Are You There God?

A NOTE TO READERS

Last month I wrote regarding my seven-year old god-son deciding there was no such thing as God.

For two years I’ve been struggling with how to communicate to him and his sister, indeed to so many, why searching for God is still relevant.

In saying this I do not mean searching for a doctrine/dogma of God. I mean searching, personally, for whether there is a god or not.

So I’ve decided to start a letter to him that may, or may not, when it’s finally done, be worthy of publication in the form of a book.

And I will blog it. I ask dear readers for feedback, for thoughts and reactions. Perhaps you might send it on to others who may be interested for my audience exists more in my mind than reality!

You see for me, this is the most important conversation we folk can have.

So the more contributions thoughts and experiences the richer the result.

Not that I expect an end ‘result’. Just as the edges of the universe continue to expand so does this rich concept called God.

I have come to understand that in asking what God is we ask what we are.

How exciting that we are yet to reach a definition for either!

THE LETTER

 Dear Skippy

This is probably the longest letter you’ll ever get but by now you know your Pookie so you won’t be surprised!

I am writing to you honey because of a conversation you and I had when you were seven. It went something like this:

I don’t believe in God Pookie

My God-son, seven years of age, announced this as I gave him a hug hallo.

I asked him why.

In summary, his religious teacher at school had dished out the dogma of ‘you’re a sinner and God loves you so he sent his one and only son to suffer horrendously and be crucified’ so now you have to be grateful by being good in the ways we say.

Cal, though only seven, already understood that he was not a sinner.

The whole story appeared so ridiculous to a child of 2010 who hasn’t been brought up with it, that he logically concluded there was no such thing as God. His mum didn’t believe, but he knew I did though I call it a completely different name unrelated to institutions.

I laughed.

“I wouldn’t believe in God if that was true either honey. But that doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as God.

Cal looked confused and I pounced on him with a tickle attack. The wrestle that followed put a halt to our theological discussion. As I left I reminded him to keep an open mind. He looked at me with disbelief and I laughed. He was only seven!

https://leesis.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/my-God-stop-closing-their-minds/

 

Now, it so happened, that for some time I had been thinking of writing on this very subject. To be precise Skippy this letter could be titled ‘Why to Look for God Despite the Nonsense’.

You see mate, that’s the bottom line of this whole letter from my heart to yours (and Yaya’s and Boof-heads…and anyone else who’ll listen).

I unequivocally believe, based on all of my experience, study and research, that the search for this thing called ‘God’ is as important as vitamins in our food, oxygen in our air, love in our life.

Without it we cannot understand ourselves. We cannot use it. And as such we cannot be all that we can be.

But here is the real tricky bit Skip. I can’t prove to you there is God even though I personally know there is, that It Is.

And worse, language is the curse of communication when it comes to this topic. The word God has more meanings than there are cells in your body, as there are individuals on this planet. And folk commit to meaning awfully hard.

Now this had me a bit overwhelmed for a while until I realised it’s not up to me to prove to you there is a God. It is though my responsibility and my passion to explain why you should look into it yourself rather than reject the whole concept because of an old and outdated interpretation.

You are now nine. You live in a time and culture in Australia that is in limbo when it comes to God.

Your mum isn’t interested, agnostic at most, the education system reflects the communities confusion so still presents two-thousand year old dogma next to evolution combined with humanistic psychology in action presented next to scientific reductionist rational atheism (so popular right now) and all are in a messy hostile relationship with each other.

Firstly Skippy let’s be clear that whilst I can’t prove to you there is a God you equally can’t prove there isn’t one.

 Current popular atheists in science and philosophy argue the non-existence of God through disproving religious dogma. Clearly it is not reasonable to make this leap. Let me show you why by introducing you to a method of reasoning that I think we can both agree is acceptable. Created some two-thousand five hundred years ago by one of my favourite of all minds, Socrates.

But that’s for next time little buddy…till next time…my heart to your heart.

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6 thoughts on “Are You There God?

  1. Leesa, this is a wonderful post. Many of the sentiments in it could be mine, especially

    “I unequivocally believe, based on all of my experience, study and research, that the search for this thing called ‘God’ is as important as vitamins in our food, oxygen in our air, love in our life.”

    It’s always possible that the search might lead us to embrace a dogma. I guess I’d prefer “intelligent belief”, but that depends on how one sees the various established religious options. I think the search has to allow for the possibility that we might find. And to some, that probably seems to lack integrity. I’m quite happy to remain agnostic if that’s where life leads me, but I’m not going to embrace the dogma of “commitment to a belief is a sell-out”. It’s hard walking fences, isn’t it?

    I find myself incredibly encouraged to meet people from around the world who seem to resonate with some of my opinions, it makes me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile.

    Warmly,

    Jonathan 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for your response Jonathan. My issue with dogma is more about the human need to seal it with a lid. A nice tight fitting box that then becomes impervious to growth.

    “I think the search has to allow for the possibility that we might find.”

    Agreed but I find I keep finding, if you know what I mean, so in that way I feel we will never have a complete definition of what God/we is/are?

    I too feel inspired that there are those of similar bent to I 🙂

    Cheers…Leesa

  3. Leesa

    At your request, I will comment briefly on your argument. Your feeling, my feeling, or anyone else’s feeling that something is so adds nothing to the resolution of whether it is so. T. Metzinger, I believe, suggested that we aim for tge minmum set of assumptions necessary to explain a phenomenon. That we are inclined to perceive parenthood for our species means we are so wired. It does not mean there is a parent out there. It does not exclude the logical possibility. It simply is less likely to be so, based on the evidence we have. Because our brains are survival devices rather than truth-seeking devices, questions of this type become all the murkier.

    • thankyou for your response. Yes I did request it and would love for you to continue.I am eager for different responses and feel no ‘sensitivity’ at others responses, just more questions. I wonder how you percieve the difference between brain and mind or feelings and deeper emotions?
      cheers

    • “Your feeling, my feeling, or anyone else’s feeling that something is so adds nothing to the resolution of whether it is so.”

      With unreserved respect to your opinion I absolutely cannot agree with it for both my reason and my psyche/deep emotion/feeling self and every year experience of my conscious life has proved to me otherwise.

      Essentially I think beyond a doubt we have clearly proved that there exists an intense complicated relationship between thought, emotion and external consequences.

      I have to say this is almost physically painful to write as I am hyperaware that just about every word I use here has possible explosive consequences given the baggage of interpretation we give to mere letters clustered in groups. This leads to misinterpretations which I swear has become a spectre behind my shoulder the more I write. Anyhow….

      We now know in quantum physics that thought, expectation, has an impact on external phenomena.

      And we know in mental health/psychological research that the stronger the emotion behind a thought the stronger the impact on the external world.

      In psychiatry I learnt early on before I knew any of this that a person’s expectations and emotional states had enormous impact on their external reality, mainly undesirable ones. Though studies done in intentional group prayer and the successes are thought provoking.

      As such it seems to me that a feeling, anyone’s feeling does indeed add to the resolution of whether it is so.

      And indeed when we put a lot of us together and we combine thought with emotion the impact is extreme.

      Thoughts?

  4. Pingback: walkin’ my talk « Leesis Ponders

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