I am wired to solve puzzles; understand what works. It’s at the core of my profession, how I see, and how I live. It’s a blessing in allowing me to design, and be creative in many ways. It’s more like a curse when I watch the ways of the world and see detrimental patterns’ interminable repetitions. An intent observer from a young age, I’ve heard the same endless chattering for decades, and watched the same predictable jumble continue. For a puzzler, when “non-answers” are the status quo, just going through life can be an exercise in frustration.
This website was something I thought I’d try to share the way I see things, in the hopes my perspective might provide a productive alternative. (Since then, I no longer hope it will amount to anything, but I use it on occasion to work out ideas for myself.) I wanted to avoid what might be barriers, so I didn’t make too many declarative statements about the core of my beliefs. That now feels like a miss, so I lay out my basics here.
There are key pieces in making sense of life. Within each I find pivotal points that crystalize its understanding. There’s plenty more, but those key pieces come together like building blocks to a foundation.
≈Existence is a creation, not a happenstance.
- The question is this: is consciousness a by-product of the physical, (thoughts are the firing of neurons in the brain); or is consciousness a necessary precedent to the physical?
- What can be observed all around is evidence of existential workings.
- Every observation shows thought gives rise to creation. Ideas beget stuff. Not vice versa.
- A while back I enjoyed a video of a seriously heady interview with a Harvard astrophysicist, conducted by another scientist. They engaged in a thought experiment on how the existence of everything can be imagined without it being planned. I was amused at the irony that the presence of the imaginer necessarily preceded the exercise envisioned. Even the very concerted effort of those gifted brains couldn’t ultimately fashion a scenario that truly removed the necessary precedent of consciousness.
- The duality of existence is best understood when it is acknowledged as creation: there is both the temporal and the spiritual. Supposing everything arose originally and continues to flow from the physical misdirects understanding.
≈A creation has a creator.
- What do we know about his being, nature, and role?
- My ability to perceive the creator’s nature has no bearing on the reality of what it is. He is what he is, regardless of my knowledge, or anyone else’s.
- Many others know a great deal more than I do. While I always seek to know more, I am comfortable with accepting the limits of what can be known, and patient to learn as I can.
- To me, the most important reality is that he is THE ORIGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS out of which all else flowed.
- I also think it doesn’t matter whether there are things about the universe that are outside what we think we know- how old the earth is, if there are multiple universes, if there are aliens and other dimensions! Whatever the fullness of reality is, it still is the result of the original consciousness.
≈To create is by definition to be intentional, purposeful.
- What is the purpose of existence?
- Whatever he wants it to be. He bothered to make it, so he had to have a reason.
- Creation is limitless, but it’s hard to avoid the thought that humans matter pretty significantly in it.
- Relationship also seems to be integral to the purpose of creation- ours to the creator and his to us, as well as ours to each other.
- If creation is purposeful, and we matter in it, then determining our purpose within creation is the truest stuff of life.
≈If humans matter, and I am human, I must matter, even to him, somehow.
- He made us with the ability to ponder our existence and craft it to suit ourselves.
- I may imagine all sorts of options, but it strikes me as eminently logical that my best option should be whatever gets me closest to the reason I was made- the reason he bothered to create.
- Accommodating myself to his ways as best I can manage seems the most likely way to realize my potential, and live my purpose.
≈What are his ways? How can I know them?
- The Bible and Judeo-Christian tradition are the best I can see and relate to.
- I have read most of the Bible some, and some of it a fair amount, but that is barely scratching the surface compared to the depths that can be plumbed.
- It is the most-studied book of all time, so I know there is more to lean on in it than not, and am OK to trust in its history and others’ knowledge while I work my way along.
- C. S. Lewis is acknowledged as one of the finest Christian thinkers of the last century. He believed all true seekers would be welcomed. I celebrate all seekers, trust that we are brought to the truth as we are called, and believe that it’s not my place to dictate or judge anyone else’s path. I also want mine to be respected.
≈What do I do about the cross? (Billy Graham’s familiar phrasing)
- With so many religions in the world, why do I stick with Christianity- the faith of my forebears?
- I haven’t done a comparative analysis of all faiths, and I do have some fondness for some aspects I’ve seen of others. I know a couple practicing Buddhists who are especially thoughtful and wonderful, for example. But…
- Even strictly objective analysts rightly observe that there is no other religion that claims what Christianity does.
- From C. S. Lewis again- this is possibly the most profound thing I have ever read, and I find it absolutely irrefutable and compelling:
- “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
- Either/or- there is no middle ground.
- Christ came to restore our relationship with God.
- We are restored by grace, not by our actions.
≈What about evil?
- This is where most of us get lost when we wonder if God exists.
- I do believe evil exists, as a reality and as a force. (see Ephesians 6:12.)
- I wish it didn’t, and I don’t fully understand why it does.
- Even having read many good treatments of the subject, my humanness still makes me wish there was a way to have creation without it.
- The best I can do is accept that my understanding is too limited to fully get it, but I have to imagine there is a reason, and I may know it someday. Until then, I trust his ways and guard my own actions.