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By Robert Ehrlich


The Montréal Review, August 2011




For us humans the years go by slowly and swiftly. But time for us is a relative term and each person's experience of it is unique to that individual. When we were young children each day seemed to last an "eternity." There were so many packed events that happened while awake. As we aged we discovered that time sped up. Each day's happenings seemed to pass by more swiftly than previously-when we were younger. So time, we learned, is a relative truism and is not a permanent unchanging constant. Time happens to us-we "feel" the anxiety waiting for someone to come to a meeting, and we knew the dread and what could /will develop in a war's attack. Time both shrinks and expands as it envelops us and our personal experiences.

Remember when we awaited our "report cards" at school to see if we had any failures? If yes, oh did we dread facing our authority figures. And time seemed to just last so long till school ended for that day. And that long walk or bus ride back was so terrible. How could we explain away failure? But success had a different face. We swelled with pride at achieving positive rewards and time seemed to gallop along-just like our life--"swiftly through the years," as the song says. But how does another person really sense and experience time? Do they experience time in the same way that I or you may? And what about someone who is ailing; is their perception of time felt in the same manner as mine/ours? These are questions and problems we will encounter again and again, and we shall confront and try to deal with them. Do autistic individuals sense time in the same as others who do not have so much stimuli bombarding their sensory apparati?

Another problem we encounter is how do we know that what we "see" is really what we perceive? In simple terms there is a whole process that takes place when our eyes focus on data that flows into and through our retinas to our brains. This is not a passive process that we think happens. I have a relative who is a PhD in psychology whose main study shows that our brains do not allow all the material entering to be displayed. We filter out what we cannot use and do not need-an economy of material is allowed to pour through and is recognized by us as the real world.

Here again let's realize and become aware of what an autistic child must experience as it is targeted with too much sensory overload. For us the outer world enters and we husband what we need and can use and discard what is not needed. When we realize the complexity of how we encounter and look at this outer reality we can understand the difficulty of this process of deciphering and relating to it. There is an active participation between what we view and how we display it to ourselves and to others. Our entire reality is mapped in our brains and then reaches our consciousness. What we know about ourselves and the world beyond us is what our conscious minds tell us. I know that I am certain and aware of myself and therefore of "something" outside myself. This means that there is more than just physicality to the outside world. Mind must be present to interpret the world of material being.

At this point we should stop and ask ourselves some questions.  Just how did this physical universe come into being? How am I related to the world? And is my conception of the world true in its interpretation? This last question we've already started to discuss and learn about. From theoretical physics and modern cosmological writings we can learn how many profound thinkers have sought to explain and have debated about the origin of the universe and the chemistry of matter within its ken.

From most expository writings it seems that our entire world began as a smoldering super-dense blob of heated matter, the size of a thimble, which exploded-expanded--began cooling and is still moving into uncharted emptiness. Of course, this is pretty difficult to understand. The theoretical physicists are saying that as soon as the bubble of matter exploded and rocketed apart and away from its previously adhered state it began to form into the most basic element of all-hydrogen and then started to coalesce together to form a heavier helium.  And so the birth of the entire physical universe started as a primeval cauldron of super-dense stuff-exploding and moving apart billions of years ago, to form the basic simplest structure of elements which then began to come together and forming the chain of what we call in chemistry the periodic table of all the elements. So hydrogen, the simplest element becomes one-and so it goes on and on, the atoms combining according to their basic structure. 

Now the atomic structure of the atom becomes fascinating as we learn and delve into and ascertain its innermost and outer parts.  For us there appears to be a natural and unbreakable force holding the parts of each atom together. The inside portion of the atom-the nucleus, holds the material of that atom, while outside the nucleus there are rings of "charged" matter circling the central material moving in a circular path around this central core. These electrically charged disks, electrons, allow atoms to either combined with other charged particles thereby changing the matter of both combining atoms to become something else-a completely different structure which we call molecules-like water, for instance. 

We  know that being the simplest element hydrogen has only one electron circling its central core. This electron has a + (plus) number permitting it to combine with another element which has a negative (-) number. Oxygen has an outer ring of these electrons which add up to a negative 6; it remains unstable since it needs 2 more electrons to complete its outer shell.  If 2 positive hydrogen atoms link with this oxygen atom the forthcoming "bang" we hear as we do this experiment shows the simple gasses coalescing and from disparate atoms rearranging a new creation is formed.

But this is not a random joining. No, there is a seemingly immutable law governing the chemical reactions we "see"  taking place. There is the changing mode of atoms rearranging and combining according to ways that began developing  just as the cosmic universe started its "journey." Theoretical physicists and chemists can and have charted the ways this process works-for simplicity call it natural deterministic laws.

However, it is not that simple or elementary at all. Sure we can say that our minds (brains) can chart and show how it all happens, but what about the WHY and HOW it is held together. I was impressed by Gerald Schroder's works, especially in his ascribing how the atom seems to have no permanence or immutability when we investigate its inner core "being." Physicists are saying that there is no coherence within the structure of the proton's parts. It can act arbitrarily. Does this mean that our laws of nature might be just theories and not eternal unchanging laws?  But this is not the whole case. It is not wholesale arbitrary randomness inside our core nuclei. There seems to be a force holding and, for lack of a better word, "cementing" the smallest and most elemental particles in a way that makes permanence within it possible and certain. Just what this "cementing" is we do not yet know. But it is there and is the same for every element.  They all act the same. Yes, matter has been broken down into its own structural forms, but holding it all together is this invisible, inviolate, inchoate force which makes everything in nature possible. 

Without this "invisible" force allowing "structurality"  to form there could  not and would not be a world for us to live in and permanence or atoms to exist and form into combinations.  But again, what is this unknown force allowing permanence to exist?  Without it there could be no union-no organization of matter, and no continuity. It is the glue which permits, preserves, and posits structure onto unorganized haphazardness.

Can this unknown force be what we consider to be God? Maybe-and again, maybe not.  We often wonder if there is another side beyond our physical lives. We hope but do not know for certainty whether our end of days can become an entry into "heavenly bliss." Belief is not akin to knowing. It can become a beacon though, to show us the way towards this mysterious force.

If it is a real force can it have physical properties? Does it possess a form? Or is it something else- what we can consider a spiritual entity? Another pressing question is: Does it relate to matter at all? And did/does it exist before the big bang material universe was established? And why did/does it form the bulwark of atomic structure? 

These questions and problems need exposition. So, let's try to answer as best we can about another existence beyond this earthly abode. And since the universe is so huge is it possible that there exists other (similar?) beings elsewhere? Do they look like earthly forms in any way? Some believe a pattern of life must follow a particular pathway. However, if conditions for a different kind of "life" can be formed in other realms they might be entirely different from those in our earth and close environs.

Another dilemma is if limited beings are able to become more complex and superior in ways unknown to us at present? Would other astronomical forms have a self-consciousness like some earthly beings?  And, if so, how did this consciousness arise?

Historians point out that man's path and footprints on earth is a relatively new development. Our genetic makeup evolutionary existence points towards some interesting changes, such as an opposeable thumb and standing upright. Again we might ask if there is/was any plan for development towards some kind of "end"  process? This question intrigues me. We've heard about how we can improve our existence by a stringent work ethic and that if we husband our labor the results will lead to success -- whatever success here means. But this suggests planning and so we go back once more to the perplexing problems of how and why the original explosion of matter did occur. Could  there have been a kind of consciousness that had some sort of linkage to the super-dense cauldron of amorphous matter?

If we follow this theme it would seem to indicate that the matter has always been there, is  there, and will remain although we can surmise that it does change its form and may have had previous past existences. However, we have to assume that these changes occur on and through an orderly process which currently exists in the material world: e.g.,  Permanent genes allowed only for similar life forms to reproduce and prevent "monsters" from developing. But we must remember that there is/may be some- thing in the basic  elemental part of the atom. Is it this consciousness-dare we say intelligence, which is the linchpin for all existence? If so, then this conscious being must have existed prior to or alongside the physical material parts. Some theistic philosophers say that this conscious being must struggle with the recalcitrant matter and tries its "darndest" to gain control and influence and work on this stubborn matter. Others say that the entire natural world is part of this conscious being's makeup. Whatever approach we take to these dilemmas these are important questions we must ponder over and answer.

Today, as at many other times, some philosophers and many religious thinkers are discussing the arguments advanced for the existence of God. Many thinkers recognize that the existence and internal nature of God is an extremely complex and important question. The fact of the matter is that the term God has been attached to a variety of meanings so disparate that when it is discovered that two persons believe in a God we are not sure as to whether these persons are even referring to the same world of discourse. I doubt if we'll ever derive any universal conclusion from the facts of religious belief. A variety of notions of God have existed to take care of our differing human needs. Ideas of God have varied through the years.

The approach we begin with should be to ascertain just what this kind of being this conscious mind might be. A start could be in once more suggesting that man's belief in a supreme being is not proof of "god's" existence, but is an approach to understanding the world beyond its physicality. The ultimate question here is just how come man believes in a super-being and how come we seem to have these beliefs for so many eons of time? Perhaps it is implanted in and part of our "genetic" makeup; the other alternative is that we might become frightened by death and the end of our personal existence. Here we must assume that our self-consciousness comes into play. Without it we are just plain atoms which/who have a robotic mechanized approach, following cultural traditions without serious questioning and thinking. Self-consciousness allows us to dream to day-dream, to plan and to futureate.

Many great thinkers have cogitated about and drew plans about an afterlife. St. Augustine, in his City of God, explains a breathtaking view of heaven where the "elect," having received God's pre-ordained grace enter a heaven where the past "saved" souls merge and intermingle with the present entering souls-and await those who are to arrive in the future. A marvelous conception but my problem is whether time exists in this grandiose scheme? Past, present and future merge together for the saved beings. And those who are alive now and blessed with the gift of grace rub shoulders with the "damned" unelected sinners here on earth.

Dante in his Comedy explains that heaven is a place where those who gain salvation sit beside those who preceded  them and wait for those yet to arrive at a place called the mystic rose. A beautiful explanation for those who are admitted; not so good if you are refused admission. Dante never had any difficulty explaining the deadly sins in his conception of hell. However, in his view of heaven and God he has difficulty expressing how God appears to  us. His best explanation is that there is so much light and changing colors. Maybe he is stating that we can never obtain a true understanding of God's essence and being. Likewise, in the Old Testament when Moses communicates with God, Moses asks God to show him his "Nature."(glory). God indicates to Moses that Moses can-not "see" his entire being, but will reveal his "back" to him. Schroeder says that is God's imprint in history. I'd like to add that it might be a glimpse into God's attributes. 

So where are we? We know that there might be a force with intelligence; but does that possible force have a plan? And what is its relationship with the matter which it perhaps set in motion? Perhaps God may have always had to contend with the recalcitrant  material world. And maybe this force had a way of controlling and using this matter so that it would yield to some of God's ultimate designs. What that plan is we will have to explore.

Usually when we talk about God we consider the attributes attributed to the deity. These are almost always: omnipotence, omniscience, eternity, etc.  For us the most disturbing are God's power and knowing. If God can control all aspects of the universe what purpose would it suit?  There is no free will under this aegis and no responsibility other than God's aggrandizement of total power. Everything else would be just pawns to be arbitrarily moved according to another's plan.

However, all would agree that under any circumstance that if we can show there is an intelligent being behind a plan then it suggests a thinking rational being who can be considered at least a self-conscious mind. What "plan" God has we have to examine. Could it be that the deity has done this creative process previously and was disappointed in its creation and unfolding? We have no idea, no ken about previous universes and creations. But we can be sure that this universe, once it was established, moves according to calculable laws which can be investigated and known-till we break it down into its innermost parts-that we find that the primeval protons do possess a "stickiness" holding the sub-atomic innermost parts together. Without this linking all would be chaos and we could never be sure or certain that the world would  not become asunder and move in haphazard ways. The great philosopher David Hume once said there must be "causal connection" for us to assume that the world acts according to natural rational laws. If we don't have that positiveness we could never be sure that the sun rises each morning and sets each evening. It is certitude we seek and we act as if we know and realize that the world acts as we expect it to perform.      

Another attribute we want to look into is the idea of God's god's knowing everything. There is so much evil in our own world that we should want to believe that God does NOT possess complete answers or powers to overcome each random natural disaster or unkind human acts. We might imagine that if God could be a super-being could not God prevent tsunamis and earthquakes? Of course, but this is not the way we perceive our world.  There are mistakes in evolution; there is chaos in nature. But that is the way our world is constructed. Could it have been differently? Perhaps, but this is the way we have it and this is what we must deal with. God may have another plan of action; but God might be prevented from imposing his/hers/its powers onto the world. Does this mean that God cannot act as God wishes? If we say yes then we must assume that natural laws can and are meaningless for God and there is no certitude, as Hume said, about the sun rising each day. No, our God cannot break the rhythm of what the atoms have constructed and God can no more save innocent peoples from horrible catastrophes any more than God can save us from brutalizing acts of evil. God may cry with us, but remains powerless to intervene.

I think that God wishes us to act according to a plan which God imparts to us. What I am suggesting is that what we can do is to emulate what we know to be in our individual and total best interests. Do we always succeed? No. But we do not stop trying to improve. And it does not mean we become Polyannas singing "goombaya." Yes, some of us are lunatics and anti-social pariahs. Human evil does exist. We just cannot fathom who is born or made into morally diseased people.

However, we do and have to confront and think about the problem of evil. What we consider to be evil most likely can be considered as evil. Killing viruses, earthquakes, pain-all these may happen by circumstance or random actions. There is nothing any of us can do except to try and eradicate some of these occurrences by prior action. If we can gain knowledge about possible future events, such as planning for earthquakes before the catastrophe, that is human ingenuity at its best.

Here we do become partners and co-creators with the intelligence, who also is helpless to prevent the miseries from happening. If God set the material and natural world into motion then God cannot obliterate what God consciously "sees" developing and disband the natural running of the universe and start again. Or can God intervene? Perhaps, but not likely since God wants us to become his helpers in making this world a more perfect place. Also, God may NOT be perfect in every way because if God is limited by the laws set in motion at the creation then God may not know how the atomic structures which become molecules will act and react in the future. This assumes that the world acts in time because what is to become and what is created is a newness which God and man both cannot foresee!

Yes, God must have a "feeling " for the ongoing process-and this means that time is as relevant for God as it is for man. We realize that time involves a sequence of events-a before, a present-and a future, yet to occur.  As humans we also know that time does not appear the same to us at all times.

We've talked above how time speeds up in emergencies or on special occasions, and it slows down when events hang in the balance, tilting towards one denouement or another. Now our perception of time may not be the same for God but we must assume and accept the idea that there is a sequential pattern which God recognizes as part of its internal nature.

So far we've tried to explain and show that while God has been and is the source of energy God may not and cannot alter the "rules" of chemistry and physics which were established as the universe was being formed-for a different universe, maybe the laws can and do change-but not so in our world. A perplexing dilemma for us now is to try to explain what is the relationship between God and the original matter which exploded to begin the process. Evidently God can and did/does intervene by becoming the linkage and "cement" of the primary building parts of the universe. Without God's holding the innermost particles of the atoms together there would not be any permanent structure or continuity in this world.

One  conundrum that we have to look at and fathom is which came first-matter--or God? You might wonder if it matters at all.  If God is an entirely spiritual being and perceives the atomic particles as part of a different order of being than how does God relate to it? Can spirit move matter? Or is the physical world somehow of a different order than we know and believe it to be? Remember when we discussed how our brains work to take in the outside world? Well maybe what we "know" and discern is really of an entirely different entity than what we have always known and believed. PERHAPS the physical world is NOT a true representation of the truth.  Sure there is something which we perceive outside of ourselves. However, is it in reality what our eyes "see"?

Can it be that God too perceives of the material world in a way that leads God to discern our reality in perhaps a similar fashion? So, can it be that what is our external reality is something similar for the deity?  Is there an intractable block outside of us, apart from our conscious minds, which does exist, have internal structure, and is of a different order from God? Can it be that God views this external force as something of an impediment to be worked on and molded? But into what, and how does God interact with this hard inert matter? We must, at this point , try to imagine that the external thimble full of atoms-to-be was present in God's mind as a "ground" or "given"to be molded into a metaphysical "something" we human s cannot as yet fathom. But we can try to discover and examine this recalcitrant given. God must have had a way to begin a relationship with this stubborn "given" to force its explosion and movement.

And since we assume God is the ground/being bonding the atomic nuclei together, we have to believe that either the world indwells inside God , else how can God get it to move, or that how we humans see the external world might be somewhat similar to how God interrelates and "knows"  this "given"? It may be that this given for God is just a blocking force which God must interact with, try to overcome its inertness, and go on towards making it  something new and different. It may be that this given force cannot be seen in its entirety by God since it had no structure prior to its inception. It took the big bang to set it in motion and begin the process of natural law.

I must assert that there has to be a bridge between nature and super-nature here. God might not be an entirely mental being, although God is a spiritual force. It might be that God always had this recalcitrant matter to deal with and did set it in motion with  either a pre-planned  arrangement or a hope for a new and different creation. Could it be that just as we humans always know that the outside world exists, that God too realizes that it also has this "stubborn" stuff that exists, is, and is linked to it in some fashion?

So what can we say now? How do we approach trying to understand and explain the relationship between matter and mind? Let's attempt once more in showing that as we humans perceive the outside world we know that there is a "something" beyond ourselves. I am now asserting that this recalcitrant given also impinges on God in a similar way. Of course, we can never be sure that the two perceptions, man's and God's, are the same. But how else can we fathom and explain or try to understand the relationship between external reality and "ourselves"? It has to go through mind first  and then we can investigate and explain what is "out there."

If we take the notion that God reveals itself to select people and at certain times and places, it seems that we must take it on faith that both God exists and communicates selectively with those God chooses, for whatever reasons. Now this might be the case, but it does leave us with perplexing alternatives. If God only does appear at selected showings then we have to believe God has determined only to display his messages and thoughts with certain humans, the select, and those blessed with divine grace. Therefore, can we ever be sure that it was God "calling" and communicating with us and not just a dream or phantasmagoria? Also, what about the rest of us without these blessings? Are we without any hope of salvation? Let's see if we can answer. One approach is to define just how positive we are about the complex given we've discussed above. Certainly God has to deal and wrestle with this "stuff."

Again, though, is this material outside of God's being, or maybe part of God's self? So, taking the clue that humans view the external world through mind can we conclude that God also must deal with something external to its own mental being? Just what God is at this point in our investigation shows God to be a mental and thinking being having and trying to deal with an external obstacle force beyond God's total control. We humans call it material being. And perhaps God may deal with it in the same fashion as we do. If this is so, it means that God has only limited, if any control and ideas about this matter. It becomes extremely controversial here because we must believe the entire world of mind and matter seems to be bifurcated into separate entities. And just maybe they both have always existed and both relate to each other in certain ways. What these are we'll try to decipher.

Once more the crucial question is how and why the big bang happened? Could God have "placed" somehow all the known matter into the super-dense blob of matter and then impinged on this externalc "stuff" and "made" it explode and then form into chemical elements? If we believe this to be the case then we are saying this just happened and that's the best we can ascertain and explain.

I'd rather try a different approach. Let's assume for the moment that God is both a mental-rational being who/which does possess certain non-thinking strains  with which  God  tries to deal since it is perhaps the same kind of force as the rest of the impervious world.

Does this mean that God has a "body"? What if we follow this approach and try to show that the physicality of and inside God's being is of the same kind but of a more complex order than just the purely material world. Following along this line of thinking God tries to discern and then work upon the recalcitrant hard atomic structures through and by God's own physical prowess. Does this mean that God has "fingers,"etc? I don't know but I believe this is the best and most sensible answer as to how the big bang originated. God's material "genes" worked on the congealed "stuff"  until it reached a super-heated state and then exploded. To me this is feasible.

We've raised a number of questions and have to answer a number  of new problems now. Is this physicality for God the same as that which exists outside of God? We remember that our perceptions of the external world may be very different from God's experiencing of externality. Even if we could explain it better we must still fathom how God's material makeup does co-exist with the outside given? If God's being does include a material aspect can we also assume that if there are such things as "heavenly" beings that they too possess bodies? Does that explain how angels look like humans or how Lucifer reacted against God and tried to overcome the order of things? This view might explain how a confrontation between God's forces and the others was a meaningful and physically fought campaign! Could this have been the SOURCE  for the big bang explosion-a war between these two competing camps?

We can look now with more certainty into God's internal structure, as seen and reasoned by us, that God may not be able to control all aspects of the universe and might be limited to solely those parts which are amenable to God's will and powers. We don't  really seem to have any difficulty with explaining God's goodness, rationality, love,etc. But we do have to ask just what are those powers which God possesses and uses.

If we accept the notion that  God controls and knows all aspects of existence then we certainly do not have free will and individual decision-making and choices.  If anybody knows about our reactions before we make them than all is predestined and we become mere automatons. On the other hand, if we do have free willing to our actions and behaviors then no being or agency can have any preordained knowledge of the results of any actions which occurred during time in our universe. And if there are other universes and dimensions their resulting destinies may be different. However, here in our unique cloister the occurrences of what transpires is due to either human chemistry or individual willings. Could it possibly be both? An inclination for us to act as our bodily emotions and desires might lead us and/or to act because of our thinking and rational mental decisions. This must preclude any prior knowing. The denouement MUST be an experience God views and hopes will turn out as God plans/wishes. So, in our viewpoint God has to be involved in time. And God has to await the results of what occurs. Could God be involved in interfering with what might be a disastrous happening? Of course this disallows complete free willing in the parts of other living beings. However, if God deems it an emergency situation perhaps God does and  did enter into our dimension and did physically alter what would have been for God a disastrous or monstrous result. An idea of where God did intervene in our happenstance could be the parting of the Red Sea to allow the Hebrews to cross, the divine impregnation of Mary to permit God to experience true human pain and the actual communications with Moses, Mohammed and other humans and maybe certain animals.

If angels do exist and we've seen any number of people saying how an angel helped or did this and that in saving them from a frightful and life-taking event;  Maybe they are acting as God's agents. Likewise, we're aware too of the other powers that Lucifer and beings like "Darth Vader"  have which might hinder God's march and plans.

Maybe there might actually be these "super-beings" who possess both mental thoughts and a physical presence. The foremost question here is WHERE do they exist in our understanding of the world? I believe angels and demons do interact with humans in this world. People have expressed how an angel with wings pulled them out of harm's way in traffic and how Lot, in the Old Testament was visited by them. Meanwhile demons and devils also interjected  themselves into our human existence.

I don't know if they try to "buy" our souls but they have a negative influence on us by acting as a nefarious drag on human affairs. They may implant undue influences on some susceptible humans, leading them down a primrose path or suggesting actions which might lead to evil or bad results. St. Augustine, as we saw above, stated that the "good" and saved human souls rubbed shoulders with those without grace and other evil doers in society. So it appears that perhaps there is this internecine attle between the forces of good and evil constantly taking form and being executed in our own living stage. Armaggedon may or may not become a reality. However, it seems that all the angels-the good and the "fallen" want man's participation in their quest for power.

Now what we mean by power is, of course, a plan for how "life" is to be established and led. Life, we know, is more than mere molecules coming together,etc. Life means planning and accomplishing goals. It means a mental choice and free willing.  Sometimes we succeed and other times we may fail. For God it would indicate that this super-being wants our cooperation and assistance in building a better earth for us and perhaps a fulfillment in gaining more control over nature as we assist God in our endeavors. Could this also imply that Lucifer wants to delay and wreck God's plan for its own purposes?

Whatever the case may be and however it all may end, we can show that spirit does exist and influences us here and now. But, again, what about the bodily abode of these beings? I'm attempting to show that they are both mental and physical beings. For angels and some demons their presence and interacting with and influencing us can probably not even be discerned or noticed till a decisive event happens. But for Lucifer and God and maybe other super-beings is there a place which can become their shrine, so to speak? I doubt if it was/is in the temple holy of holies. God may have manifested part of its nature to Moses and to the Hebrews in their 40 year trek through the desert. And maybe God has communicated with other "saints" as well; God may have delegated some duties to his ministers. Can this be the "close encounters of another kind" space aliens? However it might happen I'm still struggling with the concept of God residing his physical properties somewhere in this universe. But there must be a locus for God to place  its being safely in a place-and is this the "heaven"  we learn and yearn to discover?

The best approach I came up with is to suggest that there have to be other super-beings-what we consider deities who, like God, exist in the universe. Perhaps the entire universe is mapped out and divided into separate segments where a number of these beings try to grasp and control events. And could it be that a group of these beings co-opted the material blob and acting in concert made the discharge of matter into the newly formed space parts of their own spheres of influence?

Another question if we go along this line of thinking is to ponder if these physical deities have emotions and human like bodies? This is a most controversial dilemma for sure. But looking at a physical abode for any super being means that this "personage" might have to move in time for immense distances. But let us remember that space and time for "gods " might not be the same as for man! What is a day for God might be aeons for humans. 

So now we must face and explore the question of why we must die. Obviously it happens because organs and human parts wear out. We can endeavor to increase our life span, and we have, but we have not gained an iota towards gaining "eternal" life. We know we must die but raising the same questions above, do we assume that God and other super beings wear out as well and they too disappear? Some, perhaps most individuals would consider this line of thinking as blasphemous and suggest I'm influenced by evil beings or damned by the traditional God of our ancestors. Nevertheless, going by our own standards of rationality we have to think that if the world was created by gods, for whatever reasons, then there had to be a plan of action which was agreed upon and initiated by the explosion. Likewise, if each super-being is "lord and master" of its own domain, what more can we again say about  this explosion? It means that all these beings had  to be in existence prior to the creation and must have had some kind of a history leading up to the explosion.  Why and how? The how is that they set in motion the blob of matter.  The why is harder to discern.  Did they find prior universes unkind or disadvantageous? And can these beings change roles and places in the world? Can one god become the supreme being of another domain,etc? Could this explain monumental changes in human and cosmic history?

We are left with so many unanswered, or at best,  possible rational conclusions. Yes, the world was created by-by this author's estimate, by beings who had a plan of action and set it into motion by a co-operative effort. Maybe the Classical Hellenes did have it correct about a pantheon of gods!  However, we must remember  what we human perceive as matter to these gods may be something different. But we also know that there exists in our quest for knowledge that something binds the atomic structure together while all else seems haphazard and chaotic inside the spatial nucleus. Can this be God's influence and "doing"  which makes atomic physics possible?

The questions are here. And only you, dear reader, can try to find your own individual answers. We are left alone  at the end. We can either sink or swim in our struggles.  And at the conclusion of our own existence we'd like to think that we join the multitudes of saints  who've gone before us. Our hysical bodies may disappear but do our thoughts and spiritual parts remain and get passed on to another dimension?

In conclusion our interpretation of the world accepts the factors which show why and how frustration prevents the attainment of our highest values and will, moreover, show that natural events and the "mistakes"  of evolution appear without mental entities being able to/or prevent each catastrophe.

I believe this makes super-beings more sympathetic to a suffering humanity than any other conception could possibly do. In my view god(s) need(s) the cooperation of all finite persons. We should encourage others and help all of us to be the most creative beings our natures permit. More than this may not be possible. We may base our conception and beliefs of god(s) through ideals and dreams and hope and faith. Where does this idealism come from? Most likely from God(s) who need us as co-creators to help make intelligible the "given" stuff of materialism.

If we don't want to believe in this view than what is left for us to accept? A basic mathematical materialism and and/or naturalistic process? For me, I think not. I'm urging all of us to look at the facts-and then existentially act as if St. Augustine's light of acceptance is urging us on to the salvation of faith. We need to respond to the hostile environment and the inhuman acts of evil perpetrators. Only then can we say that God is finding us; here we can either choose and accept or refuse God's will. By acting through the natural goodness of man and by influencing  and propelling us to "do the good," we might approach what we  can call salvation-the perfectibility of making the City on a Hill-and "heaven on earth."  


Robert Ehrlich is author of History of Man (Simon & Schuster, 1973), Industrial Sociology (Simon & Schuster, 1971), The Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza (Monarch, 1965), The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell (Monarch, 1966), and Twentieth-Century Philosophers (Monarch, 1965)


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