As you can tell by my often cherry disposition, I have a lot of unmanaged physical and emotional pain in my life. I’ll start with the chronic illnesses Emphysema, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and Arthritis in the joints in my back. Relax, this isn’t a pity party, I just mention that to excuse my bad behaviour and to say, that in spite of all that I am less comforted by spirituality than ever, even in my earlier less pain filled life. So when I am writing about spirituality, I am not writing about something that I find emotionally comforting or even promising. It’s a simple source of looking deeper into life.
A big bang doesn’t satisfy me….I have to know who lit the match. If something as immense as the creator of the universe, caused, through evolution, beings to become self-aware, isn’t it reasonable to assume that the creator would be aware of them? If we can accept that, then it’s not a big stretch to think that if the beings truly screwed up their understanding of truth, he might walk amongst them as one of them and offer a better explanation rooted in compassion rather than dictation.
The first thing we have to consider is that faith, religion and belief are all separate topics. The Bible is not an authoritative source of Universal Truth. It is fundamentally a book written by men about who they think is God. It does not offer scientific evidence or concrete verifiable evidence or even accurate history. It is what it is, a story about some guy named Yahweh Tetragrammaton and his kid Jesus.
Is it lies? Yes! But it also contains truth. Like all good stories it contains a lot of hyperbole. The miracles probably happened but in a very minor way. I am sure Jesus did feed a lot of people with very little and I am sure that Lazarus probably seemed dead when he was brought to life. Am I suggesting he was not Divine? No I am saying that his divinity was not established by miracles. Am I saying that miracles don’t exist? Not at all.
Every day of my life I get a chance to make someone laugh and in that laughter they get a moment of joy and in that moment of joy they find solace and peace and in that moment they truly discover God. That is a Moment of Eternity…that is a miracle coming from a man who lives in relative agony. When you cut your finger, blood cells crust over the cut allowing the epidermis to cover the broken area and in a few days you can hardly tell where the cut was…that is a miracle…that through hundreds of millenia we have adapted this incredible healing power.
The problem with organized religions are that they have stopped searching for truth and started selling the lies they know. Real religion is a constant state of discovery and continual redefining of truth. It evolves and grows and never finishes discovering who and what the Truth is. Defining God wasn’t supposed to be easy. There is no accurate rule book…no set of rules to play by that if you do them, God will find you perfect. Jesus calls this sort of sin based definition of God as hypocrisy. “Hypocrite …take the huge sins out of your own eye before you even think of telling someone else about their sins. ” He even defined god-like behaviour as doing things for others…”whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” He and Moses both referred to the essence of true religion as being to love god and love each other the way you want to be loved.
The plain reality is that the Universal Creator is far too complex an entity for us to define in any one book. Although John comes close to offering the most satisfying definition for me, “God is Love and he that abides in Love abides in God and God in him”
So then are we just the sum of our human parts? Is there more to life than this? Are we mortal or are we eternal? Contrary to fundamentalist and Roman Catholic belief, Jesus did not just show up to add new rules and make life more difficult. Rather his focus was establishing eternity and opening up the doors to everyone that wants in. This eternity is not locked in the space-time continuum. As he said, “A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is but a day in the kingdom of God” So time is irrelevant. To reach it, one must die. On the cross he said to the other condemned, “Today you’ll be with me in Paradise.
But does eternity exist? It does. It’s in everything we see and do. Humans evolved from the life elements found in dust and when they die they are transformed back into dust. But what of the soul? Do we have one and if we do what does the soul transform into? The only empiracle evidence of a soul is in the electrical impulses of a dying person seem to live on for a time after the body is dead. Eternity is necessary to establish some form of justice…some measure of fairness to life. Sure he was born rich and lived a pretty cushy existence but its easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god. The existence of an afterlife is an inherent promise of religion. Without that, life would be enormously unfair but with the promise of paradise for the good and eternal retribution for the evil, life seems a bit more palatable. But what evidence is there that when we die we just cease to exist? There is none there either…its just easier to understand logically.
If we listen to Jesus he promised reward for enduring the sufferings of this present age. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and again to his fellow condemned, “Today you will be with me in paradise”. The dust we are made from and the dust we become after death is the same substance that was at the beginning of the universe…so we are already eternal. Then it comes back to the original supposition, if we are made to be aware of the possibility of a god, there is an equal chance that he/she/it is aware of us. That we are all part of a mystical body of truth and our physical beings limited by linear time, are in fact vessels that prevent us from joining an eternal truth.