I have been reading a lot of books on the existence of God lately. It seems that the usual theological minutia just don’t stimulate like they once did. It started a few months back when I came upon the stunningly simple revelation that the existence of God was absolutely vital to the value of any theological endeavor.
Well as simple as this may be, it seems I have, by and large, taken God’s existence for granted. This should be no surprise as I have also taken my own existence for granted for most of my…life?
Anyways, as I have endeavored to understand the context for the multifaceted arguments for and against the existence of a transcendent figure, I have found that most of my theological presuppositions have been challenged. I don’t want to surmise my journey, as I am still on it. I feel far from adequate to speak authoritatively on the subject of God’s existence. None the less, theophiliacs and those who join with us in our ongoing discussions have been crucial in bringing clarity to my personal quest to find my own truth about God and the world. With this in mind, I have devised a way for everyone to join me on my journey.
The way that I will do this is by posting some of what I am reading and how it is affecting my thought life. I don’t plan on doing book summaries, though that might happen sometimes. I simply want to keep this community informed as I progress. At this point I do not know how often I will post. However, when I do your thoughts are most graciously appreciated.
With that said, I would like to make my first post on this journey toward knowledge of God. The book that this is coming from is “How to know God” by the well known Dr. Deepak Chopra. I can hear the cringes from this pseudo scholarly community now. Please refrain from stabbing blunt objects in your eyes.
While Dr. Chopra’s merits on this subject may be of question this post is not about him, but rather about what affect his book has had on me. Before I get into Dr. Chopra’s theory I should preface by saying I know nothing about the subject of physics. I barely past my physical science class in college. Thus, I will try to accurately summarize Dr. Chopra’s thesis, and then I will share my thoughts.
Dr. Chopra argues that reality can be split into three domains. These three domains are material, quantum, and virtual. This is basic metaphysics. Our material world is based on, for the sake of simplification, the illusion of light. Atoms, following basic physical laws, react to each other causing the illusion of materiality. Our five senses are ill equipped to detect these separations. Thus, for all intents and purposes, the illusion of materiality is objective reality. However, on a sub atomic level exists a different reality.
This sub atomic reality is what quantum physicists are always trying to understand. This is the world of black holes and particle accelerators. Here light is no longer perceived as such and thus reality is no longer sensory. Put simply, this is where energy turns into matter. In this domain atoms are constantly moving and transferring in space. So when your hand picks up a glass,in the quantum domain, the atoms that make up your hand transfer over to the atomic structure of the glass and vice versa. As transcendent as this domain seems, many physicists have conjectured that there lies another domain beyond the quantum world of energy conversion.
This domain of pure energy is coined virtual, as it is completly hypothetical at this point. This is the domain of God according to Chopra. The virtual domain exists outside of time and space. Because pure energy is all that exists there is no static space for movement which means passage of time is indistinguishable.
Chopra argues that God, being pure energy, is the essence of all reality. Energy passes through the quantum domain into the material domain constantly. Thus, in a very panantheistic way, God illumines all existence in the material world. Materiality is energy at its core. Thus, as the Hebrew poet put it, we are truly made in the image of God.
With this in mind my question is simple. If reality is God, what is consciousness? If the world is illusory based on perception, who is perceiving? Furthermore, if there is indeed a separation between cognisance and essence is this conscience singular and universal or multiple and unique? Like I said, simple.
I have always assumed that I am me based on a unique consciousness. Be it spiritual or more broadly metaphysical, I have always worked from the presumption that there existed a distinction between I and they. However,if we are all energy then that eliminates the material distinction. With that removed the only distinction left is spiritual. The problem is that all of the signs of individuality in this realm can be easily explained. Is my personal consciousness anything more than neuron firing patterns? In other words, is my conscious distinction simply another illusion? Even if there is a separate level of consciousness, how do I know that it is not universal? Maybe the divine mind is the only real mind after all.
I don’t have any answers to these questions. Most of them seem too big for me to fully grasp. That said, I have realized that the simple presuppositions that I have always held about myself and God can no longer remain unquestioned. I can no longer take for granted these ultimate questions while I argue the minutia of theology. I am not saying theology is irrelavent, but its value is a bit diminished when it is debated autonomously from these existential questions. I think I have rambled enough for today. I look forward to your thoughts.