Tuesday, 14 February 2017

I find myself thinking "is 'god' unnecessary?". I don't mean "can we live without God?", since, by definition, the absence of God entails the absence of everything including ourselves. My musing turns around the question of whether the baggage that has encrusted around this word is now so irrelevant that we ought to start rethinking it. (Excuse my very mixed metaphors!). In biblical times the universe would probably be thought of as about a few million km at the very most; whereas the most distant astronomical object now found by science is at a distance of 10000000000000000000000 km (I might have missed a few 0s). As pronounced in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy": "Space is big .. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space". Along side this, Christians like myself read on the very first line of our scriptures "In the beginning God created the the heavens [i.e. all of it] and the earth";  and in the gospels and the letters there are enumerable repetitions that equate the Jewish God of creation in the Torah with the person that Jesus called "My Father". I know that we have been regularly told for the last 2000 odd years that this is a "mystery" (so shut up). At this point there comes to me that famous line from Wittgenstein at the end of his Tractatus: "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen"  (of that whereof one cannot speak, thereof must one be silent) - but I need a different approach to this way of speaking (as, indeed, Wittgenstein realised later in his work!)
So what is this "Other" to which I pray as a Christian? All I can say so far is that when I feel myself expanded when being with those I love and when, and when encountering the profound being of the trees I walk through, and when in some describable way I feel the living connection between two hills, then I know that my own existence can give to and receive from something that is immeasurably greater than myself.

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