A thoughtful response to yesterday's existential dilemma from an elder named Treefrog: Felicity, I have to admit, I am both impressed and humbled by the way you express your questions, especially your last sentence. It shows a great amount of wise, intelligent and, I believe, important curiosity.
You know, it is not very easy to discuss "God". In all actuality, the concept of a being that has no beginning and no end; a being for whom there is no limitation in time or space, totally escapes our ability to comprehend. Yet, in spite of this inability, ever since homo sapiens started walking upright, she/he raised his eyes to the heavens and decided that there was "something" or "someone" much larger than himself. I do think that if God did not exist, (wo)man would invent a god (as man
has done in various ways from the very beginning of recorded time). Maybe one of your questions is "why"? Well, I would say this is so for a few reasons.
First, we just can't believe that so many wondrous things that are about us "just happened". The way the universe is so organized, so balanced, from the smallest particle of the atom to the outmost reaches of the known universe. We struggle to come up with answers as to Who wrote, Who set in motion all the laws of nature. How awesome is the human brain, the ability to know and reason, to laugh and to cry. The miracle of procreation. Lacking answers, we look for something infinitely greater than we. There is this overwhealming desire to believe that there is an
Many people find God in strange places or in strange ways. Some experience a life event that brings them to their knees. It could be sickness, death or it could be a grace received or wonderment witnessed. Others receive a belief from their parents and both accept and pursue it. Where the heck does "love" come from? We see in the animal kingdom "instinct" at the lower levels and love at the human level. Where did this notion of love come from? How is it that we humans are so capable of loving and sacrificing? Where do we get courage from? Many would suggest it's due to the fact that we have a "soul", an immaterial "spirit", one that mirrors something far greater than we. Otherwise it's pretty tough to explain.
Felicity, there is really no way to convince you, or anyone for that matter, that God exists. It is something that a person comes to "accept" if they open their mind and examine not only the world outside of themselves, but the world inside too. I must admit that over my lifetime there have been many occasions when God "disappeared" from my personal radar screen. I think that might be true for most people. It isn't easy to remain focused on the concept of an infinite being that doesn't have a face or fingerprints. And if we expect God to do everything for us and it doesn't happen, we might just put the Divine on the back burner.
Why haven't you been convinced? That is hard to say. Perhaps only now you are finding a vacuum in your life that needs to be filled. Perhaps you haven't found any reason to pursue the notion or the question. Kinda like you've developed an "itch" and it needs to be scratched? Personally, I think God gave (wo)man this itch a long time ago and left it up to (wo)man as to whether he wanted to scratch it or ignore it. How do we keep God from disappearing? Well, for one thing, we use religion. Religion is supposed to help keep us in touch with God and to share this keeping "in touch" with others within a community. I suggest that you might do some reading, some talking, and some looking around. Perhaps you can find ways within an organized religion to both discover God and to keep God from disappearing. Felicity, notice how I have not referred to God as "he", "she" or "it"? That's because those are limitations and if God is to be God...there are none :-)
Well, I've about used up my brain for now. Thank you for stimulating it with your letter. You are always welcome to come back to EWC anytime!
So I guess my next project is to look for an "organized religion" that will suit my needs.