I heard Krista speak with Doug Fabrizio on Radio West on 4/19/2010. I replied to the following comment that appeared on the Radio West blog after the show. Krista says that its time that some of us come out of the closet and this is my attempt. I am motivated to submit this post because of how it ties in with the debate on science vs. religion, Einstein’s god, inexplicable autistic gifts and perhaps your Speaking of Faith program that will air next week on math as a language. I know that I write in figurative terms, but I wonder and hope that my specific points are understandable.
The comment:“I enjoyed the program today but was frustrated I couldn't confront Tippetts. Of course there is a conflict between science and religion. Science deals with empirical subjective fact and religion is based on belief without evidence. How does one know that God exists and how does one know WHICH God exists...Thor, Zeus, Allah, Jehova? You cannot claim to know the truth without empirical evidence. So called spiritual feelings of awe, mystery etc. are manifestations of our own biological functions whether we fully understand them or not, there's absolutely nothing that give evidence of a supernatural influence from outside our own senses. Tippets dismissal of Dawkins, Harris and others as being outside of the conversation totally misrepresents them. None of them claim to KNOW that there is no God, they are simply asking for the evidence and none has so far been presented except in the form of the God of gaps. We don't know, its a mystery so there must be a God and he did it, that is simply not satisfactory to a rational scientific mind!”
If there is a creator, there can be no conflict between religion and science. The book of science is the evolved Old Testament: the book of principles, laws and consequence. Einstein searched for these eternal verities. Einstein searched for unity. Einstein recognized god, but not the God of the Bible. Einstein believed in the God of Spinoza, the God of America's founding document and the God of my faith. We believe in the Laws of Nature and in Nature’s God.
Krista speaks of incomplete religion. Incomplete religions deny the validity of empirical evidence, but you, on the other hand, are giving it a credence it does not deserve. Empiricism is the measuring and collecting of quantifiable data; this is the science of Aristotle and Bacon; facts are first collected and categorized; then relationships are discovered. Einstein’s science, on the other hand, was to theorize first and empirically fortify or disprove later. Einstein's science was rationality, not empiricism. Empirical evidence can never completely verify theory, it can only disprove theory. Empirical evidence cannot prove the existence of your mind, your consciousness, or your awareness, let alone God’s; case in point, Terri Schiavo.
More evolved religions understand that God has no name. I consider the holiest book of spirituality to be the Tao Te Ching, which directly correlates to the New Testament of the Bible, and it states, “The Tao that can be named is not the nameless Tao. The Tao that can be known is not the unknowable Tao. Nameless and unknowable, the Tao has been from the very beginning. It is the wisdom of all that is and the way of the Great Mother.” This is a very advanced understanding of the mind and its limitations and it was apparently understood somewhere around the time of, Lao Tzu, the Buddha, and Socrates. Our rationality, our experience, our facts are always one degradation away from that which is. Symbolized language or the written Word is at least three degradations from that which is.
The ancient Hebrews also recognized this. I was taught as a second grader in Catechism that God’s name was Yahweh meaning “I am who am”: a nameless awareness, perhaps a consciousness. Yahweh was written, YHWH, and I see it as a symbol, unspeakable. It is not that we are not good enough to utter the sound but its symbolism for our inability to understand its totality. Reality does not exist within a gap; the gap is our mind's inability to comprehend all that is. Out from beyond the gap comes all sense of spirituality, but also all sense of understanding, all sense of science.
Harris and Dawkins cling to a definition of God, just as the Fundamentalist do, and both bicker back and forth about empiricism, which cannot prove anything. It really is old news.
I am one that has experiences of awe. I naturally learned to enter them by turning off the intellect and emptying the mind. As I come out of them, I am presented with vivid pictorials, a spiritual hieroglyphics, a primary language. This is a universal language, only one degradation from that which is; it is the language of wisdom, the language of eternity and infinitude, of poetry and art, of being. This is the language of the feminine aspect of God, of God the Mother.
After having had these experiences, while reading, I could recognize when others had experienced them. I recognized that Emerson had them. In Emerson’s “Nature” he writes, "The world is emblematic. Parts of speech are metaphors, because the whole of nature is a metaphor, of the human mind.----the axioms of physics translates the law of ethics---This relation between mind and matter is not fancied by some poet, but stands in the will of God, and so is free to be known by all men. It appears to men, or it does not appear. When in fortunate hours we ponder this miracle, the wise man doubts, if, at all other times, he is not blind and deaf:” Emerson called this knowledge of the 'so called' gaps, genius.
As a kid, I was naturally good at mathematics. When one uses the intellect to focus, when one loses all sense of self in the object, when one enters that state of flow where you, the observer, and objective reality are one, this is extreme science and vivid equations can and do present themselves. Math is a primary language, a universal language, only one degradation from that which is; it is the language of intelligence, the language of space and time, of motion and design, of separation. Math is the language of the masculine nature of God, the language of God the Father. In my readings on Einstein, I can see that he had these “flow” experiences and he called it imagination.
I remember listening to a radio show, probably on NPR, and there was a British autistic man, Daniel Tammet, who could sing the numerals of ‘pi’ without pause or calculation for hours and hours. Without the knowledge of the gaps, you cannot explain this. He stated that he can do this because he sees each number as an image with color and shape. He can see the landscape of ‘pi’ and he translates the numerals. He sings the notes. This is the Language of the Mother, spoken in the language of the Father; it is music to our ears. This is where science and spirituality meet. This is where outer space meets inner space, where the heart beats with the mind, where the masculine and the feminine intertwine. This is where concepts are conceived. I call it reason.
This is an experience of the sacred, the source of truth and the conception of religion. It is as close to knowing as we can ever get and perhaps it is true knowing. Every individual can grasp this truth. The gap may or may not involve a God, but it does contain knowledge of the individual and how that individual relates to the whole. The gap contains values and virtues, ethics and morality, meaning and purpose; and from it will come a true and a tangible religion, which in actuality, is a true and a tangible justice, a justice, not just of rules and revenge, but a justice of burning, passionate, positive action: actions resulting in the good, actions that are healthy for the individual as well as the whole, Plato's ideal 'Good', the Christian's, 'Kingdom of God', the Buddhist', 'Nirvana', right here on earth, 'E Pluribus Unum'.
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