Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Psychiatry and Spirituality - In the beginning

"In the beginning there was God. And God created the heavens and the earth and everything and everyone in them," said the student.
"Was there God and building blocks?" asked the master?
"No, just God in the beginning."
"So then everything is made of God, isn't it?" said the master.

Thereoretically there is no need for God as creator. Everything could just be unfolding as it is. However computer programs that measure the time it would take for a monkey to play the violin suggest very simply there isn't enough 'time' since the Big Bang,  That's the moment of creation.  Then it's possible that humans 'evolved' elsewhere.  That posits the 'seeding' of the earth by space travellers.

But then the question begets the question of where this other 'creator' came from.

Evolution tries poorly to suggest 'random' events would lead to 'creation' as we understand and know it. The trouble with this 'random' 'mutation' idea is that an infinitisemally small 'mutations' are 'beneficial'.  The vast majority of 'mutations' which we know of and see are negative and counter creation.  So evolution is a poor 'model' for the BIG PICTURE.  It might well explain little stuff but at the big level it just doesn't compare with the idea of a MYSTERY.

There 'arrogance' in believing "I know".  There's "humility' in saying 'I don't really know."  There's the mystery.

Science is humble.  Religion has a tendency to insist they know but personally as a scientist and a theist I BELIEVE.  I don't know how man 'evolved' from the Big Bang.  I've got an idea that maybe some monkey marriage lead to a proto human by some kind of 'intelligent design'.  Maybe even man was created whole as the Bible says.  Maybe there really was a Charleton Heston kind of guy who was back there in time.  That was yesterday. I don't know.  It's a mystery.  As a scientist, I have 'hypothesis'.  An hypothesis, is an 'educated mystery'.  We may have evolved from monkeys or monkeys may have devolved from us or we may have evolved in parallell.

This discussion doesn't help with my fundamental belief in a Mystery God creator that I can communicate today.


The Orubunga is an image of a snake eating it's tale.

I have a hypothesis of an original creator.  I anthropormised this 'OTHER".  I imagine t hem bored.  The oldest game is "Hide and Seek".  The Creator is one or zero.  The next step is 2.  Black and White. Yin and Yang. Or "Hide and Seek".  Or "You're the biter and I'm the ass that's bit".

Martin Buber,the great Jewish theologian/philosopher wrote a book  "I and Thou".  The real issue of getting beyond the 'Paranoid Position" of "I and IT"  is to accept that sense of anxiety which is a natural experience of humanity to the position of "I and Thou".  Bob Dylan's song "I and I" is a religious folk tradition referring to the Caribean "I and I" god tradition struggling in the same vein.

Kierkegaard referred to the essential state of existence as emitionally "existential angst".  He described existence as "Suffering unto death'.  This sense of 'separation' has been described as "alienation'.

Indeed religious thinkers have defined "Anxiety as a measure of our distance from God".

In the Hindu tradition the Overself is seen as the reality but our present existence is an 'underself'" or 'little self' that cannot appreciate the 'limitless' or 'infinite' because of our arbitrary 'limited' or 'finite' experience in this realm.

Reality is considered a 'Construct' by Owen Barfield.

It is a hypothesis of the 'String Theory' that this experience of a 'UNI-VERSE'  is really a "MULTI VERSE."

I just don't think there's reason to be  'adament' about one thing or another. I certainly wouldn't fight about these distinctions, yet there's a wholeness in the understanding and 'acceptance' of these understandings.  So often people don't realize they are living their lives according to some BIG PICTURE idea of life and the world and everything which is itself causing them their difficulties.

In psychiatry we see this in examples like, "GOD hates homos".  The people who make such crude and primitive statements may not really be aware of GOD or homos but they certainly are likely authorities on hate.  As hate authorities we might wish to take their comments seriously.

If we posit a GOD then we consider next that GOD

1) Neutral
2)  Active
3) Passive
4) Limitted
 5) Unlimitted
6) Inside
7) Outside
8) Participating
9) Communicating

After we've considered those we might get into whether he hates homos or whether he hates asparagus more.

The idea of Neutrality is to some extent what scientists think in the evolutionary sense. Whether there was a God Creator or not, there is this GAME called LIFE and the universe and everything and it's here and we're (humans) are in it.  It's quite possible that God made it for us to play and left or is merely watching. Thou might well be a sleep.

Some might say that God is limitted and not unlimitted.

Some think of God as outside the universe and us while others believe God is inside.

The question of whether Thou is participating in us, the universe/multiverse and everything is another question.

I personally believe that God is Omipresent, Omniscient, Immanent and Loving.

In the 12 step programs like AA and NA individuals are told to "make their own God'. It is recognised that the person who goes into Recovery is already religious but their God is a material substance immanent in the world, active in their life and soemthing they literally worship.  "The God of Your Understanding" is something that you can imagine as bigger than Whiskey or Heroin.  That's the notion of a Higher Power, something higher than the thing that is enslaving you, keeping you in bondage.

In the Schizophrenic or paranoid there may be an 'idea' that is central to the disability.  Questioning this central idea, that of say, a hateful God or a shameful act or a heaven or hell or a position in and out may be necessary to help a person come to terms with what is causing their particularly anxiety.
The therapy of R. D. Laing was one of unravelling the "Knots' that tied up these people in their own bondage preventing them freedom and joy.

The idea of a God that is active in your life is difficult for people.  Your God is Too Small is one of the great little books of all time in which an Anglican priest challenges people to look at their prayer life and their "idea" of  God.

It's sad that aetheists like Nitzhe and Hichens hadn't read that book. Their "idea" of God which they rail against is a very historic notion of God.  The idea that God evolves is taken up in the book, The Evolution of God.  The author there points to the changing ideas about the nature of God implicit and explicit in the Bible. Aetheists rarely engage our "MODERN GOD"  but rather talk about ancient history.

Communism is the present day social expression of aetheism. Indeed communism can be considered the largest religion to date of the aetheism.  In aetheist criticism of theism they commonly talk about historic 'ideas' of God whereas they get all emotional if one points to actual communists today killing people.

The Theists killing people today are for example ISIS. They whack people all the time. However their God isn't a MODERN GOD or a POST MODERN GOD but rather a 15th century version of God.  ISIS want to time travel to a simpler time when men had sex slaves and swords decided who was ruler.  ISIS God isn't even ALLAH but more like a WAR GOD.

Polytheism has these 'limitted' GOD constructs. The God of Agriculture for Greek Romans was Ceres/Demeter.  Zeus, the God of God was a limitted God too.

But the Modern Postmodern God is a limitless loving God which was glympsed in Hinduism and Buddhism and specifically what Jesus talked to especially naming the God of His Understanding as "ABBA" which means 'Daddy".

Loving God.

Indeed spiritual people today would simply answer the question

What was in the beginning?

"In the Beginning was Love?"

Accepting that, how did we get here from there?

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