God – controversial.
Some say it is tough to define, but such ambiguity doesn’t stop us from using the word “life.”
No word is an obelisk, except for “obelisk.”
Nothing is concrete, except for “concrete.”
All is in flux.
This flux could be God. The only thing constant is change.
All that statement says to me is that our grammar builds our logic in ways that are fucking confusing.
So let’s examine the grammar of God.
In scripture, little is actually defined about the Abrahamic God except that he rules all. God is the undefeatable, all is His Kingdom. His Word is Final.
Jesus reinterpreted God. He began with a new definition: God is Love. The true power of this ubiquitous, undefeatable concept will be unlocked by worshiping love. Faith in tolerance and brotherhood is in Jesus’ mind an avenue to active philosophy. With his new perspective he could tolerate and strike against maddening passive institutional forces: nationalism, greed, corruption – the human plague, a curse of our logic and language.
Strange that the most famous preacher of peace has been the ultimate symbol behind so much murder.
God is sometimes said to be all that is eternal. Some mathematicians believe that the perfection of math is proof of God, others would say that the perfection of math is at best a conjured human fancy.
On a daily basis we talk of nothings and somethings as though these exist, and they do, as concepts.
But is there truly “nothing”? How do we attach a word to that which by definition does not exist at all?
Here we see how ambiguities arise in our language constantly, and just as hastily are swept under the rug like dirt.
The same arises with God.
God is everything and nothing. God is infinite and limited and limitless.
God is the necessary to describe the infinite contingencies. Does the necessary drive the contingent? Do the contingencies combine to drive the necessary? And if one possesses an active force does it one subsume the other?
Where does God as a concept lose it’s usefulness? When it is used to discourage critical thinking. As a political tool. To justify a madman’s action. To make people feel small.
Sometimes we say: Thank God. Sometimes we say: God damn it. God is capitalized. You could just as easily not capitalize it, but the same could be said for the pronoun “I”. Is the ego really so important? Or financial institutions? Can we really not just write: Gee dan, thank god i made it to wells fargo on time.
Most of communication is cultural habit. If someone decides he doesn’t want to capitalize a certain word, I applaud that.
Does God exist? What a strange question.
Do I exist? This question is of far more importance in Eastern Philosophy than the question does God exist?
I both exist and I don’t. In some sense yes and in some sense no.
The same could be said for God, I suppose.
Does the Universe exist? If the answer is “yes, in all cases” – I see another Obelisk.
No matter how certain we are of things, the words seem to fall apart.
We use them like fishing nets. You call out “Jessica” and Jessica turns around.
In Wittgenstein’s view, and I tend to agree, words are given meaning only through use.
In the same sense, a scale is created only by playing notes.
We compound words derived from common usage with metaphysical concepts when we ask questions such as: Is God permanent? What creates this world?
The only answer is that there is no answer.
Another koan, absorbed.
Yet I earnestly believe that the sooner we accept a lack of answers, and the fundamental linguistic nature of the questions, the sooner we can get to action.
Action, like a scale or a word, like true science, exists only in practice.
But is there even such a thing as free will? Can we choose to act? Another religious concern.
However, given the void of religions nowadays that satisfactorily describe our modern condition, we look to modern knowledge.
Modern knowledge will always be modern and never be able to answer certain questions. Rather, it helps us to better hone these questions, and in doing so perpetuates them.
I think maybe if there was a more satisfying viewpoint that helped people to navigate our world as it stands today people could focus on action.
I know these ideas are rarely heard from the “far left” – those that believe in the power of human unity and the oppression of institutional thought. I don’t know how I got here.
Today God is great, tomorrow God is a bastard, the next day I might say God doesn’t even exist. Somehow I think my train of thought will be useful to others.
Is there a God? A trick question. Wordplay.
Another one – are there truly “laws” of physics, or do we merely describe infinite contingencies as best we can?
Are there “laws” of God?
I think some good commandments would be: Thou shalt Die.
But the infinite will flow through you.
The only answer is that there is no answer.
Thou shalt not be deceived by grammar. Your decisions cannot be attributed to either outside factors nor your own devised plans. This direction only brings puzzlement. Thou shalt consider that it’s perhaps better to consider that decisions will themselves, like an electron.
The best analogy I can make is that consciousness is an instrument of will, our thoughts are the notes behind the scale, and the scale is our personal moral fiber, the values that bring the decision to act.
As I oftentimes say, our morals outweigh our free will.
The only way to control our morals are to control our thoughts, to build a scale. As for any musician, improvisation and grooving with others will take years of practice.
In his book, The Meaning Of Life: A Very Short Introduction Terry Eagleton looks at many approaches to the meaning of life and concludes that it may be jazz.
Not a bad hypothesis – John Coltrane – Equinox
The priest or the astrophysicist knows no more or no less about God than me or you. They are deliberately muddling the grammar, and in turn manipulating logic, if they claim one way or the other.
In that sense nobody else decides what you can think, they only offer suggestions. It is always good to try to mine for new veins of thought, so one has many considerations to draw from.
Is God, the feeling that some claim to have, that they just “know” – closer to a rush of mortality? Of imminent dissolution?
Perhaps God is all we stand to lose when we die.
Nietzsche famously claimed: God is Dead! – but his subsequent statement is less-famous: Long live God!
If you cast off the biblical God, the expectation is that something will fill the void left behind.
The nature of God is that as soon as you lose one, you find another. That is what Ghandi meant by “God is the atheism of the atheist.”
God is a beautiful word because it says so much about us.
We revere the insight so greatly that we capitalize its avatar, the word – God.
God is symbolic of our search, our language, our logic, our questions, and possesses a special category in my (flawed) categories of existence, the truly undefined phenomena, that which we can neither prove nor disprove except by building obelisks.
We are here. Knowledge is most useful for action, action that is in the eye of the interpreter. How we filter this is again a matter of will. In ways the most brilliant men, a Jesus or Kant, simply provide new ways of interpreting.
Rarely is it considered that we search just to search, and can stop at any time.
If we were to be content with this non-search, learning to separate practice and philosophy/religion, then we can truly accept one another, think critically and act fluidly. That is the power of faith.
I know I am not crafting a very reassuring philosophy. Not the “satisfying viewpoint” I proposed, certainly not the one yearned for in an age that craves satisfaction. Contentment leading to activity is another raindrop in a storm of contradictions.
But that is the beauty of our world, that is the flux.
(The Boat Studio)