Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thinking, 'Thinking,' and the Nature of Language: How Experiencing God Means Re-experiencing Self

"The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power."-Nikola Tesla

I've always been objectively interested in the connection between science and spirituality (especially now in my life as more deeply I explore spiritually; I've always been more inclined to explore scientifically, or logically), and I'm so constantly reveling in the awareness of God in all things in my life.

This is a hard thing to articulate, because there is so much to explore that words don't capture. But we could think of it this way: to go from not seeing God to seeing God, we have to not just look in different places, or at different things, but we have to look in a different way. We know that through words, for example, we express stories. Through color, we express art. Through mathematics, we express science. And as human beings, through life, we express God. 

There are languages, and there are the things they say. (Pretty logical.)

If there is something we cannot see, perhaps it is not because that something is not there, but because we don't understand the language through which it is being expressed. Einstein wittily said that coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous- but if we become good interpreting what we so often write off as 'coincidences,' then maybe, over time, we will see Him better.
I realize that's not enough to say to someone: they have to do the action themselves. They have to observe their life. They have to take their experiences and uncover a narrative. We may not wonder so much 'what we are here for' if we had the minds and hearts to see what God sees- and we knew.

The experience of God is not something we 'logic' our way into, any more than we logic our way into the experience of love, or any more than you have logically come upon the life you have now, really. You don't logically walk your way into the feeling of love, say: as far as it is a feeling and an experience of connection, it simply is. And so it is with God. I would not say my life is logical, but I would say it is imaginative. When we are talking about life, about progress, about forward movement, logic simply isn't as important as creativity: the ability to create as we go to stay present. 

So it is with faith: its depth will always be revealed in how we live, and never by what we can prove.

If you perceive God as the world posits Him, or you perceive Him in terms of what society, or your parents, or your family, or your church, even, has told you (which is not really a perception at all, just a subliminal but all-pervasive assumption, which is of course not 'truth' or 'logic' any more than blind belief is), then you are certainly seeing something, but it is not the nature of God.

It is an idea of God, as different from the experience of God as a word is different from what it signifies. I think this is what Newton means when he says that with half-hearted thinking we won't believe in God- half-hearted thinking rests even partially, however subliminally or subconsciously, on what is outside of us: by what our parents have told us or are telling us, what society has told us, what we even, have even told ourselves about our own selves. God is beyond that, in a constantly renewed mind that neither resists or holds on.
Someone who is only logical won't be able to tell you anything about God. Someone who knows who they are, will. This is beautifully important. Someone who sees a narrative in their own life and simply invites others to be a part of it, as it unfolds, without worrying about things like 'is it true?' or 'is it good enough?;' someone who loves well- not conveniently, self-centeredly- but wholly, fully, beyond what most of the world would say is necessary- can see God all the time.

"God has pursued me in creative and whimsical ways, ways that initially did not get my attention. Nevertheless, He wouldn’t stop. That’s what love does: it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you’ll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything." -Bob Goff

People who love- unrelentingly, deeply, really, non-superficially, unflinchingly- understand God. We stand before God in marriage, we stand before God when we need miracles, we stand before God at the conclusion of life. We stand before God when we need the things that nothing else can provide. This doesn't discredit logical, streamlined, sound thinking (the popular opinion may tell you it will, but again, if you are having the experience of God- and also having the experience of thinking- you will clearly see that it does not). The awareness of God is simply the awareness that you ultimately possess nothing. 

It's not a truth that many people are comfortable hearing, but it is one that is completely and ultimately liberating. To move ahead in life without fear and with courage, you have to understand that the faculty of your thinking is inherently limited: in time, in space, in capacity, in its containment in you. Very simply, you are not the ultimate. It is what Tesla gets at when he says we 'become in tune with this great power when we concentrate our minds on its existence:' not on our impression of its existence, or what we've been told about its existence, but our actual tapping into it. 
It's not that God is a puppeteer in the sky who controls the path of your outward existence: if you believe that (and if you believe those who believe 'God does not exist' because this is what they take Him to be), you are back to the problem of being far from the experience of God and stuck at the point where you have simply believed, for ultimately self-reinforcing reasons, the mere words of other people, depending more on their ability to be logical than their ability to know themselves- and we cannot call this 'truth' either. 

We are quick to be proud of the human progress that we make that glorifies the languages we have invented to express them: a scientific discovery reinforces the importance of mathematically sound science, great art reinforces the impactful power of creativity, great literature reinforces the importance of human expression and revelation.

And great souls, great lives, are merely the language through which their Creator speaks.


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