Sunday, June 17, 2007

Why the desire?

Why the hunger for God? If He isn't real, or just the mere product of human imagination, why have we - for thousands and thousands of years (anthropologically speaking) - been a species to bury our dead with ritual and ceremony? Why do the majority of human beings living on the planet believe in some kind of deity or life after death? Could so many be fooled at once? Sometime ago Skeptic Magazine reported that at the turn of twentieth century, the expectation was to see a significant decrease in the number of people who adhered to a theistic philosophy - that number actually increased. In the book Why God Wont Go Away, Andy Newberg and Eugene D'Aquili indicate that the human brain has a natural propensity to engage in religious practices and experiences. Why, in the evolutionary history of the human species, has such a practice increased with the modernization of industrialized society?

Sometimes in my own personal search for God, I might incorrectly seek affirmations that are too sensational and unrealistic: Perhaps a new image from space or a new discovery in biology flips the scientific community on its head by introducing a new theory, or modifies a pre-existing one to faintly suggest God is real. These expectations would be nice and soothing to a skeptic who wants to believe, but how conceivable are they? Maybe God's omnipotence comes with incomprehensible subtlety and patience. Perhaps I should be looking for a whisper that might contain the answers I'm looking for. That, I think, is much more consistent with his style:)

"Then the LORD said, 'Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.' A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave." - 1 Kings 19 11-13

4 comments:

adele and dan said...

Hi Tom-
Thanks for visiting my blog:) I own all his books and one in Spanish, which was sent to me in error by the publisher. Anyway, he is an amazing writer in any language!

kris said...

I'd forgotten that piece of scripture. Funny I spoke of my mother speaking to me in much the same way in my post today.

Thanks again for your prayer, and for sharing it with me. It's beautiful, and I hadn't heard it before.

kris said...

Hey Tom,
Thanks for stopping by again... I lvoe ee cummings (first poet I ever read, 7th grade). I'm still in the process of reading The Seven Storey Mountain- I am not surprised by how well it's written (Ive read Thoughts in Solitude and one other book of his). I'm growing to love Merton profoundly.

I'm at work so need to get back. I close my eyes and imagine myself back at the monastery. It helps. August couldn't come soon enough.

I love the header for your blog.
What kind of work do you do?
Feel free to email me.

Kris

kris said...

Tom,
In retrospect I wish I'd gone with the Nikon D80 (there might even be a better one now) that is slightly better than the Canon EOS Digital Rebel that I have now. I also wish I'd gone with 10 megapixels, though I was advised that would only be needed if I were blowing up poster sized photos, which I'm not.

Good luck. I'll look forward to seeing your photos.

KrisRJackson@gmail.com

Kris