Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Question

I am beginning to think of it as The Question. Appropriately capitalized, because the convention of piety means that all references to God are capitalized. My question is, of course, 'is there a God'? It's starting to take on the urgency of 'does he love me'? It too, is a question we ask ourselves when we are young and in love.

I am surprised by this. I never thought I would get my stomach clenched over an existential question. The whole question of God was in my head before. It was a question as out there as anything, as remote and distant from every day as anything I could think of. I love my UU church but it keeps God at arms length in a comfortable fuzz.

Now that I am in this MDiv program I feel that I need a steady orientation toward God. It feels as if how I take in the information will be determined by this orientation. So now, it's thumbs up or thumbs down. What's it going to be?

It doesn't help that the Christians in the program point me to scripture as a way learn about God. Scripture is very interesting but I am a post-modern gal. I actually said that to someone, I am a 'post-modern person'. I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth. It sounded so fat-headed but how else to put it? I want to do more wide reading, not focus narrowly on the Bible. I feel heelish saying that, but it is true for me.

Even my meditation practice with its age old passages points insistency at The One. Every time I meditate it grates against The Question like the wind flapping a lose tile back and forth. God, no God, God, no God. The wind blows.

6 comments:

James said...

I believe God is a hole in the language into which we throw our hopes and our fears.

Robin Edgar said...

I have more than reasonable grounds to believe God created the "Hole in the Sky" aka the "Eye in the Sky" as a "Sign in the Heavens" from which certain things may be learned for those who have eyes to see. . .

Doug Muder said...

I like to approach the Question from the other direction. Rather than picture God and ask whether that God exists, I prefer to try to figure out what is, and then ask myself whether it's appropriate to call it "God".

Here's as far as I've gotten: I think that there's stuff I know how to give names to and reason about, and there's also plenty left out of all my naming and reasoning. I believe there is some structure in that Big Left Out -- it's not just randomness and chaos. I even think there's some intelligence in it.

Now, some of that intelligence may be completely natural -- like some kind of collective intelligence of humanity or collective unconscious of the biosphere. Maybe there's more intelligence than that, and maybe there isn't.

In either case, do you want to call that God?

excavator said...

What Doug said.

Robin Edgar said...

I call God God and do not approve of people, especially clergy, confusing the issue by saying that God is Love or Love is God, that Truth is God and vice versa etc. etc. ad nauseum. Having said that I do think that Doug Muder is "close enough" in his conception of God in his third paragraph. I have often though of asking devout atheist scientists such as Richard Dawkins if they thought that perhaps the Universe itself could be "self-created", possess intelligence, and possibly even influence events and, if they conceded that possibility, then asking them what the huge difference was between that concept and what human beings have called God for millennia. . .

Jean said...

Being raised a fundamentalist, and then rebelling against anything I was taught about God/religion/the Bible, it's become a troubling question for me. Sometimes it's messy and miserable and I just have to quit thinking about it. When I attempt to reflect on it, I come to another other question, do I "need" to have a consistent understanding about God? If so, what integrity can I look for in my quest. I do understand your thoughts about meditation...I am more comfortable (and comforted) with meditation that does not have a conscious focus.