Late at night, lying in bed, with the sounds of cars and trucks whizzing by, my mind will wander. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be a superhero. Sometimes I wonder about being the president. Every so often the idea of God comes into my head and I drift off to sleep wondering about the complexities of an invisible creator. I can’t say that I’m religious. I have nothing against those who look to a church, synagogue, mosque, or fairy circle for their higher power, just as I have nothing against those who look to science. My musings lead me to wonder if all of those different aspects are exactly the point. What if the question isn’t who is right, but rather, how does it all fit together?
Imagine this if you will, there is a God of some sort. If you believe it should be easy, if you don’t just play pretend. This God created the entire universe. A vast space, infinite, and unending filled with impeccably running cogs. Every planet orbiting a star, which exists in a galaxy, each create the knots of every branch of Yggdrasil, the tree of life. While the Tree of Life concept comes from the all over that particular name comes from the Vikings. If you’ve ever seen the end credits of Marvel’s Thor, you’ll get the idea. So what if it’s true? What if the pagans that worshiped the moon held the piece of the puzzle about gravity and the relationship of cosmic bodies to Earth? The majority of believers were converted into something else. What if science and spirituality are two sides of the same coin? The truth that God could be found in a church or an atom. What if that bridge was lost in a colonized culture? What if every single thing that every person believed is all a part of a larger picture and we’re just too small to see the whole thing? Like the solar systems in the galaxies in the knots on the branches of the tree of life, what if we can’t see the whole picture until we’re so far away, that we’re standing next to God him(her)self.
If, for the sake of argument, this is true than with each divide we travel further and further from enlightenment. With every us versus them argument we lose a little truth for the sake of being right.
DeCarte had the notion of it, I think there for I am gradually morphed into, to paraphrase, the only way the notion of a higher power could enter our minds is to be placed there by one itself. While this isn’t singular scientific proof I understand where the philosopher was coming from. Human beings are by nature arrogant. After rising to the top of the food chain we began systematically to destroy the natural world in favor of our own comforts and desires, shiny metals and sky scrapers mainly. We are not the sort to willingly think of anything or anyone above us. In fact, we make it a point to create our own superiority. A tiger can kill us, easily, but guns can kill them. An earthquake can demolish our cities, but stronger metals and an understanding of physics and geometry can limit the catastrophic loss. No we are not the sorts of creatures to submit to a higher authority. Now I urge you to bear with me. Lets follow this train of thought to fruition. What if our potential was set by this higher power? Every thought, every advancement the product of a divine inspiration if you will, a waypoint in human evolution. What we are incapable of now we were not meant to achieve, yet. Take for example space travel. Were we meant to discover the wonders of other galaxies first hand, the knowledge to achieve such means would present itself in one mind or another. The fact that it has not is the guiding hand in our achievements. Yes I do believe in a power greater than myself. I don’t pretend to know the particulars, but the notion that we are not alone in this vast space and that what ever it is out there or up there that tends our tree of life is enough for me. It is with this in mind that I find myself able to accept many things in this world.
One of my greatest pleasures in this world is reading, to the tune of over one hundred books a year. From Pride and Prejudice, to Harry Potter, to the Koran, to Time Magazine’s Top 100 List, to Ready Player One, my tastes are eclectic. It is with this hobby that I’ve come upon a wonderful passage in the Big Book of Alcoholics, which is actually a wonderful guide for everyone regarding human behavior. On page 417 there is a segment about acceptance.
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, situation, some fact of my life is unacceptable to me. And I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
Take the pro life versus pro choice arguments. These could be simply avoided by adopting the passage above. What I find unacceptable is actually a deficiency in myself. It’s very simple, should I not agree with abortion, don’t have one. If you don’t believe in Yahweh or Allah, don’t; stick with Jesus. If the opposite is true, rock on. With such acceptance comes peace in the place of war, a preservation of cultures in the place of modern day colonization. Informative and constructive debate on opinions with out the hatred we see in Facebook comments and finally a responsibility to act better and improve our own circumstances. Put down the protest signs and get out to the voting booths more than every four years. We are accountable for our own world. In fact this is a sentiment in all religious texts. We are to be less concerned with the do’s and don’ts of our neighbors and more in the world that [insert deity’s name here] created.
Human beings live to name, to categorize, and to organize. We need a title for everyone and everything. Ideally those categories would bring simply knowledge. Unfortunately, human beings are flawed. We turn organization in to sides. Then we pick sides and fight each other, over words. God created skin to protect our insides, human beings decided which pigmentation was better or worse. God created love, human beings decided which love was acceptable and which was an abomination. The sad truth is that if something could create a perfectly running universe, than a little gay loving isn’t exactly an unexpected surprise. Nor is someone’s skin color. Or, pause for dramatic effect, their religious beliefs.
Wiccans can teach us about balance. The same can be said for science. For every action there is an equal yet opposite reaction. Think about Disney’s The Sword and The Stone for a moment. “For every up there is a down, for every square there is a round, for every high there is a low, for every to there is a fro. To and fro, stop and go, that’s what makes the world go round.” Dark versus light, wrong versus right, no matter what you believe the same themes are found in every holy book or ancestral story.
Together we make up a beautiful chance to reach a level of knowledge that will allow for humans to experience the vast universe in such different yet beautiful ways. Whether it is the knowledge that we are utterly alone and only have each other to rely on or the knowledge that there is other life looking for us as well to connect. We have a chance to be so much more than we are, if we could only stop hating the differences long enough to appreciate the beautiful uniqueness it is to be a life in this world.