Do you believe in God?

Q: Do you believe in God?

A: Yes.

Q: You think there is a supernatural power controlling the universe?

A: No. There is no supernatural power.

Q: But you said you believe in God!

A: I said there is no power controlling this universe like a driver controlling his car. God is not a supernatural driver.

Q: Then what exactly is your God?

A: God is the Creativity in the universe. God, at its best, manifests as order and lawfulness.

Q: I don’t understand. Why is there order? Who created it?

A: There is no creator. Reality is Lawful. This is God. It is not an active controller; but the essential nature of reality itself. Human beings are the only active agents in the whole universe, and it is in our best interest to identify and follow this Lawfulness, also known as God.

Q: Why should anyone believe you? Why should I follow the ‘lawfulness’ you are talking about?

A: Because we are the product of this Lawfulness. God created us. We are a spark of this creativity. We can satisfy our deepest desires only by resonating with the universal creativity that is God.

Q: I don’t think so. We are created by natural selection operating on random genetic mutations. This is the science of life as you might be aware.

A: Present day science of life is incomplete. Natural selection is only a small part of the story. There is much left to be uncovered.

Q: OK, let us leave it for another day. You said God is not an active force. Why?

A: Imagine a canal carrying water to distant fields. The direction of flow is decided by the canal. Is the canal actively controlling the direction of the flow?

Q: I don’t see any such God operating in the universe.  Isn’t the universe slowly moving towards higher states of disorder, to thermal death?

A: Yes, but we do perceive patterns in the universe. Perhaps it is a cyclical process- birth-development and death of patterns, repeating endlessly.

Q: Science is doing a very good job in explaining the universe and the God concept has become redundant.

A: Science is God’s left hand. The structure and order revealed through science is the working of God.

Q: Science is God’s left hand? Where is the right hand then?

A: We used to have a word for that – wisdom. It is rarely used these days. Wisdom acquired through meditation- that is God’s right hand. We disable God’s right hand by ignoring our inner life, by choosing cleverness over wisdom.

Q: I don’t see the need to bring in God. Science is doing a wonderful job and the rest is pure superstition.

A: Because you still think of God as something external, outside nature. I have already said there is nothing like that. Science reveals the order and lawfulness in the physical universe, it is God in operation.

Q: That means Science is your God?

A: No. Science is the partial description of a natural God in action. God-Nature also has un-represent-able properties, attributes that can be experienced subjectively, but cannot be translated into words. One needs to be silent and inward-looking to see that. Cleverness can never be a substitute for wisdom.

Describing God is like trying to paint an elephant on a white canvas using a bucket of white paint. You could never paint an elephant like that. Perhaps you will end up with an elephant shaped hole in the canvas if you try really hard! Science cannot approach God because its tools not adequate.

Q: This is unfair!  Why only white paint? I can have as many colors as I want to paint an elephant in black or pink or any other color!

A: That is true. Actually there are several colors at our disposal. But we insist there is only one!

Life has a history spanning 3.5 billion years. Scientific objectivity is only one of the several modes of comprehension evolved in the history of life. It is indeed a powerful method and we are absolutely blinded by its power!

Q: I think you are confused. Science is the right way to know the universe and in fact there is no other way to acquire reliable knowledge.

A: That is like saying there exist only white paint. You can’t draw elephants like that!

Q: You are imagining things! May be there are no elephants to paint.

A: But I do see elephants.

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3 Responses to Do you believe in God?

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    “Human beings are the only active agents in the whole universe”

    That’s a bold claim Shajan. As a species of Great Ape, humans have agency, yet what distinguishes that agency from, say, that of other Great Apes? And “the whole universe” – why, and on what evidence, might you suggest that the rest of the universe is devoid of life with cognate agency? As far as I know, there is no substantial evidence either way that might lead to any such conclusion. Of course, I may have misunderstood the nature of this article, and you have intended it more as a speculative projection.

    All best wishes.

    Hariod.

    • shajanm says:

      Dear Hariod,

      I really appreciate your comment and thank you for bringing up this point.

      What distinguishes the agency in humans from that of Great Apes?

      The way I think about it is like this: Everything in the universe is ‘creatively animated’ at some level. Atoms combine to form molecules, planets move around the sun, plants and animals look for food and reproduce. It could be seen as a search for patterns. These patterns are fixed and relatively simple in the case of inanimate matter. Complexity of patterns increase exponentially in ‘higher’ forms of life.

      Something unprecedented happened with the emergence of self awareness in humans. The ‘creative animating force’ crossed an important threshold and began to see nature and itself from a detached point of view. It was almost like the appearance of a new species of life, the ‘new man’ who could look at nature objectively.

      Knowledge and being were inseparable until the arrival of self awareness. A dog knows many things, but its knowledge is not separate from its being. Man began to separate knowledge from being and this became an extremely powerful tool to control nature – objective knowledge.

      Seen this way, Man is the only active agent, only ‘controller’ around.

      I am sorry if this is confusing! I would greatly appreciate you could take a look at an earlier post ‘Knowledge and Ignorance’

      https://shajanmathew.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/knowledge-and-ignorance/

      Shajan

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