Wednesday, 26 August 2009

My outlook on God, faith and religion: part two

We still don't understand a lot about the universe even after many thousands of years of human civilisation. We don't know what the soul is, what consciousness is, what happens when we die, and so much more. We can put a man on the moon, and have computers that do amazing things, but we are far, far from learning everything.

In a previous post, I wrote about God and about how it seems to me that His existence is a "no-brainer". I suggested that people who do not want to acknowledge His existence are not just ignoring reasonable signs but also emotional resonances. We are, after all, creatures of the heart, as well as of the mind.

Why am I here?

"Well then, Ahmed, if there is God, then can He tell us why we are here? And where are we heading?"

The nature of mankind's relationship with God is that we believe in him without being able to communicate with him. This is the abiding mystery of our existence. This is why we call it "faith", rather than knowledge. We can't lift our eyes to the sky and have a one-to-one.

It seems all our communications with him have been anticipated ahead of time, compressed, and packaged in various forms - for us to discover. When people communicate, they take turns, laid out in time. When we communicate with God, perhaps we should expect that his replies have already been given? Which, in a funny sort of way, makes sense: He is above such human limitations as time and space.

He is here and there, he is in the now and in the future and in the past. He is in the beginning and in the end. He is at the fringes, and in the middle, at the smallest scales and the biggest ones. He is in every atom, in every form of thing we know. It seems likely that he is in our soul; and he is in the perceptions we have about the world.

This "mysterious" nature of our relationship with the Almighty Supreme Creator and Being seems to explain why some human communities developed "gods" of stone, or of man. This way, communication with God is somewhat "humanised." It also explains why many religions center around a man who "received revelation" from God: a Prophet, or Messenger, like Noah, Moses, Mohammad. Some religions award their Prophet a special status of conveyer of divine revelation and being "God-like" or "of God", like Jesus or Buddha.

Still, "Why are we here, and to where are we heading?"

There is no agreed-on, universal answer to that question. Each religion has an answer (or more). Scientists have many ideas; but nothing agreed-on. Atheists and agnostics have given up on answering the question: everything is random, we'll just end up as recyclable earth, and that's it.

There is a fundamental mystery in our relationship with God and we will not be able to fathom it. His existence can be easily doubted; and what is remarkable is even if you accept his existence, you cannot communicate with him. Because He never answers back in man-made languages. He seems to be of, and in, the universe since He created it. Yet he won't "tell" us why He did so, not in a personal one-to-one. The only way to do this "human communication" thing seems to be to accept Him and to submit to His presence in every tiny thing on earth. To be open to various messages. To have conviction that He exists and that all the answers are here already.

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