Friday, April 20, 2012

The Mind of God Part 5: Organized Nations

 The Mind of God Part 5: Organized Nations

Organizations exist all over and have forever. That's no surprise to anyone. Organized Religion has existed all over and forever as well, but for some strange reason it's viewed and treated differently than an average organization like, say, Invisible Children or any number of volunteer organizations. Corporations are even considered organizations, Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, and Fannie Mae just to name the fortune 500 top 5.

Hopefully, you catch my drift. Organizations are like organisms to a certain degree, like organs. The root, "organ" of all these words really means, "that with which one works." All of these things, organs, organisms, and organizations really mean, on a root level, the same thing. They work to perform functions and to generate outcomes. Pretty plain and simple.

But when you hear the words "organized religion" it's usually uttered with a sneer or a nasty sort of tone, or with disdain. In fact, I don't know of anyone who belongs to an organized religion who actually refers to it as such. I think they'd be more inclined to believe that they do not, and that they rather belong to a Universal truth more so than to an organization. If you said, "What Religion are you?" And someone said, "Christian", and you followed with, "That's a pretty big organized Religion." I doubt that their following comment would be, "Yes. Yes it is."

A lot of people resent organized Religion because it carries with it the knowledge that those who do the organizing are usually men. Not just humans, but more often than not the males of our species. Organized Religion showcases how men take something relatively broad, that could mean any number of things, or means a very specific set of things, and turn it into something that is used to control large masses of people. They're given the dogma to live by, the rules and regulations, the requirements and sacrifices that must be made in order to please whatever God it is that they believe in, whether that God is God, power, money, etc. If the rules are followed closely and carefully then Heaven, or whatever reward you've been promised, usually awaits on the other side or even now and in this life. If the rules are strayed from or broken repeatedly, or ignored by non/unbelievers and doubters then eternal pain and suffering can be expected at the end of this life or exile from a social group/organization.

Organized Religion is a good way to get people in line do what you want them to do. But then again, isn't that every organization?

Where people come into conflict with God is in their subconscious connecting of him to organized Religions, despite none of them even being able to accurately represent him. They're all taking shots at explaining him, at trying to convey him correctly, but because God is not fully understandable by the human mind, then it's a fact that no organization could ever portray/convey him with 100% certainty and accuracy. Many would say they can and that they do, but it's impossible and foolish to believe as such. It's men creating parameters that they swear God exists within. But these are parameters created by humans, not by God. Remember the God box? (It should be broken by now.)

Part two, about the undeniable fact that all of us are judges and hypocrites and that it's okay, is meant to show that judgment, as well as a lot of other innate "flaws" are simply a part of our human nature and again, something we can work to go against because we can, because we're that powerful; we can actively seek to be better people. But none of us are born into sin, with original sin or are born flawed, rather were born into human nature which is much more an animalistic nature than that which we can aspire to be. But it's in our judging, in our need to classify and belong to groups, that we have organizations. Therefore it is in our nature to belong to organizations. And all organizations, from social groups to corporations to Religion, all tend to act and work within those same basic parameters. They all have written or unwritten rules about how things work, and ultimately, how people who belong to or associate with that group should behave. If these rules are disobeyed or met with resistance or met by a person who seems inherently different from how they operate, then there are consequences. Whether people are kicked out of the group, shunned, looked down upon, looked at strangely, etc., it just goes to show that organizations all function on the same basic level, to a certain degree. Once we get into specifics, then we start to feel that organizations have individuality, but at their core, they're all incredibly similar.

What sets certain organizations apart from others, what makes people perceive organized Religion with hostility and non-profit organizations with admiration, is two simple things: intent and tactics.

Intent is the inner emotion that begins an organization, the feelings people hold so dearly and truly that they wish to spread like wildfire in the hope of changing the world. Tactics are the methods in which you go about trying to convey your intentions. Given that we are all humans, our tactics are relatively limited. There have only been so many ways that we can actually go about doing things, go about sharing our word. (Yes, even "sharing the word" is a practical way of saying what all organizations wish to do, get bigger, gain more members, further spread their intentions.) Because of this, organizations are inevitably tied together on that base of similarity because, when broken down and observed enough and with a clear mind, we see that the tactics are limited and used by everyone. But it's those tactics blended with the intent that causes us to come away with judgment and creates the "individuality" of an organization.

Individuality exists only to a degree and I wouldn't actually call it individuality. Since everything shares such a vital and broad sameness, then it would be more appropriate to say there is less individuality amongst different organizatons and more commonality. The tactics define the commonality whereas the intent suggests the individuality. This is how two diametrically opposed groups can actually share common ground. It's like a venn diagram, where the two spaces on the far left and right are the two opposing organizations, inside these opposing spaces is their constrasting intent, how they actually differ, and the blended oval in the center is the tactics they use that because of their human nature they must inherently share. It's not to say that Hate and Love are incredibly similar, but that those who wish to spread Love or disseminate Hatred sometimes do so by using the same tactics.

I see people holding signs on Hollywood Boulevard all the time saying "The End is Nigh", "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life", "Repent", etc. The Westboro Baptist Church is notoriously known for their bitterly ignorant "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for 9/11", and "Pray for more Dead Soldiers", just to name a few. Then look at groups like the various occupy movements, or any form of protest for the matter. Signs being used to communicate a point, to communicate their intent. All of these organizations, despite having different intent, share the exact same tactics. Why? Because the tactic is the human nature aspect, the intent is learned, taught, and influenced.

Now, without offending an incredible amount of people, I need to ask you to go with me on an example to really illustrate my point clearly and to hopefully open some eyes. The organization Invisible Children and its opponent, Joseph Kony, have two drastically different intents. One positive, loving, and seeking to change the world for the better, the other the exact opposite, desiring bloodshed and power. Violence and weapons aside, they both share some tactical common ground on a very basic level. Both utilize young people to communicate their point and do their bidding. (Bidding in it's dictionary sense, not sinister sense. To do the will or desire of the organization, plain and simple.)

Again, don't take my example as me saying that Invisible Children is actually the same as Joseph Kony, but it's important to understand how humans operate as tactical animals and that those tactics, and the originality of "new" tactics, is really a rouse. We've been using the same tactics to do a variety of things since the beginning of time.

I don't believe we can be born as evil, bad, or hateful people. I don't believe people are born "hating fags" or even that they're born believing in Jesus. To the same degree no one is born with the awareness of how wall street works or with the knowledge of corruption in politics. We're born as a happy blank slate, as I like to think. We're born inherently tolerant because we do not understand intolerance. Without parental influence, a child will befriend another regardless of skin color. We're born as concordant beings, not discordant ones. By nature we actively seek concordance, because of influence we discover the choice to actively choose discordance. By utilizing my own rhetoric from part one, this means that humans are born inherently good and that being bad is a learned trait. We are good by nature.

That being said, when you start to understand that the intent of an organization is what drives its members to do things is when you start to become able of formulating judgments and opinions of them. Though we all utilize the same tactics, our intentions define how we use them. How many times have you heard someone say about someone who has just screwed up, "Yes, well s/he had good intentions" or, "S/he meant well." Sometimes people do things that seem stupid, but at their core are genuinely good people. They may be different from you, but just because someone belongs to an organization that you don't does not make them evil. More than anything, organizations mislead people because of their intent. If we're all born as happy blank slates, then the intent of a baby could never be to promote discordance, but rather the natural concordance that resides within it.

Understanding that every single individual on earth is in some way, shape, or form part of at least one or several more organizations (yes, including you, you rebel you) means if we're willing to break it down we can find common ground amongst all humans, and when we analyze the heart of a person, their intent, that's where you learn to draw your differences in personality, where you make your judgments. But because we are all connected on that low level, it's as if we resonate on the same frequency, that really, if you listen closely, we all make the same sounds because we're derived from the same thing, born of the same energy. We're all cut from the same cloth and we all bleed red. There is no black, white, red, or brown, there is only the blood that courses through the veins of all humans and all living animals. As we have evolved into a race of self aware animals who hold a special place amongst the rest of the animal kingdom, it should be obvious that we shouldn't waste this.

As we wind down on this series of posts (two left), my biggest submission lies here, in this point; that energy that runs through each of us, that gives us our individuality and simultaneously or commonality means that we are all at once unique and the same, that we're distinctly different from all other humans and also distinctly similar, and what a beautiful contradiction that is. We should embrace our individuality as we see it through the prism of our commonality. The energy that gives way to the matter that makes up our being is God. Here he is, for the first time or once again. God does not command you but is in you regardless, experiencing his infinite potential through the seemingly contradictory existence of you and all other humans, animals, and matter. And if this God, a being of infinite potential, has created you "in his image" that is only to imply that he has created you, by his own nature which has now become yours, as a corcordant being. One who creates is by definition concordant, not discordant. Because of my prior and consistent terminology, this, within the confines of my arguments, strongly suggests what I set out to in the beginning, that because concordance is synonymous with agreeable harmony and peace makes it synonymous with Love, and because God is a concordant being then this would prove that, to make it much simpler, God is Love. And because he is, you are, thus you too are Love. You are goodness.

So let it be written, so let it be done. To quote my Mom, who's words were unclear until now, get out there and "Do good." It's what you were made for.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Mind of God Part 4: The Necessity of Science

The Mind of God Part 4: The Necessity of Science

Staunch Atheists and Religious Zealots are two sides of the same coin. I believe in the coin.

There is no such science or Religion, nor will there ever be a science or Religion, that can prove or disprove the existence of God. Rather there is only rhetoric manipulating science or Religion to fit its mold. Science states, rhetoric coaxes.

Those are just a few thoughts I let rattle around in my brain fairly often, the first one being a more vague, proverbial way of saying exactly what the second one says. The important point being that, rather than arguing about one side of the coin being right over the other side, why not argue on behalf of the whole coin? If science is heads and Religion is tails, or vice versa, and they are opposites, then they are still part of the same coin but refuse to see where they share common ground.

I think the term Spirituality gets a bit of flack for being too closely representative of "Religion", but I think it's important to draw a distinct separation between these two things. I am a firm believer that many elements of Religion are relatively unnecessary; the man made aspects. I say relatively because it is not wholly unecessary or entirely bad. Next week's focus is going to be on organizations, organized Religion being a big part of that, but the importance that people have a social group to belong to that is comprised of its own doctrine and dogma invented by humans. We all have these groups, Religion is simply one of them, and being against organized Religion is a bit of a silly position because it's ultiumately like saying you're against social groups that are unlike yours, against organizations unlike yours, and that's synonymous with prejudice.

But Spirituality is important, and I think different from Religion because it's the acknowledgement of things going on beyond science, or beyond the realm of our understanding, and allowing the possibility for hypotheses to prove or attempt to prove the things that we will never know or fully understand. It's giving your best shot at comprehending the ultimate "Why?" to the Universe. If the Big Bang, then why the Big Bang? If zero-point energy then why zero-point energy? It allows for the questions and acknowledgment of wonderment to exist without being limited to the confines of any Religious dogma or doctrine. To me, Spirituality is the purest form of our pursuit of God. You're not trying to limit him to what books say you should believe, you're open to understanding what he is based on going with the flow of the incredible things that occur in the Universe and appreciating them for their science and their, at times, indescribable beauty.

In Part One I used to example of people disproving the existence of God simply because observing him is not within our observable scope, and anything that exists outside of that scope must not exist because we cannot observe it. That's a little naive and, quite frankly, upsets me that scientists would hault their innate ability and desire to explore as scientists. If the purpose of science is to find reasons and explanations for that which we do not yet know, and to try and make sense of them, then ruling something out based on your affliction to Religion is foolish. For the sake of science, do away with Religion and embrace potential spirituality. For within spirituality is the potential for bigger, broader, and better science that can pave the path to greater understanding and appreciation for our Universe.

That being said, this is ultimately about embracing science as an absolute necessity toward appreciating the "Why?" factor, or God. God, in this case, is the why factor, the question that inevitably and necessarily exists beyond what we can observe. There will come a limit to our human understanding, but if science dictates and we agree that we are relatively limited beings, or animals, then clearly we cannot accept that our undertsnading is the be all, end all to comprehending the Universe. We're minute pieces of the pie who live on a pale blue dot, a mote of dust floating on a sun beam, to paraphrase Carl Sagan. But whatever gave way to everything else going on in all of existence is clearly bigger than our brains and bigger than our abilities of limited comprehension.

But science is the key to unlocking these mysteries. A lot of Religions are in conflict with science because, in a gist, they accuse it of trying to explain away the marvels of the Lord. Staunch creationists for instance believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old. There are people I know and have spoken with who believe Dinosaurs never existed and that scientific proof of them is not really proof at all, but God testing our faith in him. To take this one step further, there are even groups who, in order to make all their beliefs about God fit inside their human constructed box for him, believe that Jesus and Dinosaurs co-existed. I was turned onto this group by a very close friend who also shared some photos, for instance, of Jesus holding and caring for a baby Raptor. This is more comedy than anything, in my opinion. But rather than people accepting how science can co-exist with their Religion, they try to find silly ways for their Religion to incorporate science in limited and ridiculous ways. Rather than acknowledge the world is billions of years old, and that dinosaurs and animals existed before Adam and Eve, they would still rather believe that the world is only a few thousand years old, that even if dinosaurs existed, they existed alongside human beings.

These are all extreme examples. There are plenty of Religious folk and spiritual individuals who find it only necessary for their faith and our science to work hand in hand. This is my point; it must. How can you say that all of our scientific methods are false creations of flawed men and women that observe "evidence" that is actually planted pieces of fake history that God has put on earth, on purpose, just to test you. No offense, but God is not that stupid. This depiction of God devalues him and what he's capable of. It's a human depiction of him, limited to human rules and understanding. As my Dad and I have discussed many times, humans have essentially built a box and put God inside of it. But it is their box, made by men, and it obeys the laws of humankind, and it is limited. But God does not, can not, and will not exist inside our man made boxes. God is so massive, so beyond everything, he is so much the why factor, that clearly he shatters these boxes.

Why not then take science as further and further evidence to prove just how wondrous he might be? Instead of science and spirituality existing as polar opposites, why not make it the intent of our entire race to determine just what the why factor is? We too should leave no stone unturned in our exploration for answers. And for scientists, why rule out a potential hypothesis simply because it reminds you of Religion? Don't study and seek to disprove the God of religion, but be open to the potential of a God of spirituality that we all know you cannot disprove the non-existence of, just as we cannot prove its existence. Even Dawkins, in The God Delusion makes the statement that though he is an athiest, that though he cannot technically disprove the non-existence of God, it is still at least highly unlikely that God exists. If you choose to believe it is highly unlikely, that's fine, but you must accept that fact that you cannot, with science or Religion, prove or disprove God with absolute, factual certainty. You can only do this with rhetoric that uses, or manipulates, both of these things. Because of this, I take issue with the title of Dawkins' book. It should not be called The God Delusion but rather The Religion Delusion. He does an excellent job of showing us why we do not need Religion, but does a poor rhetorical job at utilizing any of the complex sciences beyond Darwinism to try and make an intelligent case for why God does not exist. It cannot be done. He is the perfect example of why most all people disbelieve in a potential God, because of Religion. People are so turned off by its negative aspects that they assume God can only be the way he is in Religion. But God certainly isn't, and is so much more than what any Religion could try and depict him as being. And to the contrary of Dawkins we have scientists like Bernard Haisch and many other astrophysicists who seek to find a science that may prove the existence of something beyond the realm of our understanding. Not that there is no value to Dawkins, he is incredibly intelligent and I actually enjoy his sarcastically, arrogant cynicism from time to time, but he is allowing himself to accept not seeking to study a science outside of our scope. At least many other scientists are seeking to use science to expand that scope. So a lot of Athiests have done the exact reverse of what many Religious folks do. They have a built a non-God box, and their proof for the non-existence of God must exist within this box. But it is clear and obvious that science is occuring outside of this box, they're just deciding not to study or appreciate it. That is the greatest tragedy.

Once again, two sides of the same coin. As far as organizations going, these two seemingly polar opposites are following and obeying the same dogmatic principles. But that's a broader topic for next week. (Think, the difference between intent and tactics.)

What science tells us about us and our Universe is incredible. It gives explanations for things that even just decades ago we looked at with mystery and wonderment, let a lone the thousands of years it's been since the events of the Bible. I find that many scientists look at the Bible or any Religious text with a bit of disdain or anger, upset that God is portrayed as a being of fear and anger, rage and jealousy. But to give credit to these people of History, how else do you depict such events if you exist in a time without any practical science or promotion to expore spirituality outside of your cultural influences? There is no understanding of science, no concept of philosophy beyond what they've been taught, beyond what is perpetuated within their culture. So the God they write and speak of is one that must exist within the box of their Historical context. Then characters like the Jesus, the Buddha, and Laozi, amongst many others come around and shatter this mold and tell people that God and spirituality isn't who and what they've thought it was for thousands of years. That's not easy to handle and it's a slow process. And science is much the same. A lot of people wish to cling to old Religious interpretations and are trying to force them to remain applicable to today, trying to keep them crammed inside a limited box of understanding and trying to refuse to believe in the facts science has provided us. Too many people choose ignorance over informity.

If the strictly Religious or staunch Atheists allowed themselves to explore the benefits of both science and/or spirituality, they would find their respective boxes are the biggest jokes they could have imagined, that they were trying to keep something unexplainable inside an explainable case, a man made mold, and that if they allow themselves to open that box and break that mold then their understanding and appreciation for both science and spirituality would reward them tenfold.

Science is our ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of the Universe for what they really are and must be looked at as truth. Science is not some mystical creation by God to test your faith, science is what God has given you to make sense of this crazy world. Disbelieving in science does not make you more pious or worthy, more intelligent or more enlightened, it tells others that you have placed limitations on your own "God", that you choose not to think things because they run the risk of breaking your God box, which in turn does not tell the world things about God, it tells us about your "God", and most importantly it tells us about you.

I'm not commanding everyone to now immediately run to your local bookstore and buy up dozens of volumes of science, but what I am saying is, don't disallow yourself the ability to marvel at how things work. If you are willing to open your God box, and if non-believers are willing to open the non-God box, you will find that there is so much more common ground for us to find amongst eachother. They say knowledge is power, so let that knowledge inform you, not impair you. And knowledge is not seeking to destroy your Religion, but may show you that you are not a human who was born two thousand plus years ago. The Bible, the Torrah, the Qur'an, so many of these Religious texts do contain incredible moral truths that we would find ourselves agreeing with still today and should through the rest of time. But what we can break away from is the rules and rhetoric in which it's presented to us. The "gay issue" is, and unfortunately will be, a hot topic in Religious communities for years to come, and the way it's presented as being inherently wrong is because the Bible says. The citations given for it are crude and old and written by men. God's hand did not reach down and pen the Bible, humans did, humans interpreting morals through the prism of their God box. But science tells us that homosexuality is not a sin, not a choice or a lifestyle, but how people are born. (And how many animals are born to a larger degree, which should tell us something important.) If you resist accepting or loving them because they challenge and threaten to break your God box, then you're trying desperately to cling to the over two thousand year old comprehension of who and what God is, and frankly, if you're ever worried about insulting God, this will do it. Remember, God is unconditional love, not conditional, those conditions are man made and ascribed to him. Humans actively seek to limit God because they are afraid of not being able to handle the incomprehensible.

All of this also shouldn't tell you to burn Bibles and scream your anger in the streets, but rather use them as important Historical text of who we used to be and what we used to believe. If we did many a grave unkindness in History then write it down and read it in the future to remind us not to go back to such savage ways. Just like the Crusades, like the inquisition, the Holocaust, and 9/11, never forget. Don't hold to it to the degree of driving yourself into depression, but remember it to tell you that we, as human beings, are better than this and can strive every day to do right, to do good, and to Love with all our hearts.

If spirituality is the desire to understand God, or to understand the why factor, to what came before the Big Bang and even beyond that to the nth degree, then it is the chisel that is capable of cracking the wall separating you and your ability to understand higher, deeper, and greater things. But a chisel alone does little. You could stab at that wall over and over with the chisel in hand and slowly chip away at it, but you would never reach the other side within your lifetime. Science is the hammer to aid the chisel, science makes logical and comprehensible sense of these ethereal wonders, and using them together shatters the walls of your box of limited understanding and, in the wise words of Jim Morrison, helps you "Break on through to the other side."

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mind of God Part 3: The Evil That Men Do

The Mind of God Part 3: The Evil That Men Do

Last week I promised that this week's exploration would be into why "evil" still exists despite my claims that God is a Loving being. Without further ado, let's get started.

Natural discordance, on its base level, is not evil, especially in terms of the nature of all things, living and non. It's only when it comes to human beings that we consider "evil" anything more than a part of the natural order of all things. When a lion kills and eats a zebra, there isn't an upraor. When lightning strikes down the tree and destroys it, we're not rioting over it. We accept that. When it comes to the nature of the world, of the Universe, it's only with people that we can really attribute the word "evil" to things because it describes human actions as requiring something beyond simple nature. "Evil" implies the intent behind the action. If you back into a tree, that's unfortunate. If you get into a fender bender, that's upsetting. If you purposefully run someone down with your car, that's evil.

That's why we have things like involuntary manslaughter. You didn't volunteer to kill someone, but it happened, so the intent is still lacking. It's sad and unfortunate and may cause someone else in connection with it to do evil somewhere down the road, but your act in and of itself is not "evil". It's not as if you planned and went out of your way to end someone's life. (If you had, those acts of evil then go beyond even natural discordance.)

It's easy to link evil with murder and leave it at that. But there are a lot of things that people would consider evil and resent people for doing such things, and to a high degree resent "God" for doing or allowing such things. God gets a bad rap on this because a lot of people associate him with the idea of a coin in that he must have two perfectly opposite sides. If God created good then he also created evil. I can't count the times I've heard people say, "If God is so great, why does he allow things like 9/11 to happen?" This is usually coupled with bitter sentiment and a rush to say words before really considering what it all means. Can you honestly say that if there is a God, and he is a loving God, that when people commit mass genocide he just throws his hands up and resigns to say, "Welp, I guess those are the breaks. I created this, so I shouldn't be upset! And the beat goes on..."

Come on.

Firstly, that's my personification of how I interpret God. That "quote" is very much my sense of humor, but I use it to try and illuminate some of the ridiculous assumptions about God. Once again, God does not work on our terms. Just as Love does not work on our terms, we must work on its. Evil is not condoned so much as it is necessarily allowed. Necessary allowance seems harsh, but if there is only one side of the coin, then there is no free will. We are beings of free will. God is not the hand of ultimate fate. We like to think that things happen for a reason, and some situations are so emotional, so indescribable, that perhaps they do, but not 100% of all things are happening for "God's" reason. If they were, then you'd be insignificant.

Astrophysicist Bernad Haisch, in his book The God Theory, does a nice job at suggesting the existence of a sort of great consciousness that preceeds matter, not the other way around. This divine consciousness, or God, gives way to matter, it creates in order to experience its infinite potential. If you are God and are capable of any and all things, then you can't know your potential unless you are in the constant state of testing that potential. So God creates to understand and experience his own potential. Pretty cut and dry. (As for the scientific observations behind it all, with things like Zero point energy and inertia, etc. We'll save that for the part dedicated to the necessity of science.)

Just based on that hypothesis, it can lend itself to the acknowledgment that God wants to experience evil because it is within the spectrum of his infinite potential. People could then make the argument that just as God has created good, he has also consciously created evil  because he wishes to experience the other side of the spectrum.

But if God experiences evil through humans, doesn't that give him a better understanding of how to better promote peace and harmony, of how to suggest, through his nature that concordance is the better option, that true love precipitates all that is good, that if you know how to love without condition then you know how to create harmony? If there is nothing to fight against, nothing to fight for, there is nothing to live for. It is only animals and their nature and sticks and stones. So evil begins to take the shape of being necessary only in that it serves to be contrasted with the benefits of goodness and concordance. And committing evil is not fated to us by God, but by our own choosing. We cannot blame him for the evil that men do, that is on our shoulders. But what God has done is allowed itself to arise, not because he gets a sense of schadenfreude from it, but because he cannot fully experience his infinite potential is he limits himself, if he prevents things from happening. God is the infinitely potential explorer, there is no stone he will leave unturned for if he did he would be disallowing himself the discovery of new facets of his potential. From experiencing all this, it is still clear that concordance, Love, and good are what promotes growth, peace, and harmony. It isn't that God is doing the evil, but that evil as an option of our choosing does exist. This potential for evil exists, but it needn't be attained or sought. Some do and some will, but God does not steer us in this direction, it simply exists out of a neccessity for all emotional options to exist for free willed beings to choose. Free will, just as Love, is unconditional, and unfortunately that means that evil must necessarily exist as an option of choice for humans because if it didn't, we would be blind beings of fate and God would be preventing himself from experiencing his infinite potential.

Just as I said "good" and "bad" are relatively subjective terms, it's entirely subjective to assume the conscious thought process of God creating was the idea that he wants to experience good and evil. Though I say I believe God is a being of pure Love, I'm willing to admit that language is entirely subjective and God, past a certain point, is so past the point of our understanding that describing and theorizing his intent is entirely speculation. No one can ever know for certain, but we can try and we can believe and we do. The reason I defend God as a being of Love is because natural concordance is just too much of a coincidence for me, because this stretches beyond physical animals. Natural concordance applies to entire planets and stars, galaxies, and all forms of matter. There is life, existence, and there is death, non-existence. Something either does or does not exist, there is no in between. And because God is an energetic, conscious being of infinite potential, and by his nature (Yes, even God has a nature) must create in order to experience that potential, means that the very first action that preceeded all things that have ever existed in time was an act of concordance. So God is, by his own nature, a being of concordance.

Morality, as we've discussed, is nothing but shades of gray, colored by black and white at the far ends of its poles. We pursue good or bad, and our deeds inevitably fall in between. We can never be one hundred percent one or the other, purely good or bad. Intent to pursue concordance makes us good, intent to pursue discordance makes us evil.

But the intent is what defines the difference and defines who we are at the end of the day. Our intent is our will, our conscious decisions to do things based on who we are, what we think, and how we feel. We have the ability to do any number of things simply because we choose to do so, and that is a wonderful thing. Why would God want to experience his potential through forcing us to do things? He's not getting anything rewarding from that experience, he's not learning, he's not experiencing his potential that way. God knows all but at the same time is not human, is not an animal or a tree or a rock, and through creating all existing things God gets to experience and learn what it means to be all of these things. All things that exist are God, or a part of his consciousness, whether or not some of these things are conscious beings. We wouldn't say a rock has consciousness but God is there, God is the rock, just as he is the ocean and the fish, the men and the women.

Understanding the idea of God as an infinitely potential, energetic being that creates out of a necessity to do so because it is its only form of knowing and existing means God would not stop things from happening because he decides to. If he always intervened neither he nor we would learn a single thing. God is even less concerned with the idea of fate than we are because God wants us to live through our own individual consciousnesses that are linked to his. And because of all this, God necessarily allows evil to occur. Not that he intentionally created evil to strike fear into the hearts of unbelievers, or to smite us for our "sins", but that he allows us to do both good and evil because we have been given free will, which is a part of his will to explore his infinite potential.

The fire that burned villages, cities, and homes to the ground is not evil, but the man who started the fire has committed an act described as such. The fire is a force of natural discordance but has no human consciousness, has no intent. And even scorched earth has benefits, giving way to better soil, better crops, etc. So in a way, even an inferno is an act of concordance. But the man who started it had the intent to do so, the intent to destroy. And so "The Evil That Men Do" should be attributed as such, to humankind as we are the only ones capable of "evil" to such a large degree. There are many animals, like Dolphins, who are capable of making complex, conscious decisions but still there is no animal that makes them on the scale that humans do. We've yet to see another animal commit mass murder in the hopes of conquering other nations. So far it's just humans, and though it might seem crass to say, what a terribly wonderful thing that is, that we are capable of such amazing choice and potential, but that we use it for the wrong reasons.

Science is important amongst all of this and plays a very necessary role, and will be the topic of next week's journey, but there is still a degree to which our ability to trace back ends, to reiterate part one, it's the acknowledgment of that which we will never understand. It is an energetic force of infinite potential with a desire to play with that potential. As Haisch says in his book, "he gets to spend his billion dollars". But because of God's desire and constant need to make and experience new things, old things will come to pass either by nature, aka science (the tree and the lightning bolt), or by the conscious choice of a self aware being, humans and other animals.

So evil exists not because God created evil for the sole purpose of being the antithesis of good, or because he needed people to do bad things so he could make hellish examples out of them, but because free will exists and was given to us. Evil is a subjective term applicable only to people who understand and associate intent with action. No other animal is perceived as "guilty" simply because they do something "bad". When a chimpanzee attacks its caretaker and brutally injures her, we don't demand justice be done against the chimp. The consensus is usually, "That's what happens when you work with wild animals." (Some people, of course, do seek some sort of justice against animals, like those who hunted sting rays after Steve Irwin's death, but they are in the minority and certainly don't represent the majority of us.)

I hear unending arguments about how human beings are no different than any other animal in existence, past or present, that our nature is just another type of animal nature, our actions just different types of animalistic actions. Why then is there a constant need, even from the scientists and people who believe this, to pursue morality, to define "good" and even more so, to define "evil"? If both are part of the natural order then neither exists, life is neither good nor bad, murder is neither bad nor good, all things are without conscious purpose. But we're constantly attempting to, through science, prove why we have morality, as it has arisen from natural selection and in doing all of this we are still subconsciously acknowledging what makes us different from every other animal that has ever lived and breathed. Why is there such a constant need to validate the proof that we are not special? Don't those actions in and of themselves sort of point us in the direction of understanding that were are, if even just a little, special? The desire to seek and understand our own unique and individual consciousness is a pretty significant thing. If we really are no different than any other animal, then morality is moot and discussion is worthless and any justice system is laughable and your consciousness, everything you are, is meaningless. And despite the fact that many of you who believe we are no different than other animals may be nodding your head at all of this, if someone you loved was murdered, how would you feel? Would the beat go on? Would you be able of accepting it simply as an act of nature, or would you feel angry toward the murderer? Would you still consider and ponder that justice system, what it's doing, its effectiveness, and where your place is within it?

I think, considering all this, you'd be hard pressed to make a case for the unimportance of humankind, for its non-uniqueness, and for it's meaninglessness. When you reflect on yourself, on your life, your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences, are you prepared to swear to the rest of the world that ultimately it is worth nothing? I think the more one becomes aware of his or her individual consciousness, the impossibility of two extremely complex consciousnesses like this ever being exactly the same becomes, you may start to lose your disdain for the human race, for viewing them as nothing but another massive group of insignificant animals, because that makes you insignificant. Do you believe that about yourself? Maybe the reason it's so difficult to think that we're special is because we actually are, that yes, though we may be capable of evil, but most importantly we are capable of Love. Now that is something special.