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God is All Around Me

December 20, 2011

God is a very important concept to me. From my eariest memories, there seemed to be an other-ness to everything. What was this life I had recently entered not so long ago, I would secretly ask myself? The blue sky and the colorful flowers everywhere and the bright yellow sun in the sky. They were all a marvel to me. Life was a good experience. It was something to be embrassed. As I grew, I came to know more about the Catholic faith my family was a part of. Though the cathedral we occasionally sat in during mass was interesting, I found the organization itself to be lost in its endeavor to understand God. The central church figures of Jesus and Mary didn’t completely help me to understand God any easier. God, the Father, was supposed to be sitting in Heaven somewhere and looking down upon us, while we give thanks to Jesus (God) for dying on the Cross for us. That was all nice, but it really didn’t explain my own existence very well, nor all the things that were already in the world when I was born. Why was I given life at this time in history, with my current family, in a quiet suburbe of New York City, living in my particular house. While I am wanting to understand me more, the church is saying all that doesn’t matter as long as you are “saved”. Jesus loves me and that is all I need to concern myself with. That, in addition to all the things they want me to know at school. My learning abilities were hampered at an early age, where my understanding of the world was scattered. What was my future to be? How long would it be before I’m an adult, able to live on my own, and required to work for my living? We have so many questions entertaining us as kids. They weren’t just annoying questions. I truly wanted to know how I was to live my life.

As I grew older, answers to my questions would slowly be answered. My ongoing learning disabilities forced me to live isolated from people. I had some friends as a teenager, but with a relocation to the Midwestern part of the United States, I found starting over again to be a challenge. We moved to a developing area surrounded by cornfields, chicken farms, and unfinished subdivisions. I didn’t understand the vernacular of the Midwestern middleschoolers with runaway hormones. The concept of school popularity was new and something I would learn quickly. I wasn’t considered ‘cool’ enough for girls to hang around me, but I didn’t care since only a year earlier boys wanted to keep as far from girls as possible. It just wasn’t in our vernacular to want to be affectionate with girls, put your arms around them and act as though we were married. Back when I was living on Long Island, we knew girls in our neighborhood we were friend with, but our primary association with them was getting rides to school. Sometimes, boys would get flack from other boys just for that. So, within a few short years of my middleschool years, I’d be forced to play the game of life by a new set of rules. Life became harder for me, just by the act of a relocation to a different part of the country. Where was this God now? I wanted to believe. The priests seemed sincere during their homilies about the need to follow Christ, to make Christ an intricate part of life. Religion wasn’t so much in the business about learning about the physical world around us as it was the chance to live a meaningful and positive life within this universe of splender.

As an adult, that thirst for knowing God was still with me. The need for God is more prevalent when humans are faced with uncertainies. When life is good and we feel secure, the need to understand God is less important. We have a good job, we’re making adequate income, we have people that we love and who loves us in our lives. Things are good. Life is good. When there is uncertainty in our lives are the times we search for deeper meanings. Who am I? Why was I given this life–to experience unending problems? What does the future hold for me?

I have faced uncertainies about my future ever since I was in high school. My grades were poor (despite me working very hard to do well), I had few friends, I had become withdrawn and hopelessly introverted, and I felt all alone in the world. My future seemed very uncertain. I wanted to go to college. Would I be going to college and getting a degree? The idea seemed doubtful at the time. There was much in this life I wanted to experience. I wanted to travel around the country and abroad. There were a bunch of things, like art and writing I wanted to do. Would I (the person who couldn’t even carry out the simplest of conversations with others) do any of these? It seemed doubtful at that point. My family and I were still going to church every week. I kept praying for something of meaning to come into my life. We still believed in some kind of God. Where was this God we kept praying to? Was he really there? I was starting to have doubts. There were kids at school who probably didn’t go to churc(h or believed in God at all–or who hardly gave it a thought) who were doing better than I was with grades, direction, and with friends. I didn’t have any of these, even though I was a believer.

Over the last 20 years, God has been an important entity in my life. I no long think about God in terms of how the church believes. I think of God in terms of “Divine Intelligence” rather than there is a person sitting “up there” somewhere looking down upon us. I believe that is an image created by humanity to give God a “face”. Most people didn’t understand the nature of the universe over 2000 years ago. They just thought all space beyond this planet was simply an extension of the sky. The stars didn’t exist millions of miles away, but were simply pinwholes with light shining through the holes (from Heaven). So, God was up there and watching us. Now we know that the universe is vast with billions of stars and galaxies, with celestial bodies moving around each other. We know that the light that shines from distant stars takes millions of years to reach us. The universe operates in a perfect harmony though. It’s like a beautiful symphony of physics, with light rays dancing about and atoms and molecules doing their things. To me, there is still room for an invisible hand of intelligence guiding everything. The question of where everything comes from still baffle physicists. Many are forced to admit that there is no rational answer to that question. God is not a rational concept though. I believe it is the link between science and religion. Divine Intelligence is how everything came to be and how everything continues to function.

And what about us? What does this mean for us humans? We are spiritual beings that happen to be trapped in these fleshy mechanisms. These bodies are slaves to the physical universe. They are made up of billions of atoms, molecules, and cells. We live for a time, we age, and then they cease to live. We need food to live. The body goes thought a number of physical behaviors. They are made from the stuff of the universe. The mind, though, is another matter. We are minds that harbors a number of behaviors that include thoughts, feelings, emotions, and a variety of reactions to the outside world. There is a question, though, if the mind (the soul) is something the same or different from the body. We feel happiness or anger do to a variety of chemical reactions, as is taught by some scientists, but where did the need to express a particular emotion orginate? When we learn to quiet the body and the mind, through practices like meditation, we can better know ourselve, why we react in certain ways. It is believed that our individual minds are connected to the Divine Intelligence. We are a reaction to the creative forces of the universe, and like the forces that control the universe, we can learn to bring creative forces into our little lives. It takes dedication and a lot of work, but the person who meditates can find these truths out for themselve.

I will write more about this in the future.

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