'…BEYOND…'

My Journal

Because its the truth …?

Man

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An atheist often puts faith down to being silly, delusional, irrational or just plain stupid. Faith is for those that do not think, right? An atheist believes they are thinking rationally, that they are thinking. But are they really? I can never be an atheist, i do not believe that i can become a man of faith either, not in a religious form. I sit firmly in the middle. I do not believe i can have faith to the point of being christian because i think i cannot lay down that there is no such thing as god. Many of the greatest minds on the planet hold such an ‘i don’t know’  view on the idea of god. If you truly think about it, if you set aside feelings you cannot say there is no such thing as god. Though, i do not believe at this time that one can say that there is god either. I think it is one of the unanswerable questions we face in this moment of time, it really comes down to what you believe personally.

There’s a blogger here on wordpress that i respect in many ways, i enjoy reading their posts. This blogger is an atheist. What i find curious though is how they attack the idea of god and those of faith, they attack the idea through emotion more than they do the logic they claim to be abiding to.  If you do not believe in god, why do you occupy your mind with it to the point of having an emotional reaction i wonder? Why does it bother you? An atheist can bring to the table all the evidence they want that god does not exist, but at the end of the day, what they bring to the table is no better than someone of faith. Both sides bring little to no evidence to the table in the greater scheme of things.

But, i will say this. An atheist will likely carry sadness, emptiness and just generally a feeling of being lost. These feelings can vent themselves through things like anger and depression. Christianity refers to this as a dark void within you, we are ALL aware of this if we are true to ourselves. If you do not believe there can be a god, then the purpose of life becomes pointless no? Why love? Why care? Why have hope?  I don’t have any answers to whether there is a god or not, im not even sure on my feelings towards it yet. But i do know this, having hope opens you to a more fulfilling life. Whether that hope is real or not, does it matter i wonder if it enables you to open yourself to love, and in return to be loved?

I know what its like to live without hope. I lived without it for a long time, carrying on in that direction was only going to lead me somewhere dark and cold, it had already began to do so. What faith is essentially i believe is hope. I’m coming to admire that in those of faith. The lack of hope and the tunnel vision approach of an atheist i am coming to realize is far less admirable than i would have thought say, 2 years ago.

By all means, question and challenge those of faith, challenge the creation story of the bible, please, do so for it needs to be challenged!  I was speaking with a geography teacher the other day who is a christian, he expressed his thoughts on the creation story and he stated like me that it is implausible to say the least. But he didn’t believe it to be a literal translation, i respect that he has given this thought and not ignored this conflict between science and religion. His views for instance on Adam and Eve were simply that the story is just code for a deeper moral truth.  His faith in god is not based on the literal stories of the bible, but a belief in god. He seemed genuinely happy with his life, he expressed enthusiasm and interest in others and overall, a pretty balanced guy. He expressed how when he met his wife they were then parted for 3 years before they got married, she in India while he was in England. He was able to wait for her, he waited. I find that amazing and a true testament to his feelings towards her. The act of long distance was faith in itself no? Faith that they would stay faithful, faith that they would one day be together again and so on.  Now, they are married with children. Their relationship is in itself, a result of faith.

Someone of faith will not tell you about their relationship with god. They simply say, you have to experience it for yourself. This seems like a cop out, they are avoiding a question that if they are telling the truth should be easy to answer no? Well, right or wrong, whether god exists or not, whether faith is based on lies, whatever it be, i can relate this inability to answer such a thing to that of love. If you have truly been in love, you cannot really tell someone how it feels, you cant. Love is not sex, love is nothing to do with the mating game. A lot of people think they know love, they do not. Love changes you and not always for the better from many of a perspective. You bend to it, you change, you transform. A Christian will relate their relationship to god in a similar way to being in love. And in this, i can understand why they cannot answer this question of mine. How they have faith.

I do not believe having faith is anything to do with the bible, the stories, taking them literally and disregarding science. I believe you can be a man of science and faith. Understanding how the universe works is an intelligence that nobody should ignore, but at the same time its not an intelligence that people should use to disregard god.

What i find fascinating is that its not religion that made me feel that god may exist, rather science. The more we understand about the universe, how we fit into it, how things work, how it began and how it will end, the more real god becomes.

This is a thought i want to leave this post on …

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The Atheist …

A clash of opinion

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Before i go on, i suggest you read this post by myatheistlife.

As you have guessed, he is an atheist and is clearly giving the subject matter thought, the subject being god. Below i have quoted myself from my comments on his post, i feel i am making a true point here that i wish to share with those who stumble upon me.

When we try to understand what god is, we place restrictions on what it can be whether we like it or not. This is because we are human, we are caged by the rules with which we live in and therefore we cant understand existence outside of them.

Until we are free of these rules, until we are all knowing and all powerful attempting to comprehend god is like trying to study micro-organisms with a magnifying glass.

What im saying is, dont say there is no such thing as a micro-organism just because ‘you’ cant see it through your magnifying glass.

Think about this for a second…. If you take this thought in, it clarifies the issues that an atheist has against those of faith. Science is based on the tools you use, religion is based on feeling there is something more. An atheist says, i cannot break down this wall with this hammer, therefore it must be impossible. Those of faith say, i already know what is behind that wall. Then you have those who say, ah, but it is not impossible, you simply need a bigger hammer. Problem is that bigger hammer in relation to knowing whether god exists or not doesn’t exist in the world today, at least not in my experience.

I do not judge what is on the other side of wall, in my current position i cant. But at the same time i do not state that this wall cannot be broken down just because the right tool doesn’t not exist in this time.

To be an atheist, you likely regard human intelligence to be sufficiently great enough that we are already in a position to understand everything that is. Or at least, the atheist looks at god in the same way religion teaches it and says, you are illogical. So much of religion seems illogical to me, i must say. I would not be content with believing in god as one of faith does, yet simultaneously ignore evidence that challenges the way in which i see god. It simply doesn’t make sense, it defies the nature in me to seek, to try and find answers, to ask why. This is why i sit firmly and uneasily in the middle, between Christianity and science. I believe there is much to be learned from both. Science does not teach you how to be good, Jesus is quite simply, the greatest symbol of whats right. You want to be a good person? There is no better role model than Jesus.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in, even if he stood alone. He laid down the ten commandments of which is the true bible of every good man and woman in this world. He hung from that cross in excruciating agony till the last breath went through his lungs. To the very last moment, he stood up for what he believed in, what he was. Everyone and i mean everyone on this planet should take note of that. He is the symbol of courage regardless of whether he was the son of god or not (while im here ill state my opinion that Jesus was either insane, delusional or he was the son of god. No mortal man could endure such torture and not break under a lie with which he has created.)

But, religion seems to teach very little when it comes to understanding where we fit into everything in the greater scheme of things. It pinpoints us in many ways as the center of the universe. Which, we are not. Science poses questions and seeks to find the answers. It seeks to find these answers without the input of human emotion even though it doesn’t always succeed in this.

Without science, there is no progress. We are at a technological peak in our race because of science, we are indebted to those of science for so much of what we take for granted. That said, where would the world be if not for religion? Religion is about being moral, that is a lesson that we all can learn regardless of whether we have faith or not. It is always in the back of our minds, it guides us to do whats right, it gives us hope that we aren’t living a pointless life, that we aren’t alone, that being good is rewarded further down the line. We are all afraid of our mortality,  it scares us because we do not know what happens. What scares us the most i think is that we all die alone and through death we fear that nothing may happen. I know that’s what scares me the most.

Religion gives the world hope. Science and religion in many ways work together, science is the engine which powers the human race, keeps us moving forward, faith is what gives us purpose moving forward.

A question of faith … and god

What is it?

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I have not posted for some time now, going on a month. In the process of moving property i have come face to face with numerous opportunities to further my knowledge on faith. With the influence of a family i have come to know, my curiosity of what faith is has been heightened.

What is faith?

I am not religious yet i find myself sitting uneasily between the powerhouses of science and Christianity. For the first time in my life i have decided to open my mind, go to church, meet those of faith directly and present my thoughts to them. The response…….. has been interesting. Like all of us, i am prone to judgement and i must say, i have been wrong about those of faith.

Tonight, i found myself among a group of Christians expressing their faith to each other. There was the usual i was going through bad times, i spoke to god and he helped me out of it. There was the arrogant one, the one who thinks they are high and mighty, when they are not. There was also the victim of life, they expressed how god turned that around and how much they thank him for that. But the one who i truly locked horns with and thus, sparked my interest, was what  i did not expect. He was intelligent, he made me stumble on my words, at times he knocked me down and offered his hand as a way back up. He had a counter for almost everything i said, whats more his responses were often plausible.

That is, till i regrouped and continued to challenge him to answer my questions.

What it came down to at the very end was the answer i  had prepared for, he said i dont know. This is an intelligent man, one who has thought through his faith, his ideas paralleled science in alarming ways, at times fusing the two together. But, he had not thought through everything it seems, the words he finished on, the words with which he made his last are evidence of this. One thing is for certain, i have not made him question his faith, nor do i want that to happen. I find this strength of mind fascinating.

He is a man of faith.

I do not understand this blind belief in a being with such certainty that you can talk about your relationship with god like i would talk about mine with my girlfriend, whom i might add i love more than anything in this world. He said to me until you experience it (the holy spirit), i cannot show you the way. These words are like sticking a brick wall between us, how do i get past it? The simple answer is i cannot. I cannot unless i can understand faith. Can i understand faith? I do not believe i ever can, not in the way that a christian does. It seems apparent to me that to have faith, you have to be willing to bypass knowledge that defies that faith. This is something i cannot do, a theory is just a theory, a coincidence is just a coincidence unless it is proven otherwise. I find it ironic that they use coincidence as proof of their faith, yet refuse to give overwhelming evidence that clashes with their faith a look in. It seems to be a game of making up the rules as we go so to speak at times. Tweaking things here and there to allow one to relate in a more comfortable manner.

How can i invest my life and soul into something that is so riddled with holes? Religion is riddled with holes, it turns a blind eye to facts that clash with it scriptures. Science is also equally riddled with holes, filled with arrogance and leaps to so called facts which in actuality turn out to be just theories. But i can see a day when we are more than we are today, where religion and science meet. This is something i will talk about in the near future.

I have yet to witness a miracle where the rules of the universe are bent to make way for god. Yet, the universe in itself is a miracle is it not? If there is a creator, it does not mean that it has the ability to bend the rules of which our reality is built upon. It would be like the domino effect, everything is in balance one way or another, change one thing and it affects everything else. Mathematics defines the universe, the rules with which can be calculated allowing us to look into the past and into the future. But, as a man of faith would say, understanding how the universe works does not answer why there is a universe in the first place. That is an intriguing thought.

We humans think we are greater than we are. We place too much stock in our limited intelligence, we turn our emotional reactions into so called logic, some of us become twisted and state there is no such thing as god. This question, in my opinion, is something that nobody on earth can answer. When we try to understand what god is, we place restrictions on what it can be whether we like it or not. This is because we are human, we are caged by the rules with which we live in and therefore we cant understand existence outside of them.

Until we are free of these rules, until we are all knowing and all powerful attempting to comprehend god is like trying to study micro-organisms with a magnifying glass.

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What happens when it all ends …?

Death of all that we know

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It is inevitable that the universe will die, every star will plunge into darkness. When that final star shines its last light, when there is nothing but dead stars and black holes, nothing but darkness, is that the end?

Life as we know it will be long gone by that time. But, man relentlessly strives for innovation, so much so that we run the risk of distorting what we are, so much so that we might one day even destroy ourselves in the name of it. But through innovation, is it possible that we, the human race, could find a way to survive? Would man really even want to survive in an age of eternal darkness?

Could we?

As the final star burns our race would almost certainly, if not extinct, be concentrated around it. We would be using the last energy of that sun to survive. But to continue to survive when that final star dies, we would need to create our own energy. Our own star?

If man does survive past the last burning star, what would we have to be in order to continue to exist? We could not be human, not as we are today. For we are too fragile, we are mortal and too reliant on the rules set before us.If man survives to the final days of the burning stars, we would need to become more than we are, more than human.

But, if man did survive, our intelligence would be unimaginable by such a time. We would have broken away from the cycle of life set before us, we would have become more than human .We would have to hold the power of creation, we would need it in order to continue to supply ourselves with the energy we need to survive.

In a way, we would become something in the image of god.

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Test 3 …

Man meets the creator, creator meets its creator …?

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Visualizing the theory of being in a simulation from the perspective of man meeting the creator.

The man, almost insignificant next to the higher being. Man stares into its future, it wants to be god. Man’s creator stands tall next to him, its eyes illuminating bright light, it sees what man can only imagine, it believes it is god. Yet, the higher being also finds itself standing in the face of its creator.

Man and the higher being with which it seeks to become, both find themselves in the face of a true unknowable other, in the face of the true god.

Two examples of my tests with this idea are displayed above. Feel free to comment on the work itself, or the themes with which i am working alongside.

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Crossroads …

Emotion and feeling vs numbers and logic

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Have you ever done something that goes against logic, it goes against numbers, you did it because it felt right?

As someone who hears both voices, i have to deal with this everyday of my life.

I have to choose between my mind and my heart. My choices though are in actuality, when it comes down to such a decision, very straightforward.  I follow my heart, i have done so for quite some time, going against that now would be denying myself. That said, i hear the logic, i hear the numbers, more so, i hear them from other people, from society. It tries to suppress my heart, it tries to tell me that i am wrong, it tries to dictate what i do, it tries to dictate who i am and what i will become.

Have my feelings taken me down a bad road? Have they tricked me, taken me places with which threaten me? From a certain point of view one could say yes, they have. Do i regret any of my decisions based on feelings? No. I do however regret decisions that i have made based on logic and numbers, they led me to a cold place. It wasn’t my feelings that led me to darkness, it was logic and numbers. The darkness was a reflection of my heart, its suffering at the hands of logic, its the suffering of being alive in an environment that was not.

A heart cannot survive in an environment of numbers and logic, it is comparable to the life of a flame atop a candle, eventually it will burn out. The only way for that heart to survive is to keep that fame alight, the only way to do that is to listen to your heart.

Life will challenge you, following your heart is not a path that is easy to walk.

The heart has to have faith in itself, for it may not receive it from others.

Next time you stand at such crossroads, where you have a choice to follow your heart or your logic, i ask you to think before you act, take your time, for life rarely grants you second chances.

Walk away from your heart and it may be forever lost.

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The shadow …

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The shadow figure has been an obsession in my mind for as long as i can remember.

From a child till i was in my middle teens, i have memories/images of elongated figures, one smaller than the other though both almost inhumanly tall. I only ever saw them when it was dark, as a result i was never able to see their eyes as their brow rendered them pitch black.

I have memories of them standing at the end of my bed, I have memories where i would wake in the middle of the night, the only one up, to see them standing at the end/edge of my bed. For years i dismissed it as being nothing but a hallucination  taking into account that i only ever saw them at night where my consciousnesses was likely to wander. I dismissed them sometimes as dreams.

It wasn’t till my granddads death when i was aged 15, new years day 2005 that my mum expressed seeing the same two figures despite the fact that i never talked with her about it. The night before my granddad died, we were in hospital, we walked into an elevator and as the doors closed my mum saw these two figures walking up to us. The doors closed before they reached us.

My mum would later talk about them, she saw them when i was born, standing in the corner of the room. After a while she went on to say that she woke up once to the sound of voices in my room at night, talking to each other. She got up and came into my room, but this time she saw nothing.

Some people would say, whatever they were, they were real. Others would say, whatever it was, it was just in your head, both of your heads due to tiredness and fatigue.  Others would say, i have no comment.

Whatever they were, real or not, i know that they have occupied my mind most of my life. When i doodle, i draw them, when i do art, they are often central to the work. What were they? And why is it, i have never seen them since the death of my granddad? Whether they were a hallucination or not, why did it stop there?

I know only this, when i think of them, i think of mortality, i think of time, i think of the future despite the fact that i saw them in the past.

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What if you could live forever …?

Saying goodbye to mortality

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Whether immortality is possible or not is one thing, but contemplating on the effects of such a revolution is another. I ask the question to you, how does your mortality affect your life, if it was taken away from you, would it really be better?

What if we made old age and disease obsolete?

What if mortality was a thing of the past?

Would you really want that?

When we lose a loved one we feel they have been taken away from us, we feel like an injustice has been thrown down upon us. We often wish we could be forever young, to never fall victim to age and illness.

But ask yourself this, would you really want that?

Our mortality is what makes life so special. When we are made aware of our fragile existence, when our world is shaken, that’s often when we appreciate life the most.

Think of how so many take what they have for granted, if mortality is no longer something which awaits us all, would we have any regard for life?

Would life mean anything anymore?

What would that make us?

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Test 2 …

Translating a simulation into an image

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Following on from my thoughts on the theory of simulation, that we ourselves may actually be in a simulation, i have been exploring the ideas visually. Essentially, my thoughts that i convey on this blog are focused through the art on an emotional level. The art becomes an imprint of that emotion, if created successfully.

Is there a god?

Could we really be in a simulation?

If we are who’s to say that god, the one who created our simulation, is not in a simulation itself?

These are the three primary questions explored in these tests below. I’m exploring on an emotional level the idea of man meeting god, the idea of god being what we seek to become, the idea of multiple worlds where a creator lies.

There are two distinct types of figure, one shorter than the rest which represents humanity. The other, is far taller, darker and has eyes that radiate bright light. The eyes representing all seeing, the height representing  power, the extended limbs and head of the shadow figure represents ‘intelligence’. It looks to have an essence of humanity, it is a reflection of what we seek to become, it is our future. The bright light, the sphere, represents an actual god. Its form not distinct, its purpose in the image in question. Basically it is how we perceive god, everyone has got their own image of what he/it is.

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God in Relationship to a Simulation …?

The biggest question of all 

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So many questions end with perhaps the question of all questions.

Is there a god?

Can god exist?

What is god?

The more my understanding of life develops, the more interesting this question becomes. Specifically in this post i want to talk further on the idea of a simulation. This time though, more directly in regards to our current world.

Some philosophers state that if we are able to create a fully simulated world, that it heightens the possibility that we ourselves are in a simulated world. If we can create that simulation, we ourselves may be in someone else’s. If so, god could be, essentially, the designer of our simulation? As we would become god to the world with which we simulate. On this line of thought, who’s to say then if we live in such a simulation, that whatever simulated us isn’t also in a simulation?

What if we were in a simulation, how would that make you feel?

How would it change the world in which we live in?

How would we ever even know whether or not we are in a simulation?

Would it be possible, if we are in a simulation, to be part of the world which created us?

If we can create a world, if we are in a simulation, how many times then has this process repeated itself?

Would there be a base reality, with which the true world lies?

If we are in a simulation, then the idea of life being a test starts to hold new meaning. What would we be tested for, for what purpose? What is the end result of such a test? This line of thought sends a chill up my spin, such a reality would be a daunting one indeed.

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