable and we could devolve as quickly as we evolved, under the right circumstances.'

that sounds a bit scary till I reflect on the fact that the planet might very well be better off if we did that.
and, fwiw, two of the teachings that I study say outright that whales and dolphins have souls. and that apes are
almost there.
and that every particle in the universe is on the path toward sentience.

Dave Dubya said...

Even the author of "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkens admits he cannot be 100% certain there is no God. He seems highly certain, but understands science cannot make this claim without proof.

And then Spinoza says, "to define God is to deny him".

"Miraculously", the debate is both wide open and closed simultaneously.

Mauigirl said...

Dolphins, whales and great apes are certainly very intelligent. I personally feel all life has some kind of soul or sentience.

two crows said...

hey, Dave and welcome!
I never _have_ understood what the argument is about.

I can kind of understand it when the fundies squabble. safety in numbers, and all that.
that way, if a whole bunch of em show up at the path to heaven and find the most-terrible-head-of-Krishna waiting they have someone they can point to and say, 'he made me do it!'

but, I've seen biologists and such arguing against god -- just as if the argument matters to them.
if they believe sincerely that there is no god, then there's no hell -- and no need for fire insurance, right?
problem solved.

or am I missing something?

otoh-- I do enjoy a spirited debate. that's where the fun is. :)

two crows said...

me, too, mauigirl--
and, according to 2 of the teachings I've been studying 'life' is a very broad term, indeed:

sentience as we perceive it is limited [on this planet] to whales and humans [tho I do sometimes wonder about humans -- but that's for another post].

but, from what I THINK I'm reading in the teachings -- dirt and rocks and bacteria and helium atoms etc. etc. etc. all have a sentience of their own.

the earth itself does and is getting fed up with us these days. he/she/it could decide to be rid of us if we don't get our acts together. . . .

two crows said...

'He seems highly certain, but understands science cannot make this claim without proof.'
hi, again, Dave --
I missed a bit:

seeing as how we haven't managed to prove the positive existence of God and, given how much MORE difficult it is to prove a negative, I think atheists are in trouble if they want to continue the debate except by saying, 'I believe' -- just like the rest of us. . . .

Dave Dubya said...

Maybe we can eventually learn to separate faith from dogma. Many religions have the common thread of love and compassion yet humans by nurture, and somewhat by nature, keep focusing on the differences.

Overcoming ingrained cultural xenophobia is an essential requirement for long term human prosperity and survival. But can humans make the leap from irrational to rational interaction?

There's the $60,000 question. Or, should that be re-phrased, "Deal, or no deal"?

two crows said...

hi dave dubbya--
'Maybe we can eventually learn to separate faith from dogma.'

one thing I love about this whatever-it-is that I practice is that it includes neither. :)

and, yeah, people just keep on focusing on the ways we're different and refuse to see the similarities.
how that threatens them personally is still beyond me.
it does scare me sometimes.

Dave Dubya said...

I should clarify what I mean by faith. Not faith as in a "belief system", but faith in love and compassion being the best gifts we humans have and share. It is faith in a proven formula for our better nature and nurture.

Or maybe faith in the sense we know giving is better than taking, and peace is better than violence.

People have all kinds of weird and unfounded beliefs. I just want to differentiate the two.

two crows said...

hi, dave dubbya
oh, yes, from your mouth to the gods' ears!

may we develop faith in love and peace. and may we as a species learn that they trump war and greed every time.
agreed about the weird beliefs. just look at mine as I outline em here! :)

still, they're fun and they keep me off the streets and out of trouble. that's what matters, right?

two crows said...

hey again, mauigirl--
speaking of apes developing souls --
I just saw a special on the great apes that suggests SOMETHING is happening with em, lately.

chimps have begun developing an affinity for water. they used to have to be trained, by humans, not to fear it. recently several tribes in the wild have started having pool parties.

and some have begun fashioning crude spears for hunting. until very recently they had only been seen to grab prey animals by hand and break their necks or such.

they seem to be moving up a notch -- assuming a more efficient way to hunt is 'up'. and, I guess technically, it is.