El Gringoqueño

All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

Words Are, at Best, Blunt Instruments

We sit in our room blind, attempting to divine the dimensions by bouncing bowling balls off its narrow confines.

There are tons of people out here on the internet writing about their beliefs or beliefs in non-beliefs. There are a million and one smug self congratulatory posts titled thusly, "Why I became an Atheist" "Why Christianity Sucks" "Why believe in something I can’t see, taste, touch, or smell have no direct evidence of is totally silly and you’re all morons for even considering it." I can just see the smug little faces. Go ahead and read this www.godisimaginary.com There’s lots of great stuff there… all of it true. You heard that right, it’s all true. God is imaginary. It is a concept that exists in our imagination. God is a word that exists on paper and in our mouths.

If God is just a word, why capitalize it then? Let’s start there, shall we? Why capitalize the word God? If I don’t, have I blasphemed? Will He/She (there I go again) be offended?

There is a short answer to it all, but I’m not going to give it up so easily. The short answer encompasses all of the rhetoric, the atheists, the religious-ists, the believers, the followers, and the reverent. Perhaps all but the reverent will be offended in some way.

The atheist will retort, how dare you say, sir, that I believe in something which is patently false!

The religious-ist will decry, you are a blasphemer, you malign my faith, a rich tradition with a long history. How dare you!

The believer will say, come child, let me show you the WAY. You are lost and must accept Jesus as your personal savior, or ye shall rot in the fiery torment of hell. God bless you.

The follower will ignore me and continue on his way, busying himself with his good-hearted folly.

The reverent, however, will smile a deep smile and ask, "What did you mean by that?"

And it is there within the question, among all things, that we begin.

Why are we here? Were we created by an intelligence or did we just happen to be. Is our existence wholly a happenstance, contemplated by us only because we happen to exist in it?

"Why are we here" – and deeper, "what is life" are two questions that have no answers. I’m afraid everything you’ve heard up to now is a lie or wrong, or both. We do not know what life is. We do not know why we are here. Maybe there is no reason. Maybe life is a gift from an unknown hand. Maybe it’s just a gift.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I always say.

Maybe life is an opportunity to explore existence. Yes, yes that is it. Life is an opportunity to explore existence, because without it, how could we possibly explore? Life seems pretty essential to exploration if you ask me.

To presume to know is the ultimate sacrilege, the ultimate sin against the cosmos. Scientists, who in their purest form are the most reverent among us, will say we ultimately know nothing, that what we don’t know even about gravity would fill a thousand million libraries. Gravity is something with which we are familiar, but it may as well be magic for all we understand of it. Think about it. Two objects always exert an invisible force on each other. Why? Why the hell is that the case? Well, it just is, you say, and take smug refuge in your equations and mathematical proofs:

          m1 m2
Fgrav = G -------
d^2

But why? That mass one and mass two are attracted at all by an unseen force is, to me, mind boggling. You speak to me again of strong forces and weak forces and atomic forces and quarks and matter and anti-matter and particle accelerators. Like a Jehovah’s Witness you pull out scientific journals and research that "proves" you know more than I do, that you know the "Truth."

But really, truly, you do not know the first thing about anything. It is all imaginary.

Well, you say, I guess you’re right. I don’t know why yet, but we have a good idea how to use it. It yields useful results and allows us to navigate the stars and harness its force to keep buildings from collapsing.

There, there, there, I say, right there! You got it, man. You got it. It is how we use it, not what we have or whether or not we ultimately understand everything or even one thing, but how we use a thing.

Do we care about our gift? Do we challenge it? Do we take refuge in certainty or fly from it out amongst those that would work without a net?

So I say to you, you religion fetishists (that includes you too atheists), you know nothing, yet you presume to know fundamental truths. Shame on you for your lack of reverence. Reverence for the Truth, whatever it ultimately turns out to be is the essence of God. Here’s another equation for you.

Ttruth = TGod

Equal they are, the same thing. In the end, they cancel out and are irrelevant though. What you call a thing is just as good as anything else as long as you are reverent, because God is but a word, a concept of something the encompasses all of existence. Our understanding of existence is pitiful, so is our understanding of God (or whatever word you use to describe the everything of existence, the I Am, the All, Creation). In the end, though, they are just words.

So stop fighting over them, okay?

8 Comments

  1. Truth is an idea or a constellation of ideas which are entitled a certain emotional connection to the individual in casu based on prejudice or prior experience; the key element of consciousness to truth is its absolute facticity.

    When you’re fighting over ideas, you are fighting a prejudice projected upon the person(s) in casu, a projection demarcated from your own idea(s).
    If both parties refrain from such naive action and instead take on the naive understanding of the world, they will soon realize they share opinions which are only differentiated in word or idea allthewhile common under the brotherhood of men, the being of all things and all that following the beginning.

    A pantheist notion of God renders God pre-emptied of demarcated or individual meaning.

    – Man, I really need a vacation.

  2. Well said, sir. Nice point.

    We should resist tribalism and orthodoxy and attempt to shed ourselves of alienating jargon. We sit smug in our truth while hurling dung at our “enemies.” Instead of emptying ourselves of our prejudices, we attempt to stuff ourselves with words and trivia and Bible quotes, an illusion of Truth, whose only purpose is to simulate fullness.

    I am a Catholic because I was born Catholic. I’m a Christian because I think that this Jesus cat was onto something important, namely inclusion, love, lack of fear, passion, inspiration, and vocation. Really, it’s his ideas that are compelling. Why then later we have to bind it up in mysticism and resurrection is beyond me. His ideas were miraculous enough. Just look at the middle east today? Shit’s not changed in 2000 years. He’d still be a weirdo. What do you mean Israelis and Palestinians should love each other? You’re crazy. They’re crazy. They should die.

    And Jesus would just shake his head, “Ya’ll just don’t get it. If someone hurts, you all hurt. If someone feels joy, you all share in it. Why don’t you get that?”

    His ideas would be miraculous today. Passive resistance? What crack are you smoking? Love your enemy like your brother? Why? Be true to yourself and don’t let anyone tear you down. “You’re so naive, Jesus,” they would say, “Why don’t you just become a lawyer or doctor or something. What’s with this hippy, love and peace bullshit?”

    But he stuck to his guns, like Dr, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi. Those guys were on to something, I think.

  3. Jim,

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who remembers from Terry Harris’ physics class to ask people “Why is there gravity?” when you need to get some folks to realize they don’t know everything.

    I’m in league with the people who think it’s those invisible gnomes!

    Now, if I could only understand why I can remember which teacher asked an interesting question twenty years ago, but can’t remember where I put my wallet yesterday. . . ?

  4. Haha, that’s a trip, and to be perfectly 100% honest, I was actually thinking of ol’ Terry Harris when I wrote that. His influence has rippled far beyond the confines of Hazelwood East, huh?

    God, I loved that class. I wished all my engineering professors were as engaging and challenging as he was.

  5. A One God Universe by William S. Burroughs (transcript from memory)

    Consider the impasse of a one God universe. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. His Universe is irrevocably thermodynamic having no friction by definition. So he has to create fiction – War, Fear, Sickness Death – to keep his dimeshow on the road.
    Sooner or later: “Look, boss, we don’t have enough energy left to fry an elderly woman in a fleabag hotel bar.”
    Well, we’ll have to start faking it, then.
    “Sure,” Joe looks at Him sourly making him a bicarbonated soda. “Sure, start faking it and leave the details to Joe.”

    [there’s a lot more but I can’t remember it correctly]

  6. [fuckup]
    “He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He can’t go anywhere since he is already everywhere. He can’t do anything since the act of doing presupposes a position. (..)”

  7. I like that, very nice, smart. Of course it only begs the question, who said the universe is of one sentient God with some sort of design? I like to think the end hasn’t been written yet and that things are never deeper than what they appear.

    The thing that gets me is the way that life seems to pop out from the weirdest places, it’s like it just can’t stay dead, or rather un-alive. Animals that live short brutal lives, continue to survive, continue to be born, live, suffer, and die. For what?

    Extra-terrestrial life will be popping up more and more in methane stoked seas, deep frozen carbon dioxide lakes, in atmospheres of hexane, fluorine, helium, we will find life struggling, pushing extruding itself into the universe at every point of infiltration. It’s an invasion, I tell you.

    But why?

    It’s like it has a desire, some sort of collective will to exist, to push forth, to live. Even if life means mostly misery from one moment to the next, to exist seems a compelling proposition, worth all the shit it has to put up with.

    And staying un-alive locked away in oblivion? Apparently it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

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