Sunday, September 30, 2018

Free Will ,Determinism, Synchronicity, St. Barnabus and Gilbert

Since moving to Burnaby I’ve been a church tourist. I’ve attended all the ones close to me and yesterday I saw St. Barnabus Church in my travels. My friend named his fine son Barnabus so I appreciate the Biblical significance of this less common reference.  Today the rain from inside was kind of depressing as a harbinger of Vancouver Eastern Rain Forest deluge that often goes on months.  We don’t have the snow of the east but there there’s sunshine and endless sky.  Here is mountains and clouds so it’s somewhat closed in, at times claustrophobic..  Church is an antidote with it’s inspiration and uplifting community association. To quote Third Day, we can ‘soar like eagles’.

So today I looked at the website and saw the St. Barnabus Church is holding the blessing of the pets, a St. Francis of Assisi tradition.  Gilbert my cockapoo, the best dog ever, was blessed by the Bishop of the Anglican Church here. We’re not sure it took since his interest in dogs genitals of either sex and his interest in their butts and the butts of cats and butts generally,  hasn’t changed.  We insist that this is perhaps the genetics of the French poodle as it certainly can’t come from the English cocker spaniel lineage.  

Gilbert comes to church with me as he comes to work . I’ve always picked places of work and church on their welcoming him.  I’m only modestly more upright in behaviour so he’s my ‘canary’ so to speak socially.  If people object to a little dog they’re soon object to me. 

Now these points, passing the church yesterday and it’s welcoming dog’s today, two ‘coincidences’ in my life seem to me to be synchronistic.  Dr. Carl Jung described the synchronistic as subjective experiences which to an outside observer would appear as coincidences.  The ‘objective’ observer sees events as ‘disconnected’ ,as was common in the ‘age of rationalism’ and the idea of disconnected objects in space. That was the now defunct ‘scientific materialism’ that still plagues those who ‘want the facts and nothing but the facts’.  The courts are still full of them but the science labs simply moved onto multi dimensional universes and quantum physics and the observer and observed interacting. 

If a butterfly flaps its wings in China there is a breeze here in North America.  Everything is ‘interconnected’.  Just because we don’t see the wind doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Like the proverbial 7 points of ‘connection’ in societies.  

I’m reading Niall Ferguson’s latest book, The Square and the Tower, (Networks and power, from Freemasons to Facebook) all about human interconnectedness.   Up to the. Magic Number of 150 about men and women can function as a society with limited structure because they mostly know and have contact with each other. (Sapiens, A brief history of humankind by Yuval Harari)  Beyond 150 there has historically been a need for formal governmental and organizational structures, each of which competes with others through commerce and war.   As Dr. Jordan Peterson speaks eloquently about there’s always this balance between chaos and order.

I love the Gospel of St. John, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God.....’

The Hindus might say that sound was ‘om’ while the scientists might call it ‘bang’.   The mathematics of music is as exciting as the harmonics and how the arrangements of sound affect our mood and health. Music Therapy is just one application but for me there is the issue of vibration and the String Theory. The uniqueness of an individual elements by it’s ‘sound’.  All of these are interconnected in the ‘ONE ‘.  I love the music in church the reciting together and singing together in community. It’s not about performance but rather about community. 

So in church we gather as a community for prayer , praise and thanksgiving.  Prayer is simply talking to the One and Thanksgiving and Praise are simply positive celebration. Politics by contrast to religion seems predominantly to be negative and critical and I have never had much truck with the judgemental, God as scornful angry condemning.  I rather think of God as ‘HOME’.  The tides of my life go out and in like breathing.

So believing the world to be sacred and that the energy that is between all is best called ‘love’ and that which separates us is ‘fear’ I love to ‘meditate’ in church, ‘listening in community’ for guidance and presence. It’s a mystical place touched by hundreds of thousands minds and hearts and souls over often hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. I love the ‘choice’ of place for a church and the changed atmosphere of that place by so many worshiping there. I feel the difference between the places of war and the places of worship.  

Now because there are billions of people and trillions of beings consciousness, a decision, results in ripples and flows and conflict because we’re all not standing miles apart in an open field but rather huddled together on a subway. If I want to change my position or direction there’s all those around me.  We can do it of course with huffing and puffing and pushing and such.  Then a new flow is created.  But it’s not just ‘me’ doing things.

In 12 step programs they say G.O.D. Is  ‘Good Orderly Direction’ because the alienating effect of the zombism of drugs and alcohol in excess results in aberrant behaviour that the adults about must accommodate to adjust to. As people mature they feel the community and need for community and realize they are simply not alone as adolescents feel they are especially with the heady experience of first drunk on lust, fame, booze, or drugs. 

So I’m ‘called’ to church in my mind. Gilbert is welcome and we’re having the feeling that St. Barnabus might well be the answer for a prayer for now.  I’m inspired to get off the couch and go out in the rain, today,  on a Sunday to participate with my fellow humans in a transcendent ritual and feel the communion.  This is sharing bread and grape juice or wine with others as Jesus, our Lord and Savior, did at the Last Supper which beget the endless communion of God and Man in a cosmic consciousness and an unconscious dance made conscious in the shared experience. 

Hallelujah!


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