God is not Dead

Creative Commons Photo by Caio Basili

Recently, there has been another wave of “God is Dead” books, like DawkinsThe God Delusion“. An earlier wave took place when it became clear that traditional churches were dying out. The rise of the “new” spirituality was not yet obvious. The more recent wave seems to be more reactionary, the concern of some scientists to the growing wave of nonsense beliefs and magical thinking. Dangerous ideas like equating ‘quantum’ and ‘unified field’ to consciousness.

Unfortunately, many scientists are not well informed in this arena and have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater. From the outside, it’s not hard to confuse blind faith and spirituality or crazy beliefs with deep experience.

One of the more interesting blends we are seeing more and more of are those blending eastern philosophy with western scientific approach. I mentioned David Frawley in a recent article, a westerner steeped in eastern outlook. Deepak Chopra was raised Indian then trained as a western MD, blending the two and bringing eastern outlook and Ayurveda to the west. (although he seems to be slipping more into marketing than depth)

About 3 years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Amit Goswami speak on physics and consciousness. He was one of 5 physicists at a weekend conference on the subject and one of only 2 who really got it. John Hagelin was the other.  Amit was another raised Indian, then trained western. He taught university physics for decades and has published one of the more popular textbooks on quantum mechanics. He has also published a number of books such as The Self-Aware Universe and Physics of the Soul. Like many, personal challenges lead to his merging of eastern and western thought.

“Mystics, contrary to religionists, are always saying that reality is not two things -God and the world- but one thing, consciousness. … The problem with science has always been that most scientists believe that science must be done within a different monistic framework, one based on the primacy of matter. … quantum physics showed us that we must change that myopic prejudice of scientists, otherwise we cannot comprehend quantum physics. So now we have science within consciousness, a new paradigm of science based on the primacy of consciousness that is gradually replacing the old materialist science. … the new paradigm resolves many… paradoxes of the old paradigm and explains much anomalous data.”

These days Amit is retired and speaking at various conferences. At a November conference, he will be introducing a new book, God is Not Dead. The conference literature tells us:

“…[Amit] will present the new conceptual paradigm and experimental evidence for the existence of God. Most religions agree on three aspects of God: 1) God has creative causal efficacy, a power often called downward causation; 2) there are subtle bodies (vital energy body, mind, and the supramental “soul” besides the material body; and 3) to be ethical is important. Dr. Goswami will discuss indisputable scientific evidence for downward causation and the subtle bodies and sketch a science of ethics to help you to break free of a materialist view of reality to the fascinating quantum experience of God. To this end, Dr. Goswami will introduce the idea of quantum activism–how we must incorporate the message of the new science in the evolution of ourselves and our society.”

Personally, I find it remarkable that there is even any dispute. Leaving out any experience of the deeper values of what is, the existence of a creative intelligence that underlies our world is obvious if we are to but look. Intelligent life arose randomly, by accident? To me, that is magical thinking. No, I’m not suggesting Creationism or the absence of evolution. Only that there is an obvious ongoing flow of intelligence underlying all we experience. Without that, it would all dissipate. Indeed, it would never have passed rudimentary form in the first place.

But I also recognize I once subscribed to this thinking. It takes time and experience for our vistas to expand. I’m not remotely alone in this view. It is undeniable if you look. Many great scientists have incorporated a view of God in their perspective. This includes Einstein, Plank, Kelvin, Faraday, Newton, Descartes, Kepler, Galilei, Bacon, and so on. Most have what is known as an impersonal perspective, God as an underlying intelligence rather than some form.

Bacon, for example, established the scientific method. He rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy. “…when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.”  Einstein is famously quoted “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” He recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe, putting faith in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists“. He said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Today, spirituality has stepped out of the box of religion and is just finding it’s way. Looking to the deep history of the east, many find truth for themselves that revives their understanding and western faith. While sometimes sloppy, the effort is there to integrate eastern and western thought, science and faith, and day to day life and well-being with a deep spiritual connection.

There are also many people awakening now. This is dramatically deepening the insight and quality of this integration underway. As that awakening expands the group awareness more and more, the small thinking that cannot see the evident harmony and order will fall away and we will find the inner and outer peace that has eluded us for so long.

Long live God, who is life itself, deathless.
Davidya

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11 Responses to God is not Dead

  1. Laurie says:

    I have heard it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe there is a God. I believe that to be true.

    Please explain the following:
    There are also many people awakening now. This is dramatically deepening the insight and quality of this integration underway. As that awakening expands the group awareness more and more, the small thinking that cannot see the evident harmony and order will fall away and we will find the inner and outer peace that has eluded us for so long.

    What is the awakening? group awareness? harmony and order that will fall away?

  2. Davidya says:

    Hi Laurie
    I had not heard that but I can see the point.

    If you browse my blog, you will find other references to this. Many teachers are speaking of a dawning new age, an age of enlightenment, and so forth that is happening now. The signs are growing more obvious. 30 years ago, we had a few yogis telling us about awakening. Then we started getting more westerners awake. In the the last couple of years, I know several dozen who have woken and I run into more and more, sometimes helping people with the shift.

    As the numbers awake grow, it is having a major shift in how much awareness is expressed in the world. That makes it easier for more to awake and creates a powerful push.

    Keep in mind that there is no you and me. There is One awareness, expressing through these apparent forms. As the One becomes increasingly expressed, the whole thing is awakening. It is quite a remarkable time.

    Awakening refers to waking up to our true natures. Waking up from the illusion that I am separate. There are many words for it, like enlightenment. It is a change in who we perceive ourselves to be, a shift from thinking of ourselves as this body and mind, to being being itself, becoming that One awareness.

    Its the small thinking that falls away, allowing us to see the harmony and order of what is.

    I talk about the process a lot here, such as:
    http://davidya.ca/2008/08/28/states-of-consciousness/
    and
    http://davidya.ca/2008/06/02/10-steps-to-enlightenment/

    If all this is mumbo jumbo, you may find Eckhart Tolle’s intro easier. He did a historical series with Oprah i wrote several articles on. You can watch it online free:
    http://davidya.ca/2008/03/18/eckhart-on-oprah/

  3. Eric says:

    As always a wonderful post. May I recommend a truly insightful book that has influenced my journey? It is “The Tao Of Physics” by Fritzhof Capra. Apologies if the spelling of the author’s name is off, the book is not in front of me.
    Although I’d often been fascinated by Eastern thought and mysticism my core beliefs ran to empiricism and Western scientific methods of inquiry. As the idea that we are 99.99% empty space and not “solid” was hammered home to me by this author, it became clear that if one is to realize the reality of their being, to see through the illusion, other techniques were necessary.
    To go just a little further, Davidya, you and other bloggers of this genre have encouraged me to not merely use a different technique, but to ask the all-important question “Who is using this technique and who believes it will be helpful?” If I’ve got it wrong tell me, and I hope others will find the aforementioned book helpful. Peace to all.

  4. Davidya says:

    Thanks, Eric. Yes, I read that many years ago. I recall seeing it a conference a couple of years ago. They had released a 25th anniversary edition.

    One of the things to observe is that much of eastern thought is focused on the systematic exploration of the subjective, of consciousness. In other words, a science of consciousness. Some of that has been obscured by more recent interpretation, but the core framework remains.

    I might also ask you what is that empty space made of? This is not a question traditional science can answer but the above can in a systematic, reliable way. A way you can find out for yourself. But what can irritate a western scientist is that they discover that “objective” science is all within subjectivity. So objectivity alone is an illusion. But there is an objective subjectivity possible. And that is where truth is found, not where the rule of the observer is ignored.

    What you refer to is inquiry. This is indeed an important tool as it allows you to begin to recognize who is observing. You may like to read
    http://davidya.ca/2008/06/02/10-steps-to-enlightenment/
    Its a bit facetious, putting it in 10 steps, but it does touch on the key things you might look at.

  5. Eric says:

    Even before I had read much about quantum physics it occurred to me that there was no such thing as objectivity as it relates to any branch of knowledge. We are subjective creatures; we always bring something to the table. Principles of high energy physics only reinforced this belief. Ideas such as non-locality and the uncertainty principle suggested that observation of events at quanta levels and some expectation of outcomes influenced those outcomes.
    Then I began to really delve into a spiritual exploration of being and came to believe that there is an ultimate truth or reality the awareness of which would require a perceptual frame work that could only be thought of as objective.
    So now I am looking for that “Third side of the coin” as Adya calls it; that place where non-duality encompasses (and validates?) both view points.
    The “10 Steps” was a great read and I look forward to more blogs by you and others. But one cannot read their way to enlightenment, awakening, salvation, awareness, choose your term. Words and thoughts are but “symbols of symbols and therefore twice removed form reality”. So I’ll stop typing out symbols and get down to something real now. Thanks for your help. Peace to all.

  6. Davidya says:

    Hi Eric
    Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. That was quite insightful. Scientists for the most part consider their practice objective yet take little account of the impact they have on results.

    Yes, you are correct, a full objective subjectivity is possible. The “third side” is when the subject-object relationship collapses in Unity – they become same. There is no longer a “person” to muddy the water.

    This is a big enough subject that it requires its own post. Will do.

    Yes, awakening is a process of becoming. There is an old Sanskrit proverb – Knowledge in books remains in books.

  7. Pingback: True Objectivity « In 2 Deep

  8. bwinwnbwi says:

    As you say: “Personally, I find it remarkable that there is even any dispute. Leaving out any experience of the deeper values of what is, the existence of a creative intelligence that underlies our world is obvious if we are to but look…that there is an obvious ongoing flow of intelligence underlying all we experience. Without that, it would all dissipate. Indeed, it would never have passed rudimentary form in the first place.” I’m one of those you refer to as awakening in the process of becoming and here’s how far I’ve come so far (thanks for the post):

    Brian Swimme, the cosmologist, believes that “the universe is attempting to be felt”, which makes him a pantheist, someone who believes the cosmos in its entirety can be called God, and I agree. But, for me, logic structures the entire universe, not just the physical universe. This structure, on the micro level, causes the participation problems found in quantum physics as it also causes, on the macro level, the “factual (affirming) observations” that define our familiar world–the world of continuity, determinism and locality. It other words, within the framework of this structure, predictable micro world phenomena is made logically consistent with macro world phenomena. This structure gives birth to our consciousness of logic, language, creativity, inquiry, analysis, conscience, and imagination. This structure not only fuzzies up the world at the quantum level of physics, but, embedded as it is in the aesthetic continuum, connects us to the ineffable, emotional, moving quale that constitutes what is meant by spirit and the spiritual. According to F. S. Northrop, “This is the portion of human knowledge that can be known without recourse to inference and speculative hypotheses and deductive logic, and epistemic correlations and rigorously controlled experiments. This we have and are in ourselves and in all things, prior to all theory, before all speculation, with immediacy and hence with absolute certainty.” [F. S. C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West, p.462]

  9. Davidya says:

    Thanks for your comments and the notable quotes. I couldn’t tell you what sort of “-ist” I am. On subjects like this, direct experience is far more valuable than intellectual constructs. It also puts everything in context.

  10. bwinwnbwi says:

    Hi again. After reading all of the above, I realize my communication skills need some work (improvement is possible I hope). I’ve been posting on my own blog my struggle with the above kinds of issues. I’m finished with that now so I started visiting other blogs. After hurrying my comments on blogs of related material, I’ve returned to read (not skim) the blogs where I left a comment. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your work and thoughtful comments. I also know God is not dead, and whatever else God is, God resides in you, me, and even in those people who I choose to avoid. If I have anything to contribute to the conversation, it is –that God is here inside everything and it is possible, logically, to describe God as such. The logic part is very important to me because it provides a basis from which to say “this is good because”, so what is is good? Well, among other things, freedom, life, questioning, reasoning, compassion (God is in everything), beauty, love, and…… . There, I feel better now, and I am off to revisit my other comments, but probably not today. I am not yet retired, but soon will be. Oh, by the way it’s not a question of which sort “ist” a person is–the question is if God is everything I said God is and God is already inside you, then what would God do in is X or Y or Z situation. Thanks again for all that you do!

  11. Davidya says:

    Hi again. No criticism was intended. I was simply musing on the discourse around beliefs out there.

    And not to worry. It takes practice to find your voice and writing style. And even there, it is an ongoing development. I still need to learn to leave it to the main points. (laughs) But you’re doing it – that’s the main thing.

    I agree that God is within everything and everyone. As I’ve written more recently, God is also right on the surface. But that takes a much deeper relationship to see.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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