What I believe (Part One) By A. Colin Wright Last edited: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009
A brief discussion of my personal beliefs Introduction.
I initially wrote down “What I believe” for myself: in order to clarify those conclusions abo over the years. In making this an article I have modified it a little, since some things myself require further explanation for an audience. Nevertheless, this will still be fairly detailed argument. One day I may indeed turn it into a longer piece, but for the time bein fairly concise account of my own beliefs, written for the interest of others but with no in them of anything. But to me it is important to be able to justify my beliefs intellectually, t these do, and yes, I can say they are helpful in my own life. Like everyone I have my do when I feel depressed or complain about the way life is treating me (which really isn return to the fact that my ideas here make sense to me intellectually. (One small ins myself: “happiness” or otherwise has nothing to do with being in a good or a bad mood!)
I need to clarify one thing. Although I shall say that what is important is not whether “Go mean by “God,” I shall still use the word “God” as a convenient shorthand. I am simply word that serves the same purpose, and I can’t repeat at every point “whatever I although I certainly do not see “God” as being male or female, I refer to “him” as “he.” I “he or she” the whole time, or to alternate between the two, while “it” is even worse. brought up with the image of God as a beneficent old man in the sky, and a lot of the t that image even when I firmly believe that “he” is rather a deep spiritual awareness wit limitations of language and of the fact that it is difficult to imagine “whatever we mean b so the only thing to do is use the particular words as conventions. And why not admit think of “God” as a person a lot of the time—even if that’s not really what I believe about Why one should believe anything at all.
Certainly, belief seems to be irrelevant for many people, particularly the young, when lif other more important things. But I would still claim that at some stage most of us—whet of unhappiness, or simply of plain curiosity—ask ourselves seriously what life is all a here. Much of this goes into my writing.
I recently read an account by a former minister about his sadness in finally managing t personal God or creator: this being untenable from a scientific point of view. Which it m
many who say that life is an accident, that we are simply the product of our animal natu life ends with death: a perfectly logical belief. Except for one thing. We are then lef explaining the universe.
Why, in fact, should an enormous universe (and perhaps more that we know nothing would be logical for nothing to exist, but once something does (not just life), in a truly fa one speak of accident? An accident of what? I know atheists who say we just have to a given, but I think that not to question it further is simply a cop-out. The real question, as whether God exists (“existence” exists) but what we mean by God—and we don’t neces unknown creator or first cause, the traditional religious “old man in the sky.”
So where does this leave us? My point of departure, the only possible one, is my ow what most defines me: it is where I move and have my being, and it seems reasonable around me think, feel, and perceive the world much as I do: that we all have a similar k Now this may be illogical, but I am simply incapable of believing that this consciousness electrons in my brain and that it will eventually disappear. Sorry, but it just doesn’t mak believe—and here, perhaps, faith enters in, although there is some outside evidenc consciousness continues. And this must surely apply not only to humans but to ani should humans be different? (I would disagree that only humans have “immortal soul this mean? At what stage in their development did they first acquire them?) I have no p consciousness within me as part of “God’s consciousness” within each one of us. A g this is that of God’s being the vine and us being the branches.
What I believe is expressed most clearly in the various Conversations with God bo Walsch. For those who don’t know them already, these are a whole series of books sta that Walsch had an actual conversation with God by means of his asking questions an all of which he wrote down at the time. Now a reader’s first reaction is obviously “Oh making all this up.” However, even if he did “just make it all up,” what he actually wro many people, such as myself, soon came to realize that it doesn’t matter. For we are “God within,” whereas churches have always tended to stress the “God without,” the from ourselves rather than the God who is ourselves.
I was immediately impressed with Conversations with God not because I read it and argument but rather because it reflected what I had come to believe myself all along. (It had read a book which reflected my own deeply held beliefs, the first being Thomas River, about the life of Edgar Cayce and the basis for reincarnation.) Thus in the book I I already believed: in more detail and with extra things I hadn’t really thought of, even p wouldn’t quite agree with. But in essence the views in Conversations with God are my o
The series of those books contain a lot of reading, but I will set down here those t essential to me. I had already expressed something of them in my still unpublished no —written well before I had ever heard of Neale Donald Walsch. (That particular novel is
of my serious thoughts about the meaning of life.) The passage I quote below provides one of the most important things I have ever written, for I find that I return to it time and
Gerald, the book’s major protagonist, is in conversation on board ship with a writer of fic
Gerald sat against the wall on one of the benches running the length of the g deck. Duncan Harrison had raised his eyebrows again, a mannerism Gerald reme or fifteen years ago, when they’d been teaching at the same school in Mancheste be either virtually silent or jovially talkative, was in one of his quiet moods as he sat Joyce, who rarely said anything at all. Ping-pong balls bounced in the backgrou forward end of the deck, shooting off in unexpected directions each time the ship g
“Look at it like this,” Gerald continued, anxious to win Duncan’s approval. “Go Creator. But why create? Because it’s His nature: power can’t exist in a vacuum. A universe, life, human beings.”
Duncan was nodding, but it was impossible to know what he was thinkin through the large windows at the plunging horizon.
“Now does He just throw the materials together, as though into an enormous the heat and let it develop in its own way? And then sit back and watch? Or is H continually creating, living his creation? You’re a writer—four novels you’ve publis don’t just throw it all together and let it stew, do you?”
Duncan pulled on his grey beard. “Of course not. It’s not that simple.” A gruff, “I have to enter into each of my characters, live it with them as I write. That’s comes in.”
“Exactly. Now surely it’s the same with God. As I see it, He’d want to experie in the same way. Not just sit back and look, that’s not omnipotence.”
Duncan was thoughtful. “That’s consistent with the traditional Christian view o suppose. Of God’s being in each individual. If one believes in God in the first place
“If one doesn’t, there’s nothing to be said: the universe is an accident. Billions and it’s just there, meaningless. But why should anything exist at all—not to sp make sense.” “If it’s a meaningless accident, of course it doesn’t make sense.”
“I can’t believe that. How can an accident happen unless there’s something When Duncan had nothing to add, Gerald continued: “I’d go farther than the traditi God’s loving man. I see God, in order to experience His creation, entering into
actually living that life. And, to do this, having to limit Himself to human perception. turn—although ‘in turn’ is a human concept I use for the sake of clarity, it’s timelessness of eternity. In other words, I’m no more than God living out His inca die, I’ll know that I am God, and my next incarnation may well be in you, or in Joyc down the road, or in the militant atheist, or in the tyrant, or in the pope.” “Reincarnation?”
“In a sense, but reincarnation supposes the consecutive rebirth of souls w another. I mean the total incarnation, simultaneous and eternal, of God in his kingdom of God is within you’ is no less than a statement of fact. I can say le without its being megalomania because you’re God too and so is everyone else. seeing God in others is literally, not metaphorically, true.”
Duncan scratched his beard. Ping-pong balls bounced in the background. “M that without man God wouldn’t know He existed.”
“Yes, that’s it!” Gerald was pleased that Duncan seemed to be reacting enthusiasm. But the next bit was more difficult to explain. “The thing is,” he went on the less, for that incarnation, a God who’s neither omnipotent nor omniscient. W logical. For a God who’s omnipotent must also, if the word’s meaningful at all, be be limited. The concept must include its own opposite, must indeed include e omnipotence.” “And that, I suppose, would solve the old problem of how an omnipotent God not evil too, which is a paradox. I suppose God could then live out evil in man.”
“Yes, and He could live out pettiness too which, in human terms, is omnipotence and omniscience. He could live out everything. Which, incidentally, old problem, of how a loving God can allow His creation to suffer. He can allow creation, He’s the one who’s suffering. To be omnipotent He has to be able to suffe
They stared at the eternal sea in front of them. Gerald had always admired D writing unpublishable novels, had encouraged him to write too. It seemed, tho capable only of journalism, while Duncan now was producing saleable fictio according to his own philosophy, he and Duncan, and everyone else, were all one
Surprisingly, Joyce spoke up. She was one of those rather faded women, wh or remembered. “What about heaven and hell?”
“Hell is another name for earth,” Gerald answered. “Or anywhere else in the experiences part of His creation. Imagine what hell life in a single creature must b
all-knowing, all-loving God! Don’t we, as individuals, know that only too well?”
“Perhaps,” Duncan said, “people might find some consolation in your view. T we’ll be them too, or have been them already, in that particular incarnation of God.”
“Yes. But we’ll also have their problems we don’t know about. And we’ll also or pity. But it’s the totality that’s important: we, or rather God, remain omnipoten experience all of life.”
A ping-pong ball suddenly landed in Gerald’s lap, as though he’d laid an u laughed as he threw it back. Shadows were already falling on the sea.
“I’d go further than that. If God lives out His entire creation He must also li plant, each stone. He must experience all matter, down to each atom.” “I’m getting cold, I’m afraid,” Joyce said.
Essentially I believe that each one of us is God, living out his own creation, for go experience everything, he must be able to experience evil as well as good). God ent every thing, he is his creation in its entirety. Which means that basically I’m a metaph pessimist as far as the present world is concerned): in the end we, I, are all God.
Many other things follow from this, some of which I have written about as well, and s found in Conversations with God. I will try to elaborate on some of these things in my ne
(To be continued.)
Certainly, belief seems to be irrelevant for many people, particularly the young, when lif other more important things. But I would still cl...