I am going to try to think about what it would mean for there to be “god” —  some sort of consciousness-like aspect to reality.   I’m going to acronym this “ssocar.”

I’m intrigued by Chris Highland objecting to this idea — Chris is passionate that “nature is enough” —  by which I think he means that “impersonal” nature is enough.

So, I wonder where the notion of ssocar came from.   Seems it’s found in Native American [Great Spirit], Sufi [the One], Hindu [Kali, etc]….

Are there traditions other than post-Enlightenment “materialistic” ones that specify no ssocar?

If there were ssocar, would that imply energy particles to carry it, as our brains seem to facilitate thoughts and emotions by means of energy changes?

Why couldn’t there be energy particles like that?

If there were, would we sense some sort of communication?

As I & many others note elsewhere, some humans feel communicated with in very destructive ways —  kill so-&-so, you’re being watched, etc.

How would one distinguish false from real communications?  You would hope the destructive ones are false!  but on what basis would you assert that?

Why do I think about this, or care?  —  Pretty obviously, because as a child I was taught about a loving god, liked the idea, and would like to keep it.   Without that ssocar, as I’ve said many places, if I think about it I feel a little abandoned or lonely, like something good is missing.

At the same time I don’t want to be making up stuff — thinking of stuff that is not real.

What to do?

Long ago I saw a measure of intelligence as how tolerant one is of ambiguity.  Obviously, someone who doesn’t have certainty on this point has to tolerate a lot of ambiguity!   As someone who doesn’t have a strong hunch either way, hey!  that makes me intelligent  :  )

OK.  So when I walk, I just stay open to “there may be ssocar”?  Or there may not be.

Does the fact that I find the idea of ssocar pleasant mean anything?   Like, eating food, making love, walking, etc, are pleasant, and the pleasure could be a sign that they are part of reality?  So could the pleasure be a clue that there is ssocar?

The scary messages people hear —  kill someone —  those I imagine are unpleasant…  maybe that’s how one could argue that the destructive ones are false.

 

*******1/5/19

If there were a consciousness-like aspect, and it were benign, I would enjoy thinking about it.   I do enjoy thinking about it, so there’s no obstacle in that regard.

If there were a consciousness-like aspect, I would not necessarily be able to communicate with it.  My neurons etc might not be capable.  So the fact that I’m not aware of “communicating” is not an obstacle.   At the same time, I did have that “voice” experience —  or hallucination  —  so that could be a potential evidence.

If there were a consciousness-like aspect, we don’t really know what that would entail, since we don’t really understand “consciousness” yet —  whether there’s a “witness” in addition to brain cells, etc, as Ram Dass thinks, or whether the experience of consciousness is a product of brain cell energy that disappears when the brain cells stop firing.

I just don’t like thinking of myself as the most “conscious” thing in the universes.   Seems very arrogant.

If there is a ssocar, it could be the product of all this energy whizzing about, including us, as our consciousness may be the product of all the cell energy in our brains.

If there is a ssocar, that would comport with the idea that the universe is uniform, has a “universal” texture throughout.   So we don’t have to feel like “orphans” in the universe.

I wonder if that is part of what the people are feeling who report experiences of feeling “one” with everything.  [As the zen master said to the hot dog vendor:  “Make me one with everything”  :  )  ]   Although from their reports, they seem not to feel their identity as individuals, so that might not be similar.

If there is a ssocar, what would its character be?   Would it have a character?

Would there be any justification for thinking of it as benign, or for thinking it “cares” about us less-than-specks?

We often apprehend the natural world as beautiful, so that could be a clue to benign….

 

**************************1/7/19

Reading Hawkins’ “Grand Design” about elements being free to go around a few galaxies on way to Point B, about there being many histories until we solidify something by observing it…  so seems to leave quite an opening for our consciousness, whatever it is, not being unique.

What that would mean for what you think as you behold the universe, tho, I’m not sure.

Today’s reading made me wonder how much Kaufman’s “serendipitous creativity” as “God” owes to this line of inquiry.   Could be he was a part of this development, as I have the impression from a YouTube discussion that he was a mathematician, or thought like one.

So looking at the January sky this afternoon on my walk, I could have thought that my consciousness is kin to all this;  that there is something greater than mine somewhere or no”where” or everywhere or inside or through….

 

**********1/25/19

After tai chi, got to ask teacher what he thinks about something like the American Indians’ “Great Spirit.”  Interesting conversation!   I talked about missing the idea of someOne to communicate with —  the Al Martin connection etc.    The loneliness feeling without that.

Before falling asleep later, it crossed my mind — Suppose it is not a matter of the absence of that idea being a loss —  it could be a matter of, instead, that the reality of the situation is, it is better than that!   Maybe the idea of something like a “Great Spirit” that one communicates with is too restrictive, too conditioned by our experience of “brain” and “thoughts.”    Maybe the reality is that it’s much more than something like conscious communication.   I wondered & wonder if it could be that people who say they have an experience of feeling “part of everything” are “in awareness of” whatever that dimension of reality is.

****************1/27/19

Just posted on “Deep Calls” —

  1.  

    I’ve been enjoying Gordon Kaufman’s writing (mentioned on Rational Doubt). He thinks “God” is a useful symbol for “an ultimate point of reference for all that is (and, indeed, is not) … intended to gather up, comprehend, and hold together all reality and experience, all possibilities and imaginings in a meaningful interconnection that can orient human life — an intention surely transcending all human capabilities of knowing, conceiving, or imagining.” [In the Beginning… Creativity, 26] Starting from everything we understand about “life, the universe, and everything” in the 21st Century, he thinks of this ultimate mystery as “serendipitous creativity,” and works out a Christian theology/philosophy from that standpoint.

    For decades I’ve felt sad that I don’t have that wise, compassionate, all-encompassing Companion to my thoughts any longer — but as I’ve tried to imagine how something like that would work, considering how consciousness & our brains seem composed of moving bits of energy, it suddenly crossed my mind the other day that maybe that “compassionate Companion” is really a smaller companion than something that is even more vast than that, and even more “companionable” — and maybe that’s what the mystics are sensing when they talk about feeling “one with everything.”

    Thanks for the thinking!