Sunday, November 30, 2014

God Revisited on Commercial Street

I am sitting on the terrace of the East Van Comedy Club looking at the sun setting in the distance.  Perhaps thats a fitting place to consider God in today's often godless society.
I’ve stopped here because it’s a good place for dogs. They set out dog water dishes at either end of the terrace.  Gilbert is tied to a bicycle post next to me. He loves Commercial Drive.  It’s a dog friendly community with lots of folk walking their dogs.  Now he’s lying in wait to meet and greet passers by.
I’ve been to St. James Anglican this morning. Good to see Father Mark and Father Mathew.  Karen and Matisse were there.  Kevin, AJ, the boys and Kendra were there. I loved that the Women’s Auxilliary had it’s sale after church. I’m stocked up with Christmas Bread, home made marmalade. I got the boys and Kendra hand knitted togues which Kevin sized for me.
(The waitress just brought me a Cafe’ Latte. Now she has brought gumbo.  Looks delicious.  Looking at it I think I’ll take to calling the stews I make ‘gumbo’.  Seems more descriptively true.  I know I started out to Revisit “God” but I’m going to take a break and eat this gumbo while it’s hot. There’s snow on the ground and it’s been quite cold indeed.  My beard helps but this gumbo should really hit the spot, Mmm, the food here is hot and Godly.  In Winter I'll go to a 'hot heaven' before a 'cool' heaven")
Now that I am ‘sated’ with very delicious gumbo and fresh baked bread with herbal butter, I might consider the subject of God differently than one might starving and under siege.  There's always 911 prayers and lot of the preachers speak from fear rather than love.
God is one, i.e. God is all.  Or God is none.  That’s the one and zero conception with the line going through the centre to create the symbol of infinity. I can conceptualize the finite and perhaps even consider infinity though mostly the latter I consider in cartesian mathematical terms.  I don’t know that man can truly conceptualize the infinite certainly not as he does the finite.  I’m ever changing as well with a sense of some kind of unchanginess.  This is even more apparent as I grow older and myself hardly recognize myself as the once young man.  The waitress is very young and no doubt looks at me like I looked at old ladies at her age.  I look at the young as young but not as I do the very old which for me are the 90 year olds.  It’s relative. But not all things are relative and 'it is what it is' is only as true as 'it isn't what it isn't'.
All such concepts weren’t readily available to the ancients.  The world was once pagan or ‘polytheistic’ and our ‘secular’ society is increasingly appearing little different from any ‘polytheistic society’.  In the Roman sense the Gods were named and personalized whereas in the secular society they may well be addictions.  Bachus rules the alcoholic.  In Medieval times the polytheism was limited to ‘demons’.  Today we have Ford and Fararri.  We call our Gods nationalities and corporations but it’s only when we limited the definition of ‘religion’ to a ‘god based faith’ do we exclude the comparative ‘religion’ of ‘communism’.  It claimed to be ‘godless’ but it was nonetheless a cult of personality with Lenin and Che little different than Kennedy and Reagan.  Nationalities are God like to those who are 'secular'.
I appreciate the interconnectedness of everything materially.  I understand as a scientist the significance of fractals, the universality of atoms and DNA.  The ‘atomic’ theory of universal interconnectedness goes back to the Greeks in Pre Christian times. Yet I learned in a theological lecture at a seminary that St. John’s ‘In the beginning was the word”  referred to the notion that we are all made of the ‘god stuff’.  Created in “God’s Image’ is essentially being the dream stuff of God.  Today Holograms give us capacity to understand this universality.  Certainly the movie “Matrix’ taking off from the findings of Hummarabi texts helps one appreciate that ‘to dream is the rub”.  Dr. Carl Jung expressed the idea that we were joined by the “universal unconscious”. This was in essence an idea from the Vedantas and expressed by Buddha.  We are the sound made by the celestial spheres.  Waves and particles.
(there is a young man who has sat down with two young women who have accents and would appear to be travellers. His voice has become louder and more raucous despite the fact that he’s drinking coffee. He’s irritating, nonetheless as he struts his intellect in hope that the girls will want his cock.  It’s not what he is saying that irritates but rather the loudness and the tone as he talks authoritatively about generalities but mostly wants he wants someone to unzipp his fly. I celebrate his youth.  He is with two beautiful women and I am  alone with a computer and a dog. My irritation is likely envy. )
Talking and thinking about God is what one does when lust is not more readily available.  Football players and warriors aren’t known for their intellectualism however Marcus Aurelius’s memoir is as sensitive a writing as one might find. He speaks of the stoics and today we’d call this a treatise on minimalism.
Under every idea - right now it’s the hegemony of Climate Change and politics of the Middle East and China and America - under all these is an issue of God.
I liked that the desire for uniformity went with the idea that those who were ‘contrarian’ somehow lessened the benefits that collective thanks and praise could bring to a community.  So the Christians, the contrarians, for their first 300 years offended the secular or polygamous Roman empire.  Now Christians are offending the secular society again.  Meanwhile my Christian friend demands and gets overtly angry with anyone who doesn't share his 'narrowest' certainty about Christianity.  I have several Christian friends and they're all more 'certain' than each other about Christianity.  The devil is in the details.  Agreement is like herding cats.  It's so hard to agree with these disagreeable certainties.   The tower of babble is such a  very human story.
God, the father, God the son, and God the holy spirit, the 3 in 1 God offended the Jews who believed in the One God, the God of the jews and mostly considered him God the Father.
Now I’ve been encountering more and more Moslems who are in the news because a significant percentage of them are radical and fundamentalist.  When Christian fundamentalists limited themselves to televangelism they were of no concern to the majority. The same was true for the Muslims but when they began beheading everyone who didn’t convert they became like Religious Communists.  The communists, mostly the Russian and Chinese variants of ‘atheism’ have a combined killing of a hundred million in the last hundred years, about a million a year. They make the Nazi’s look like amateurs.  No Christian group, even the witch hunting spanish inquisition, did anything like the Communists when it came to killing. The French Revolution numbers were infinitesimal.  Muslim radicals haven’t killed nearly so many but they’re the Rock Stars of death right now though the communists are still killing in Ukraine and China.
Meanwhile we're aborting babies with a frenzy of killing and the Canadian government is literally orgasming over the idea of Euthansia. The courts cream at the idea of legitimizing suicide.  No wonder the Pope called this a Culture of Death.
But what is life. Is it finite or infinite. Do I end with my death. I don’t know with any certainty. Even Houdini couldn’t get a message back with any certainty. I really don't believe in the infinity of my finitude but figure i'll muddle along waking no doubt in some variation of this life dream.  I suspect I'll be accountable to 'retribution' and 'karma' and that I may come back as a frog or burn in a fiery bath or play harp badly on a cloud.  All outcomes are possible.  Death is significant no matter how the government would reduce all individuals to numbers and accounting as subtraction.
So the Council of Nicea was an attempt to get equal agreement among Christians on the nature of God. Was God the Father equal to God the Son and where did the Holy Spirit fit in.  We have many denominations of protestantism in addition to the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodx.  The Muslims have Sunni and Shiites like the Jews have their Ashkenazi and the other one, the one that’s more eastern.  Buddhist war , actually kill each other, all vegetarians though, over who owns a Buddhist temple.  Hindus have long fought the Siks. Divisiveness is at nature human.
It’s really a bit like soccer fans or hockey fans at the grass roots.
I know God.  I know God is loving.  I have lived this and reasoned this.  I’ve long left atheism behind given the overwhelming scientific evidence that they’re collectively less healthy and well. Yet there are the gays who are less healthy and well in some groups solely because of their marginalization. The rich and mainstream , the ‘winners’, are normally healthiest.
I pray.  I was raised Christian.  I meditate. I have a direct consciousness of something one might call a ‘higher power’.  I don’t ‘feel’ this as polygamous or even as ‘trinitarian’.  I accept the trinitarian nature of God as easily as I accept the make up of DNA.  Does it matter to my ‘faith’ or my function.
But the question arises because the Aetheists , what my friend calls ‘anti-theist’, the Communists, and Radical Muslims, like the Radical Feminists, and the Radical Climate Change Cult, all seem to be looking for a fight.  Mostly people want a bigger slice of the pie and today the pie is money.
I’ve vowed ‘to live and let live’.  I believe in God. I”m a Christian.  I am probably also an evangelist because I ‘advertise’ my Christianity not that differently than I do my Canadianism.  I’m called a Patriot which is like being an Evangelist. I’m not going to knock on your door or consider it a ‘win’ if you convert to my religion. I’m certainly not going to behead you if you don’t agree, put you in a gas chamber or rant at you ad infinitum about the victimship of women or the terrible plight of black people or how the chinese are much maligned or even how Americans are difficult to live beside. I’m not that way inclined.
I rather like my company and the company of my dog and I like to sit alone with my ‘imaginary friend, called God”.   I really don't think God is imaginary though.  Everything but God seems more the imaginary.  Actually I don’t talk to God as ‘God’ but rather call him Lord. I don’t think of God as feminine anymore than I think of the earth as Feminine.  I haven’t this whole issue with ‘gender’ or ‘race’ or football teams. I didn’t know today was the Grey Cup.  I’m personally wondering which hotel I’m going to stay in in Turkey in a few weeks.
Now I’m going to walk the dog.
I think God is more ‘yes’ than ‘no’ too.  I love St. John of the Cross and “nada’.  God is not anything of this world.  God is transcendent and more. God is more ‘mystery’ too, so I’m a big fan of the medieval ‘Cloud of Unknowing’.  I think a lot of Evangelicals spout their ignorance with their certainty over uncertainties.    I am a scientist so I worry when people speak without the basic understanding of ‘thesis’ , antithesis, synthesis, Hegel, Black Boxes and  ideas that beget ideas.  ‘Evolution’ may not be darwinian per-se but it is a process of learning and learning on learning.
(The guy in the next table is saying he’s an ‘artist’.  Actually he’s saying he ’s a contractor. An illustrator.  )
I like that he’s ‘thinking out loud’.  The group is having fun. I remember being in such groups, sharing ideas. Good CAFE SOCIETY.  I forgive him his raucous laugh and loud voice.  I hope they come together too. Really.
Time to walk more with GilbertIMG 7196IMG 7198

No comments: