I recently finished reading God, A Human History by Reza Aslan. I am a fan of his writing. I feel he writes history to the best the historical truth can be determined and that he is fair enough to tell us when he makes educated-speculations. I was intellectually stimulated reading this book and his other books as well.
I have no desire to convert you to any religion or spiritual practice. My belief is that there is one true path to heaven, but each individual has their own one true path. My belief is that the true path involves being wholly yourself as far as humanly possible. It is only in pursuit of your own answers to your own deeper questions that you are willing to evolve emotionally, intellectually and spiritually with a whole and open heart.
As far as heaven goes, I believe we live in and participate in heaven right now in the present—it is a lack of understanding (or acceptance) that veils eyes to this placement. We are human, with human frailties and desires that cause a wish for something other than what is before us. (I wish 70% cacao chocolate bars were a super-food that met all my day’s nutritional requirements.) Plus there is a lot of tradition we are indoctrinated into in our youth that tells us heaven is an other worldly, extra special, reward place.
In the book, once Aslan’s human time line reaches the Sufi Mystics a concept is expressed called wahadat al-wujud, or the Unity of Being (page 163 of the book). All things are god or all things are part of god. The closest I have come to reading the Sufi Mystics is reading Coleman Barks’ translation of the poet Rumi. So not much at all. It turns out I have believed in the Unity of Being for many, many years, but never learned a name for the concept or created my own word for it. I am god. You are god. The air I breathe is god. The chair I sit on is god. My computer that I type this blog entry upon is god. So is the electricity that spirits this blog entry to the internet is god. And so on. And so on and on.
I find Unity of Being makes applying the Golden Rule in its two forms much easier. It is much simpler for me to strive to treat all people with dignity, courtesy and honesty when I see them as god. The same goes for animals and the land. Being human, I have my bad days where I am ungracious or worse. But, knowing I have bad days makes it easier to understand that other people have bad days as well and get past any slight or harsh words. The whole gamut of human emotions is still part of my day, but reducing ego in the daily equation of myself is an easier task with the Unity of Being in mind.
Many years ago I realized that when I die, my atoms do not cease to exist. My atoms transfer to other things after I die. The sixty percent of an adult human being that is water, after death, becomes part of clouds, rain, rivers, is drunk by some animal or person and becomes part of that animal or person for a time. The water molecules keep up the journey about the earth for all of time, unless some massive force rips the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom. The atoms remain whole, though. It is like atoms of all varieties are on a great adventure to become a part of as many beings as possible during the duration of all time as we understand time—which is a tricky thing to understand.
There was a period when I believed god was best described as that combination of the weak and strong interactions, electromagnetism and gravity that influence atomic particles. My knowledge of the physics is a layman’s knowledge and being artistic with imagination it is a fancy of mine to place god as the non-substantial (spiritual) influence that affects bodies as small as quarks and as large as super-galaxies. I don’t know quite how the Higgs boson (aka: God-particle) fits in this, but that pondering may become a future blog entry.
Belief being belief, does not have concrete, provable answers. There is no mathematical proof of Unity of Being. No observation experiment gives evidence to Unity of Being. At my core, in my heart, I believe it is true. But not so true that I would deny evidence of a truth when that evidence presents itself. At least I hope I don’t deny it.
Due to Unity of Being, I have not fully resolved an inner conflict toward swatting the pesky mosquito and knowing I just crushed part of god into a smear on my arm that I will wash away with soap and water down the drain. The atoms transfer to some bacteria at the drain-water treatment plant, so maybe it is okay—part of God’s plan.
I am half way through Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. It is hard to consider the Norse Gods as gods. What a bunch of privileged, spoiled brats who brag about cheating and manipulating others. It is difficult to determine why the giants did not wipe them out. The giants seem perfectly capable of wiping them out. Why did the elves and dwarfs (dark elves) having anything to do with the Norse Gods? Why create and give to them one single item of power? I can’t figure it out. I may not finish the book.