Jump to content

Real Physics, Real God


DavidD
 Share

Recommended Posts

From my days in physics I know that power is energy over time. Energy is the capacity to do work, unlike all the casual ways people use the word “energy” in spirituality. If there’s no work being done, all the energy may be locked up as potential energy. There comes a time to use all that potential. In using it, one can learn how much was there, but then maybe it’s all used up. Then again, maybe there’s a process to restore the potential energy that one had before one tested it, like getting a good night’s sleep. Then the dawn comes, and everything is the same, except somehow a duty cycle has been done, with no benefit for one process, but impressive benefit for another. It really does pay to know physics. All the vague and abstract words in the world won’t unlock an understanding of things in the same way. It’s too bad that many try to make physics vague and abstract or get lost in speculation with no experimental test to flesh out that speculation or show that it’s just wrong. That’s not physics. It’s pseudophysics, even if the best of physicists have stepped into that at times.

 

God might unlock one’s understanding, but even God is limited by the materials He has to work with. And who says physics isn’t God’s way, real physics? Beyond that, who says that the empirical, but nonscientific way of letting God direct me in the here and now is problematic? It has its difficulties, but the God who came to me proves Himself over and over again. He is power, knowledge, love, and goodness, not in the way theologians and philosophers say, for most of their words, but in a real way, an observable way. Of course observing God within me is very different from deciding who He is or isn’t in someone else. We all have to start somewhere. I start with defining God as the one who answers when I pray, “God help me”. It is so much more of a functional way to approach God than those who approach God believing they already know everything about who and what God is, by reason or by past revelation.

 

I’ve thought of this many times before, not in these exact words, but similarly. It’s hard to get across to people. They think they already know something else. Maybe it works for them just fine. I understand that. People only look for a new understanding when failure forces them to. I don’t suppose God needs to push the entire planet so that everyone is failing at once. That probably doesn’t help understanding. Someone has to succeed so others can look and say, “That’s it!” Only I’ve never seen anyone succeeding at all aspects of life. So here’s a little bit of one person to be a role model in this respect and another to be a role model in that respect. I try to sew it together, but there are still pieces missing, and what there is doesn’t look that great. I pause, I look, I cry. “God help me!”

 

Ah, so that’s what it takes. Well not everyone at once, of course, just whoever, whenever he or she is ready.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They think they already know something else. Maybe it works for them just fine. I understand that. People only look for a new understanding when failure forces them to. I don’t suppose God needs to push the entire planet so that everyone is failing at once.

 

David,

 

I really appreciate what you are saying here. The entire post is insightful and heartfelt. I find in your words a true dilemma that is not unknown to some others. It is universal I think and does not only apply to Christianity.

 

In each of our own paths to "enlightenment" or greater and deeper understanding, each of us can point to pivotal moments in our life when a more profound truth shone into our lives breaking open formerly adequate understandings of God and the world around us. Some call it conversion or mini-conversions and if that is helpful, then great. It is growth nonetheless. Part of that experience is of our own doing: we seek new information through conversation and research to better ourselves. Part of that experience is not of our own doing and owes more to the circumstances and events in which we find ourselves at that point in time.

 

All of us, occupying myriads of spots on the continuum, are moving along this journey at different paces and with the different ending points in sight. At some level, we must learn to communicate effectively with others in a language and style s/he will understand. At another level, we must recognize that our own path is the only one we can control.

 

Is it physics? Is it meta-physics, quantum physics, spiral dynamics? These paradigms are useful to us to begin to explain things that were heretofore inexplicable and not in any way neatly contained within our given Christian paradigm - progressive or evangelical. But the truth is probably even more elusive than we previously thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people find God within and some find God outside themselves. I think both are valid and use different explanations to describe the experience. I like to use the words consciousness, some energy, others God the Father. A new trinity three different words describing the same God. I enjoy all the different ways to explain the one experience and all are needed.

 

Science, religion and philosophy are radically different ways to understand the world, but each one strengthens the other because all are concerned with what is true. None of them are wrong and they are not meant to live alone in isolation because they do not destroy the path to a better life. All three fulfill different people's lives. We can use our intelligence as a path to spiritual awareness and when our intellect can say no

more, our instinctive spiritual view of life can take over. An intuitive perception of God is also valid, just harder to explain so that is why we have philosophy.

 

Jesus did not reject scientific truth because at that time people didn’t study the scientific method instead he told stories to help bring others to an intimate union with everything. When explained with reason, the content of these stories demonstrates the inner meaning of the universe and human life. Primarily, these stories tell us who we are and how we should behave, providing us a way to self-understanding by serving the intellect’s desire to know about the beginning of creation and human life itself. Science does the same thing. Let us all learn from each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Science, religion and philosophy are radically different ways to understand the world, but each one strengthens the other because all are concerned with what is true.

 

Soma,

 

Well said. One of the breaths of fresh air I receive through Progressive theology is the openness to other perspectives that a multidisciplinary approach to faith and academics allows. My pursuit of its integration will most likely be a lifelong endeavor as I am sure our present understanding of each of those three are still not adequate enough to fully and properly encapsulate a proper response to life and God and each other.

 

But it will be a lot of fun trying!

 

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My goal never has been to tell everyone to believe as I do, though I am like anyone else in wanting some number of people to believe what I believe. I'm not sure what that number would be, at which point I wouldn't talk to those of other beliefs at all just for the sake of beliefs. I don't expect ever to be in that position in my life, as I do have a way of belief that rejects authority, rejects much of what is past, and rejects limited experience of life, not something that can have a lot of followers. I'm sure I have my moments of hostility in that, but my main concern is always to define my way so that I might follow it better. Of course like everyone, if my way is best for me, I would at least throw it out for consideration that it might be best for some others, too, truly as a gift.

 

My way is empirical. I wish charismatics didn't already have their stamp on "experience-based Chrisitainity", because I would like that term if it didn't already mean speaking in tongues to so many people and be associated with the rigid mindset of Pentacostal theology. And that experience is certainly inside oneself and outside of oneself.

 

I recently was discussing with someone where the presence of God that I have in my consciousness originated. Who knows where it really originated but I can trace my awareness of it back 35 years to when I took karate in college and we would meditate before class. The instruction was to let our mind become a quiet lake. I was pretty good at that. Later I tried other meditative techniques, then prayer, which led to this road-to-Damascus experience I described here recently. In prayer the presence of God grew and grew for me, first just as the target of my prayer with no sensory phenomena, then as someone who affects me, emotionally, even in how I move, then as someone who has some visual and somatosensory way to reach me, and finally someone who simply speaks in words, though such words always depend on what I'm willing to hear, things like that.

 

Yet my current awareness of God is very much like that quiet lake from 35 years ago, not that God is always quiet, but it is the same place within me that I can't identify as "heart" or something else that I know is a precise anatomical location. Now how do I integrate that with what I see in the world, that some people have experiences like this while many don't, as well as other issues? I would do that empirically again, but it's difficult with so much uncertainty. One needs one's intellect and intuition, as one does for any science. Any good scientist needs a good intuition about the next experiment to do.

 

So I'm not sure that any sort of experience is left out in what I think is the best way to understand God, the universe, life, and anything else. Yet I see people relying on some parts of that very narrowly, such as pure intellect with little to ground that in reality. The results of those other approaches are not anything that makes sense to me.

 

It's hard to talk about in the abstract, but as a concrete example, if someone tells me the central idea of quantum physics is parallel universes established by choice, I would challenge that. The textbooks I have on quantum physics say the central idea is that energy is quantized. There are experiments that go with that, a system of quantum theory that works to explain the results of many years of experiments with subatomic particles. There is only a mystical and speculative interpretation of all that that says chocie has anything to do with any of it. Yet I can't prove there aren't parallel universes. Anyone is free to go that way, no matter how little that connects with experience, but I have to be honest that I see no value in that way. I just see people exercising their fantasies that way. There are many similar ideas in religion where I would anger someone by being so blunt about them.

 

So I think it's true that different kinds of experience are important. I also think they need to be integrated, which science does when one can be objective, but cannot be done scientifically when one is looking at subjective consciousness. Still one can follow the same principle of believing what comes to me in my own consciousness rather than some purely intellectual scheme that I can't reach personally. God may be Creator, but I can't stand at the creation with Him except by a vision, which I can't make too much of. I don't have enough context to know what to do with that. I can't assess the reality of some theological or philosophical scheme of seeing God that is so far beyond reality that I find no way to test it.

 

So I came across the idea that God is whoever and whatever answers when I call Him. That I like. That I relate to. I like it so much, I'm not sure why it wasn't taught to me by someone other than God, but it wasn't. And lots of people don't like it when I try to explain it. It does threaten other ways of looking at it. I don't see any way around that. Even if it were just a matter of the best restaurant in town, something unimportant and subjective as that, anyone who gets really excited about one restaurant and knows why he likes that restaurant above any other might be seen as pushing his choice on others. Well, OK, but I don't know what else to do but explain why I get excited and hope that some might understand.

 

I don't see all ways as valid. Can you see all ways as valid and include the way that says many ways are junk? I'm not sure it's worth going there. There is a phenomenon where a person discovers a way to live and says, "This is the way!" I know from experience that there are many in liberal religion who hate to hear that, even if that way is not fundamentalism. I find myself often saying, "But it is the way!" in various ways, mostly to see what I say and what others say back, because it is a curious phenomenon where someone rushes in and says, "Look guys, gold!" and someone else says, "I don't see any gold." You really can't guess at who's right in that situation. You just know it might be worth looking at if you don't have anything better to do. Then you can build up your own experience of who knows gold and who doesn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are external Christians and people who know only the five senses, David you are not one of these. You seem to have a multisense about you. The five sense external personality sees the environment from the five senses so physical survival is important, fear leads them to power and control over it. The multisense person sees more to the physical world than what is in it. In this person there is a great vision beyond the personality.

I don't think the power of Christ is that comprehensible or accessible to the external Christian until they stop judging what they encounter and find meaning in small details. They are better suited to ideological and religious conflicts. The Mystic on the other hand recognizes intentions rather than actions so can see a warm heart bneath a harsh manner and a cold heart beneath polished and pleasing words. They will see people who do not say they are Christian as better Christians than the ones who advertise so loudly. A person in touch with spiritual depth tries to sooth others and this is done by bringing them deeper into themselves so the artificial facade and surface personality does not affect them

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are external Christians and people who know only the five senses, David you are not one of these. You seem to have a multisense about you. The five sense external personality sees the environment from the five senses so physical survival is important, fear leads them to power and control over it. The multisense person sees more to the physical world than what is in it. In this person there is a great vision beyond the personality.

I don't think the power of Christ is that comprehensible or accessible to the external Christian until they stop judging what they encounter and find meaning in small details. They are better suited to ideological and religious conflicts. The Mystic on the other hand recognizes intentions rather than actions so can see a warm heart bneath a harsh manner and a cold heart beneath polished and pleasing words. They will see people who do not say they are Christian as better Christians than the ones who advertise so loudly. A person in touch with spiritual depth tries to sooth others and this is done by bringing them deeper into themselves so the artificial facade and surface personality does not affect them

 

I do see more than is there, soma, always have, from imaginary playmates as a preschool child to multidimensional spaces in physics. I am a very visual person. It is so hard to bring such things down to Earth sometimes. One has to learn a discipline that locks such perceptions in to something trustworthy. Interpreting dreams is one example. I awoke early with a dream this AM. I wrote about it for another thread. There's been a series of dreams like this in recent years. One of the themes is how do we know anything, how do we do anything? We know what we demonstrate we know by our actions. We do what we know to do, wherever that knowledge came from, even obscurely or mystically. This is what I sum up as empiricism, though maybe it's better explained with a very long explanation rather than a single word. I never found a book that explains it to me quite this way, this succinctly. Maybe it's there, and I missed it. As it was I know what I know of this paragraph through a life in science, a life of spiritual experiences, and trying to integrate the two. It just happened.

 

This is what I mean by empiricism. Now I'm sure some would say empirical spirituality is an oxymoron. No, not if you are determined to use those words in their broadest sense. I think my reaching a new height in showing an explicit interplay between God and me as we do things, something I previously would only mention in passing, is an attempt by one or both of us to give people something tangible to consider on this issue. It's toward the same end of being an empiricist toward spirituality, not to blindly accept some mystical scheme for how things must be, but to try it out. See what it can do. If it can't do anything here, maybe it can do something over there. I definitely don't get the sense that there's one great, efficiently designed plan unfolding here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all paths are for me,some paths served me well bringing understanding and another internal path to follow. I see others growing on a path I wouldn't choose and it is good because we all have different lessons to master. When we go into the world, we see pine trees, oak trees, fruit trees and other variations of plants. All these plants are rooted in the same creative soil and are unique. Yet, they are all plants existing for different purposes, but if we see them as plants, they are not different things. As human beings we are also the same thing, but we are different when we see ourselves functioning at different levels. We see different mental depths and heights, but no matter what level we are at, we are evolving to a consciousness of unity. Science sees a universal energy flowing through the material and the physical universe, and it is this same energy that supplies our guidance and inspiration. When our mind obeys this inspiration, it evolves to a higher purpose than the restrictive personality of our ego dominated mind. I agree we can observe the actions to determine whether the spiritual practise is appropriate or not. The way chosen should give new eyes to see the world in a fresh way, not blind faith. I feel the deeper reality should be explained in a rational and scientific way as much as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service