Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wrestling with G-d...

1. I don’t think that a day goes by without me contemplating my relationship with G-d. This cuts to the very core of who I am as a being and without such personal discourse I would certainly be much poorer. However in a way I am envious of the soul who has no doubt about their faith as they appear to have a contentment that has escaped me so far.

2. My faith is one of struggle, a tug-o-war complicated by the rivulets of thought that colour my essence. I constantly joust with my belief and have throughout my life gravitated from one locale of inner comfort to another.

3. My earliest image of G-d is one of an isolated being removed, all-powerful and aloof.
In Hebrew School I learnt that G-d acts directly and intervenes in one’s life often using the mechanism of angels. This was my first introduction to theism. That it differed from my early deistic view is now more a source of irony than anything else.

4. Free Will is a tougher concept for a child to grasp – After all… Doesn’t it make sense that an all-powerful entity should be in control of everything? Why would he give this up? It simply made no sense at the time. I had to internalize the concept. Free Will, is of course, imperative to meaningful G-d belief.

5. I feared G-d as a child especially on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Scrupulosity got the better of me as I contemplated the dire meaning of the Book of Life and Death. In my study of organized religions (and I have read a bit on the vast topic) its really disturbing how often fear is used to coax the population into belief. Whether the device is Purgatory, Hell, Continuous rebirth or Bad Karma the overriding philosophy is the same……..do this or else. Surely G-d is not this petty?

6. I realized earlier on as well that religion serves as a mechanism of explaining injustice but it does so by expanding the frame of the world of tangible material to intangible metaphysics. One cannot help but feel at first glance that this is a ‘cop out’ and as someone schooled in the sciences it is my most imminent challenge.

7. The Bible has always intrigued me. I was introduced to its stories at a young age and have found much meaning in its words. While there may be a historical truth that loosely coincides with the context provided I tend to see the scripture on a mythological/allegorical level which I don’t believe detracts from its significance. Myths, as Jung noted, defines the collective conscious and is a vital component of the cultural heritage.

8. G-d though is very real for me and even in my most critical periods (when I almost turned my back on Judaism) I have never stopped believing in G-d.

9. I cannot prove conclusively that G-d exists but from what I have seen the evidence for G-d’s footprint seems overwhelming. The fact that something as opposed to nothing is present is the first such evidence. I have yet to see a plausible argument to the contrary.

10. A sound mind is free to choose but one must realize that there will be consequences to your decisions. This is the definition of adulthood.

11. In a sense I combine my belief in G-d with an emphasis of freedom of choice…It is therefore not surprising that I sympathize with the G-d- believing existentialist Soren Kierkegaard.

12. The creation myth speaks of the chaos that existed before G-d created light. It is not much of a leap of faith to compare this chaos to the Quantum Foam from which the original singularity of our proto-universe was born.

13. The fact that the events of creation don’t correspond to our scientific model is not as important as the attempt by the ancients to articulate a progressive dynamic of formation.

14. The Sabbath is key to the creation story as it symbolizes the beginning of a time of self-sufficiency, the period when G-d allowed Science to be Science.

15. I believe that G-d is not definable and is essentially unknowable in essence. The Kabbalistic concept of Ein Sof makes much sense.

16. However the light that comes from G-d is within our reach but one has to open one’s eyes and mind to realize this.

17. Unfortunately we have a tendency to close both these faculties. This is our tragedy.
Sometimes I have to remind myself to see the G-d light. Like others I am blinded by the physicality of life.

18. The G-d light represents a goodness. We can learn techniques of seeing the G-d light through positive religion but ultimately the onus is on us to see what is out there.
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