no one can know the absolute truth - we can only speculate on it. questions such as why we are here, why there is something instead of nothing at all, what the ultimate purpose of life is, what the universe is, what god is, can never really be answered by human beings and we can only speculate on the answers. there’s so much we can never know, yet it's worthwhile and enjoyable to ask questions and use logic in our speculations.
religion and science both try to offer explanations and answers, and both have their strengths as well as their limitations. religion's greatest strengths are its emphasis on moral values such as charity, and its focus on developing a concept of god and of how we can serve god. presently each religion's greatest limitation is its assumption that it has the most developed understanding of god and that it is therefore the only true religion or the truest religion. religions have also been so attached to their teachers and teachings from the past that they have frequently been very resistant to any fundamental or even minor changes in their belief systems. religion has relied heavily on authority figures for its credibility; we have been told that prophets and sages have brought us truth from god and therefore we should not disagree with any of their teachings and understandings. science's greatest strengths are its openness to change its theories to be more in agreement with its observations, and its heavy reliance on observation to verify its theories. presently science's greatest limitation is that it mostly restricts itself from considering subjects of great importance such as god, oneness, consciousness, peace, and love, for these are entities and concepts which are mostly beyond our ability to measure, and science has instead only investigated and considered that which it could somehow try to measure. science has concerned itself only minimally with moral issues, with questions such as how we should live and how we should treat our fellow humans beings and other living beings in our world.
obviously with so many people on our planet at the time of this writing still starving, hungry or malnourished, and with so many wars and acts of violence still raging around the world, there is truth that is much needed by our species that neither religion nor science has yet presented to us or made clear enough to us. both religion and science can derive real benefit from each other as they each open more to each other's greatest strengths, and as this happens we all will benefit considerably. may religion keep growing less resistant and more open to scientific inquiries and observations; may science keep growing less resistant and more open to considering ideas and theories which are mostly beyond its ability to measure or verify, and to accepting and feeling in one way or another the existence of god.
the greatest bridge can be drawn between science and religion as we observe the skies and contemplate and speculate about the universe and what it is. it's awesome as we discover how incomprehensively large the universe is, and how much we might never understand about it.
first, let's stop making the mistake of confusing our observable universe with the universe itself. the more powerful the telescopes that astronomers and cosmologists have used, the larger our observable universe has become, and the universe likely extends far beyond anything we can now measure or will ever be able to measure. for some time the vast majority of astronomers mistakenly assumed that the universe itself did not extend beyond our milky way galaxy, which for technological reasons was then the limit of our observable universe, and most astronomy and cosmology books are still failing to distinguish between our observable universe and the universe itself. in this essay from the beginning we will distinguish between our observable universe and the universe itself, and will sometimes refer to the universe itself as simply the universe.
the universe is incredible beyond description. there are hundreds of billions of stars in our milky way galaxy, and by some estimates there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in our present observable universe, and there is likely so much more beyond. except for some irregular dwarf galaxies which are much closer to us, the andromeda galaxy is our nearest neighboring galaxy and is approximately two and a half million light-years away, it takes that many years for light to travel from there to here. light travels so fast that it journeys from our moon to our planet earth in just one and a third seconds, yet from even the nearest galaxy light must journey 2.5 million years to reach us. our milky way galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years in diameter, so out there about 25 times that distance is andromeda galaxy, with even considerably more stars than our milky way. and some astronomers estimate there are hundreds of billions of galaxies further beyond in all directions in the realm that constitutes our observable universe at the time of this writing. how can we begin to comprehend hundreds of billions of galaxies and all the stars and other things they contain in our observable universe? each galaxy like a mini-universe, an island universe, so large in and of itself, and with such vast distances out to its neighbor galaxies. the milky way galaxy alone is so amazingly vast. the orbit of our planet around our sun compared to the size of our galaxy is reckoned to be like the size of a pinhead compared to the size of north america. one light-year is 5.88 trillion miles, or 9.46 trillion kilometers. nine trillion, four hundred and sixty billion (9,460,000,000,000) kilometers light travels in one year, and yet it must travel more than two million years to get to our nearest galaxy. and so far away beyond us are so many other galaxies, etcetera. the size of our observable universe is so awesome and incomprehensible, and the universe itself might extend so much more beyond. the universe is such a great mystery.
in the year 1600 of the common era, brother giordano bruno was burned alive by catholic church authorities for refusing to renounce his belief that our sun was one of an endless number of stars in an infinite universe that contained infinite space. less than a hundred years later brother isaac newton also declared his belief that the universe is infinite. we will never know if the universe is totally infinite, or if anything is, yet the universe is probably as close to being infinite as anything could possibly be.
approximately 329 years after the death of brother giordano bruno, brother edwin hubble, using what was then our world's most powerful telescope at the palomar observatory in california, published a book declaring that the (observable) universe is more than our milky way galaxy, that there are a vast number of galaxies beyond our galaxy, that many of these galaxies are located in clusters with other galaxies and with vast spaces between the clusters of galaxies, and that almost all of these clusters of galaxies are rushing away from our galaxy and from each other, they are part of something which is expanding. there are a few exceptions to this general trend of expansion; for example our milky way galaxy and our neighboring andromeda galaxy are expected to collide in a few billion years as they revolve around each other in a gravitational dance, and our local group cluster of galaxies which is shaped like a cigar with the milky way at one end and which is at the edge of the virgo supercluster containing thousands of galaxies is being gravitationally pulled to the center of that supercluster about 50 million light-years away from us - these are exceptions, and on a more macro scale expansion seems to be the rule in the observable universe.
our newly gained knowledge of the existence of numerous clusters and superclustsers of galaxies rushing away from each other is what led to the big bang theory, which maintains that all the galaxies came out of one extremely, indescribably dense and hot point which was all once the size of a grapefruit and even much smaller before that; it came out of nothingness, or it hovered as virtually nothing for almost an eternity of time, until something somehow rocked or happened, and then, big bang theory states, the big bang was born out of a singularity. according to a theory about the big bang called inflation, all of the vast realm of the observable universe is but a tiny fraction of the big bang. and who knows, there might be a very large number of other big bangs or other somethings besides our big bang. it could likely be a mistake to equate the universe with our big bang because the universe might be even much more than that. our telescopes will probably never be able to reach beyond or even reach the end of our big bang. and even if our telescopes were more powerful there is still much light from distant places in the cosmos that has been traveling for billions of years and has not even reached our planet yet.
less than seventy years after brother edwin hubble announced his discoveries, two teams of scientists simultaneously discovered that the clusters of galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate of speed, that is, the expansion of the observable universe is accelerating, it is expanding at an ever more rapid pace, and this accelerating rate of expansion began when the observable universe was less than half of its presently estimated age. some very mysterious and anti-gravitational force is causing the observable universe to expand in an accelerated fashion, and astronomers have called this mysterious force dark energy.
imagine that everything in the observable universe was part of one organ in a near-infinite being made up of numerous organs, that our observable universe was part of an organ that operates like a heart, let's say. hearts expand and contract as we all know. why couldn't the expansion of our observable universe, even its accelerated expansion, represent merely the expansion phase of an incredibly large heart-like organ in a near-infinite being? i'm not saying that it necessarily is, and at the same time no one can prove that it necessarily isn't.
a few years before cosmologists had to deal with the mystery of dark energy, they came upon another major mystery. according to the laws of gravity as we have understood them, it has been discovered that certain motions in the cosmos, such as the manner of rotation of each galaxy on its axis, cannot be explained if the mass of the galaxy is measured only by its stars, by its visible matter. the combined mass of each galaxy's suns doesn't account for nearly enough gravitational energy to explain why the suns and gas clouds in the outer regions of a galaxy are moving so fast as they rotate around that galaxy's core, or to explain why those outer suns and gas clouds don't just fly off into intergalactic space. there is a problem of missing mass to account for the necessary gravitational energy within a galaxy that would govern its observed rotational motion, and whatever mysterious entity is producing the needed extra gravitational energy is called by astronomers dark matter.
both dark energy and dark matter neither generate nor reflect light, and at the time of this writing both of these entities are incomprehensible mysteries to scientists. Astrophysicists have recently been speculating that approximately 70% of the observable universe is dark energy with an anti-gravitational effect, another 25% of the observable universe is dark matter with a gravitational effect, and only 5% of the observable universe is visible matter with a gravitational effect. it means we are surrounded by mystery.
gravity is a form of energy that is so powerful it can bend time and space, as brother albert einstein taught in his theory of general relativity. the theory of black holes speculates that there are places where gravitational energy is so overwhelming that anything at a certain distance from one of these black holes is sucked into it and completely vanishes in the singularity at its center. as hard as it is to comprehend, black holes are thought to have the ability to eat up time and space as well as mass. such a mystery - how can time and space just vanish? as hard as it is for most of us to comprehend, brother albert einstein's theory of relativity holds that mass, time and space are all fluctuating in relation to each other instead of being absolute quantities. a clock for instance will tick slower on the earth than on the moon, because gravity (and acceleration) slows down time; a person who could travel at a speed approaching the speed of light would age much slower as time slowed down. mass, space, time and velocity in the universe are all affecting and shaping each other in an energy dance of relativity that also stretches in and out of black holes. the theory of general relativity assumes that nothing travels faster than the speed of light, and that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. we might someday discover that neither of these assumptions is correct, but for the purpose of studying the observable universe the theory of relativity has been a tremendous tool and breakthrough.
could it be that dark matter might mostly be a lot more black holes of all sizes, even very tiny ones, that we haven't yet discovered?
the more astronomy we learn the more questions we have and the greater the mystery becomes. looking through our telescopes we have not yet discovered any edge or any center of the observable universe, and maybe we never will. as far away as we can observe we see galaxies until they are too faint to be seen. the largest-scale structure that we have been able to observe till now is that of clusters and superclusters of galaxies joined together for hundreds of millions of light-years. stretched out as long as this and surrounding these clusters of galaxies are huge voids of space. maybe the voids are not nearly as empty as they look, maybe they and the entire universe are full of types of energy that we can't begin to measure or even imagine. as for the galaxies, might they be like nerve cells in an indescribably immense being?
though observations seem to favor the big bang theory, our observable universe is so mysterious that probably no one will ever conclusively prove if it was or was not born in a big bang. in the event that it was, there might also be many other big bangs or other manifestations way out there in a nearly endless universe. again, what we call our big bang might even be like an immense heart, expanding and later contracting, and maybe even with the laws of physics changing as it does. i sometimes doubt the big bang because it is so extreme and i don't know if god is such an extremist, with a big bang of such extreme and indescribable temperatures and density and going from so small to so incomprehensibly immense. but when it comes to the universe, i'm just about open to any possibility.
we are all limited by our five senses, by our brains, by our experiences, and by our measuring instruments. different people will have different understandings of what is reality based on the information they’re receiving and on how each of them with their unique chemistry perceives, processes and interprets that information. there are any number of possible ways to imagine the universe, and theories backed by mathematical equations could probably be invented to give support to these various imaginings, and at the same time this subject will probably always remain an unknowable mystery to us.
there was a time when i had convinced myself that the universe is infinite, that it has no end. now i'm more inclined to believe that the universe might not be infinite, that instead it might be near-infinite, that is, it might be as close to infinite as anything can possibly be without actually being infinite, there might be a place where it ends. when i believed the universe is infinite i wrote, "the universe has no edge, no boundary, no border, and any cosmic wall or barrier that might ever be discovered will not mark its end and will merely signify the end of this part of it...wherever there's any wall or end, something that is some form of energy or another might exist beyond that wall or end, and it's all in the endless universe." now i more feel that maybe the universe does have an end, where everything just stops or fades out. maybe infinite and near-infinite are not so different from each other in some ways - they’re both so amazing to contemplate, and they’re both so hard to comprehend. how can something go on forever? and if something seemingly ends because of some form of wall or barrier, why can't there be something on the other side that represents some kind of continuation of something or other? either way, whether the universe ends or not, it contains beyond our imagination so much energy, so much mass and space and time, and so many new things being created and transformed, and on the ultimate macro level the universe might operate on some kind of steady-state principle, which might include the creation and transformation of a number of big bangs or whatever. i was once enthralled by the concept of an infinite universe, and now i allow for the possibility and maybe even the probability that infinity itself might be a flawed concept, that it might not exist, that it might not be reachable. there might not be infinite mass, infinite space, endless time, etc.
thinking about the universe really gets me thinking about god. for me, god is the sum total of everything, god is the largest entity i belong to. i was born into a family, a people, a species, this world, this solar system, this galaxy, this cluster of galaxies...i belong to all that. i belong to this realm of all the billions of galaxies around us, and to everything beyond that, it is all one. i belong to the universe. i belong to god. god is one. everyone and everything is inside that one, there is nothing outside that one, there is nothing outside god. it is comforting to believe that god is endless, that there is no point where god ends and something else begins, that god is the endless all, that god includes all. yet in the event that there is no infinity, then even god might end. we can still love god as much, and help god as much, and want god’s love and help as much, whether god doesn’t or does end.
since god includes everything that exists, then god certainly includes the universe, and since god is one, then there's no point where god ends and the universe begins, and maybe there’s no point where the universe ends and where god continues without the universe, maybe god is always with and of the universe and the universe is always with and of god, maybe they are inseparable and indistinguishable from each other, they are one, the oneness of god. either god created the universe or god is the universe and both might be true, that god is creating the universe and god is the universe. in the process of creating the universe, god is creating part of god, god is creating god. instead of seeing two fields, god and universe, i prefer to see one field which i can call goduniverse. instead of believing that a separate god created the universe, i mostly believe that the universe is near-infinite energy which is god, and that goduniverse is creating goduniverse and is being affected by it. god's oneness almost requires that we not distinguish between god and the universe, it's all one, and every aspect of the creation of the universe is goduniverse creating goduniverse. goduniverse is all the causes and all the effects in goduniverse, and the effects are also causes and the causes are also effects. if there was a "first cause," maybe that first cause is indistinguishable from goduniverse, it can be considered goduniverse as much as it can be considered god, it is maybe one continuous process in the evolution and development of god, of goduniverse. to believe that god and the universe are one goduniverse is an ultimate affirmation of the faith that god is one.
all the galaxies and whatever is between them or beyond them are all in goduniverse. the belief that god is not in any way physical and that anything that's matter and energy cannot be considered part of god is a mistaken notion, because it envisions such a limited god. the vast observable universe and everything beyond our ability to observe is all in god, every part of the universe is part of goduniverse. there might even be energy in the universe which somehow exists even beyond mass, space and time, and this energy too would be part of goduniverse. rather than believe that god is beyond energy, beyond mass, space and time, and beyond any other dimensions still unknown to us in which energy might somehow exist, i prefer to believe that goduniverse can best be described as near-infinite energy made up of near endless amounts of mass, space, time, gravity, black holes, anti-gravity, and near endless amounts of worlds, of living beings, and of all the other dimensions and forms of energy that might exist and that are beyond our ability to observe, comprehend or imagine. the universe is so incredible that it proves the existence of god, of goduniverse. how could anything as awesome as the universe not be god, not be goduniverse? how could anything be more awesome than goduniverse?
the belief that the so-called physical and spiritual are two separate realms is probably an illusion. everything physical is also spiritual and everything spiritual is also physical. just think about the amazing thoughts you're having right now - it is the so-called "physical" atoms and molecules doing their incredible dance in your brain cells that are causing you to have all of these deep "spiritual" thoughts and questions as you're reading these words, which proves that atoms are a fundamental unit of spirit, of feeling, and that the physical world is also the spiritual world. i believe that god's very essence and being is both physical and spiritual which are actually one essence. each solar system can be thought of as an atom, and each galaxy can be thought of as a cell, in god's mind or brain or heart or body, however you wish to imagine it. if atoms and molecules can fill our brain cells and our brains with feelings, then it is quite possible that suns and solar systems and everything they contain including life can fill each and every galaxy with very much feeling, and this as much as anything else can be considered part of the mind of god, of goduniverse. the mind of goduniverse includes galaxies, stars, black holes, anti-gravity, you, me, and everything else that exists.
goduniverse, which is near-infinite if not infinite, does not have one center but rather a near endless number of centers. everything in goduniverse is being influenced by fields of energy and is also influencing those fields of energy, everything is both a cause and an effect and is a result of the near endless chains of cause and effect which make up near-infinity. any person or planet or atom or star or galaxy or anything anywhere is just as much a center in goduniverse. when every human being truly understands that each other human being is just as much a center in goduniverse, then murder will disappear from our world, for we will all understand that to attack anyone is to attack god, not because the person being attacked is god since god is much more than that person, rather because that person belongs just as much to god, is just as much a part of god, is just as much a center in god, is just as holy as anyone or anything else in goduniverse. gone will be the days when people will kill each other in the name of god, gone will be the days when people will kill each other at all.
my god is not a godhead that manages the universe or that could be distinguished from it. my god is a near endless head, body, being that each and all of us are in, and just as much a part of, and just as much a center of. perhaps nothing in goduniverse is more creator or more creation, everything is both being created and is creating at the same time. the near endless chains of cause and effect energy transformations in goduniverse, in which each thing is an effect of other things and at the same time is a cause which is affecting other things, further suggest to me that any distinction between creator and creation is perhaps an illusion in our minds.
i prefer to make no distinction between the spiritual and the physical, between god and the universe, between creator and creation; i believe all such distinctions and dichotomies are likely to be illusions in our minds and cause judgment and suffering in our world.
according to physics it takes energy to transform energy. whatever would be capable of creating the universe would require an indescribable amount of energy, and instead of assuming two fields of energy, one that would be a creator god and another that would be a created universe, i see and feel one field of energy that is goduniverse. goduniverse is a near-infinite amount of energy, it is as much energy as could possibly exist, and in this energy, atoms, suns, planets, galaxies, black holes, mysterious anti-gravity, and many other things including no doubt many other realities which we're not aware of, are constantly being born and are existing as happenings in goduniverse and are being transformed into other forms of energy in goduniverse. everything that exists, exists as a happening in goduniverse, and is involved both in being created and in creating at the same time.
there are people alive at the time of this writing who can remember when the universe was considered to be our milky way galaxy and no more. now some astronomers estimate that in our present observable universe there are hundreds of billions of galaxies. since telescopes were invented we humans have been repeatedly discovering that our observable universe is more vast than most of us had previously thought or ever imagined. so let us be open to the possibility of a goduniverse that is near endlessly vast, far beyond our ability to observe, to comprehend, to imagine. after all, the observable universe that we can see through telescopes already extends far beyond any size that we are able to mentally grasp, and goduniverse is even so much more vast. something as incomprehensibly vast and energetic as the observable universe is a profound sign to us that nothing would be more vast and more overpowering than goduniverse itself, that nothing would extend beyond goduniverse and that if anything is infinite or near-infinite it is goduniverse.
it would be worthwhile at this point just to try to contemplate again the vastness of the observable universe. if the distance from the earth to the sun could be thought of as a quarter of an inch (about 6 millimeters), then on that same scale the nearest star from our sun would be a full mile (about 1.6 kilometers) away, one of hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy, and the nearest regular galaxy from our galaxy would be about 500,000 miles (roughly 800,000 kilometers) away on that same scale. so a map showing the earth to be a quarter of an inch from the sun would have to be about 500,000 miles long just to show the nearest regular galaxy to our galaxy. astronomers have photographed numerous other galaxies and believe there are maybe hundreds of billions of galaxies within our observable universe, not to mention what lies beyond. the actual distance between the earth and the sun is about 93 million miles (about 150 million kilometers). our distance to the next nearest star is about 250,000 times our distance to the sun, and our distance to the nearest regular galaxy beyond ours is about 125 billion times our distance to the sun. and beyond that nearest galaxy are those estimated hundreds of billions of galaxies in our observable universe, and beyond that is so much more. we are really lost trying to comprehend the vastness of goduniverse. the truth is we can't at all imagine the vastness of the observable universe, and goduniverse is so much more, it's completely unfathomable.
is there other life out there? the answer is so likely yes. i felt for a long time that other suns had planets before this was recently confirmed by telescopes. maybe life evolves on at least one or more planets in the history of most solar systems with one sun. half or so of all the solar systems, unlike our solar system, have two or more suns orbiting around each other. a solar system with two suns is called a binary star. (the unaided eye sees the two stars as one). three stars held together by gravity in one solar system are called a triple star. solar systems with two, three or more stars are called multiple star systems or multiple stars. most of the stars closest to our sun are multiple stars. life would be more likely to emerge in solar systems containing one sun than in multiple star solar systems, for the planets of multiple star systems would have less stable and more eccentric orbits, and therefore would experience harsher extremes of temperature, etc. it is reasonable to speculate that most stars have planets, and that somewhere in most solar systems, or at least in most single star solar systems, life in some form or another is in the process of coming or going. we are living witnesses that our planet is a world full of life. we can view the emergence of life more as a rare exception, or more as a normal occurrence in goduniverse; given the fact that we the living do indeed exist here on planet earth, it is less likely that life is a rare exception and more likely that life is a normal occurrence in goduniverse, and this seems all the more so when we consider how average our own sun and galaxy are. given the near-infinite number of planets that exist in all the solar systems beyond ours, it's reasonable to assume that there are so many other worlds out there with life, and the questions we ask here are probably being asked wherever there are galaxies in goduniverse, and the wonder we feel here is probably being felt in countless worlds in countless galaxies in goduniverse.
we are many we are one - this is also a description of and another name for goduniverse when the we is understood to be near-infinite and includes everyone and everything everywhere.
why have most earlier teachings about god and the universe drawn such a sharp distinction between them and seen them basically as two entities instead of one? for one thing, since each of us was created by our parents and is a separate entity from them, so we have imagined that the universe was created by god and is a separate entity from god. till now most people have preferred to see god as the parent of the universe rather than see god and the universe as one. and humanity has mostly not yet developed a sheer awe at the enormity of the universe.
another reason why so many of us have created such a distinction between god and the universe till now has to do with how we've regarded things which we consider to be in the so-called physical realm. "physical" things have often been regarded as course, low, gross or dirty in comparison with the so-called spiritual, which has been regarded as being something on a much higher level. till now most human beings have been considering the universe as "physical" in essence and god as spiritual in essence, and since "the physical" has been so distinguished from the spiritual in most of our minds, with the former being viewed negatively in comparison with the latter, it has been hard for many to accept that god could include "the physical," and this has reinforced the distinction they've been making in their minds between god and the universe. one might resist for instance that something as seemingly "low" as a rock or dirt could be part of god. the universe also contains the waste matter of a near endless number of living creatures, and there are those who could not bear the thought of this waste matter being in and part of god, yet where could it possibly be if it's not in god, for god is near-infinite and includes all things in all places. to suggest that god does not include waste matter is to imply that god does not include the living creatures which produce, contain and excrete it, and this would be placing an erroneous limitation on god. i believe that everything we've been considering "physical," including our waste matter, is in god and part of god. feelings of embarrassment or resistance in connection with this idea probably have as much to do with our toilet training as with anything else. i don't think anything less of god because of all the waste matter from living creatures which god contains in addition to everything else. in the worlds which contain life in goduniverse, this waste matter is used as nourishment or for various purposes by numerous biological organisms and is indispensable to their existence, which means that ultimately it is indispensable to the existence of very many other forms of life which are interdependent. the day will come when knowing about all this waste matter in goduniverse and knowing about its biological importance will only add to our appreciation of god. in life we take so much from god, and excreting out the food we eat is one of the things we can give back to god.
still another reason why so many people have made such a sharp distinction between god and the universe till now has to do with our attempts to explain the existence of evil. there has been evil in this world, people have been terribly violated to death; if this world is in god then that means that the evil in this world is also in god. we've been reluctant to believe that evil could exist as a force in god and we haven't wanted to blame god for the evil that exists, we've preferred to blame human beings for the evil that exists, and this philosophy of looking to cast blame somewhere has forced us to make a strong separation in our minds between the universe and god in order to avoid blaming god. people have wanted to believe that god is perfect, and so they've had to believe that the evil, the destructive energy, the imperfection that's existed in this world in the universe has not existed in god, they've constructed in their minds an imperfect universe versus a perfect god. someday maybe we will all understand that there is some cruel and destructive and evil energy in goduniverse and it is our job to stand up to it and resist it and transform it, and in doing so we are serving and helping goduniverse.
perhaps instead of using the word evil in this discourse, it might bring more clarity to think of some energy as more destructive, unpeaceful, disunifying, hurtful and negative, and to think of other energy as more constructive, peaceful, unifying, helpful and positive. anger, hatred and violence are obvious examples of hurtful, negative energy; love is an obvious example, the best example, of helpful, positive energy. since this world is in god, all the energy in this world, both negative and positive, is also in god. i see and feel that there is much more unity than disunity in this world and in goduniverse, and at the same time i acknowledge that just as the unity and harmony that exists in our world exists in god and is coming from an aspect of god that reflects god's unity, so the disunity and disharmony that exists in our world exists in god and is coming from an aspect of god that reflects god's disunity. there is both unity and disunity in goduniverse - there has been, there is, and there will be, and i have faith that the unity in god is much greater than the disunity, and that the direction of life in this world and in every world where there's life is to greater awareness, peace and unity.
i often contemplate the shoah, the genocide directed against the jewish people during world war two in which approximately six million yehudim (jews) were murdered. why did such a horrifying event occur, what is it suggesting to us about human beings, what is it suggesting to us about god, what lessons can we and must we learn from it and from other genocides and wars so that history stops repeating its hideous atrocities? some years ago when working on a previous edition of this essay, i wrote, “while this essay is being written hundreds of thousands of people have been brutally murdered in rwanda and dozens of wars have been raging on our planet; we've obviously not yet learned the lessons we need to learn from the shoah and from other horrendous crimes in human history.”
i believe genocide, war, murder, and all crimes of violation have first of all occurred because goduniverse was unable to prevent them when they happened, that is, they could not be prevented in goduniverse when they happened. if i had to choose between believing in a god who could have prevented the cruel genocides and other horrors in human history but for some reason didn't, or simply not believing in god at all, i would choose the latter. fortunately i have more choices; i do believe in god, just not in a god who could have prevented genocides and other terrible events in human history and didn't. i don't believe that god on purpose created or preplanned the destructive, negative energy as a test for human beings in this world, i cannot believe that god would purposefully allow so much suffering to have occurred for the sake of any test or for any other reason. the suffering, disunity and destruction could not have been prevented by god as it was happening or it would have been prevented. if believing that god was unable to prevent genocide whenever it's happened means i'm placing some kind of limit on god, i'd rather believe in a god with some limits than believe in a god who would ever deliberately allow such a magnitude of suffering, or ever be cruel or angry. anger itself represents a limit because it's coming from a finite place, not an infinite or near-infinite place, since it's directed at something it feels is beyond itself which it's not feeling one with. i believe god is never an angry god, and instead anger exists in god in the minds of us finite creatures in near-infinite goduniverse. if it's limiting god in some way to believe that god wasn't able to prevent genocide and other atrocities when they've occurred, perhaps it's time to recognize that some limits do exist even with regard to god, that just because god is near-infinite does not mean that god can do everything. the energy in goduniverse is governed by laws, all the energy in god behaves according to laws, and even if those laws change with time, velocity or other factors, the change in those laws is also governed by laws. when genocide or any act of violation has taken place in this world, it is not that god wanted it or deliberately allowed it to happen, it is that god was unable to prevent it, and we in god were unable to prevent it, we didn't have the consciousness or the will or the ability to prevent it. as for the killers, they were experiencing a certain level of pain and fear combined with a certain level of ignorance that caused them to kill; their pain and ignorance blinded them to the truth that their victims were every bit as much a part of god as anyone else and that we must stop taking out our pain and fear on each other. everything is evolving in this world in god including the knowledge of god, and the tragic events of genocide, war, murder, starvation, rape, racism, and other crimes have occurred here because the knowledge of god has not yet been sufficiently evolved and developed. genocide, racism and all of these crimes are diseases in god, they are diseases, and where else are these diseases except in god, for everything is in goduniverse. the evolution of our awareness has not yet proceeded rapidly enough to have prevented genocide and other acts of destruction and violation in our history and in this present moment. i believe a fundamental nature and direction in goduniverse is the expression of unity, peace and harmony; it's just that this unity and peace does not exist everywhere at all times and sometimes it arrives after there has been much pain and destruction. genocide and the other calamities are like tumors attacking god from within, it’s as if god has cancer here on our planet. so my god is not perfect, but i still love god and want to serve god. let us drive the cancer out of god in this world by bringing an end to genocide, war, murder, starvation, torture, rape, the extinction and near extinction of species caused by our carelessness and ignorance, and other calamities. at the time of this writing millions of people have been murdered in the wars in congo, and hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered in the genocide in darfur in sudan, and so many wars are still raging. there’s much work to do to help heal this world in god. may god help each of us to help ourselves and to help others.
i believe the single most important understanding we can get from a more evolved and developed knowledge of god is to let go of blame, knowing that everything is from near endless cause and effect reactions, and letting go of blame will most help alleviate our worst calamities. may we stop blaming ourselves and others. it makes sense not to actually blame either god or human beings for the destructive, negative energy which has existed and still exists here, for god is likely a near endless series of cause and effect relationships, a near endless series of energy fields affecting each other, which means that everything has been unfolding here and everywhere the only way it could, and neither god nor anyone in god can truly be blamed for anything. may we drop the blame and steer towards taking responsibility now. we can drop the blame and at the same time ask for justice where justice is needed. it would really help things now in this world for all of us here in god to let go of the blame and at the same time to take responsibility to act justly and to learn all the lessons we can from all the suffering, destruction and violation so that there will come to be only less hurtful and negative energy, and only more helpful and positive energy, and we will come to express and reflect only more of god's unity.
there are so many things we didn't choose - we didn't choose our genes, our faces, our brains, our parents, our species, our planet, our sun, our conditioning in this world, etcetera, so how can there really be room for "free will?" i don't believe in free will. every decision we make is the only decision we could make at that time for a near endless number of reasons, everything has happened the only way it could because of a near endless number of cause and effect dynamics. at the same time i believe it will help things considerably if we take responsibility now to become kinder and more generous, etcetera. it seems like a paradox but maybe it's not. we will become as kind and generous as we become for a near endless number of reasons, so there's no point in credit or blame, and there is a point in aiming to take responsibility now. only through the proper teachings and examples will our world get better, and that's what the highest prophecy is, it's certain teachings and examples appearing in worlds in goduniverse which help us the living to open our minds and hearts to be more kind, to give more, to act more justly, etcetera. may we learn from history, and let go of blame, and steer towards responsibility, kindness, giving, justice and love.
when i look up at the stars, i am inspired and gladdened to be a living witness to god's unity. yet there are times when i wonder if there are many other calamities of genocide and war out there in the history or future of other worlds of life in goduniverse, and i guess that there probably are. in those moments, and when i also contemplate all the suffering that's still going on in our world, i begin to question the very purpose of life in the universe and wonder if life might be some pathetic chemical reaction on the surface of some planets heated up by suns, and wonder if life itself deserves to be placed on that exalted pedestal and center stage we are fond of placing it on. there are times when i've thought that suns, and not life, might occupy the center stage in goduniverse, that suns might even have some form of self-awareness and might be communicating with each other through sun-spot cycles or however. suns are so awesome, they are a splendid example of god's unity in their nuclear fusion process in which hydrogen nuclei fuse into helium atoms, releasing tremendous amounts of energy as a fraction of the mass of these uniting nuclei converts into various forms of energy including the sunlight and heat that sustains all life. our sun converts about four million tons of matter into energy every second. back to the subject of life...the light returns and i realize that however remarkable suns might be, life, with its incredibly complex cellular and molecular structure, and with all its feelings and awareness or potential awareness, is also so awesome, such a miracle. it's coming from ignorance and despair to put life down - my job is to believe in life and to help life, starting with myself and continuing with others. a brother named medicine story wrote, “love is life believing in itself.” yes, and love is having pleasure in accepting, in accepting life first of all, beginning with oneself. life is an incredible miracle in a near-infinite goduniverse that has no center stage, that has a near-infinite number of centers instead of one. and even if in each world with life there might be much pain before peace is born, as has been the case in our world, let's regard that pain as the birth pains of a world that will soon have much more love and peace, and let's believe in life, and believe in love and peace, and believe in the basic oneness, the basic unity of god. it is not only us who need god's help, it is also god who needs our help. so let's love god and be as doctors to god and dedicate our lives to serving god by protecting life here in this world in goduniverse, by working for peace and by giving and sharing, for goduniverse is one.
everything in this world is evolving including our knowledge of god. more and more of the truth will emerge with time. and what is the truth? the most important truth is that knowledge and those understandings which will ultimately make all of us happier, not make some of us happier at the expense of others, but sooner or later make all of us happier. peace comes about as teachings are born which reveal more truth about god and about us in god. replacing hurtful energy with helpful energy and building a world of peace is very much a matter of proper education and example. teaching about god's unity, that god includes all of us, that each of us is just as much a part of god and a center in god, and approaching each other with respect, non-violence, and kindness will bring much positive change to our world. may i try to help and not to hurt.
the birds chirping their morning song, the sun rising and setting, the light of numerous stars reaching my eyes after traveling so very far, everything i see and hear and smell and taste and touch is in god and of god. looking into the night sky filled with stars is gazing into the face, the mind, the essence of god, as is looking around at all the faces and the various forms of life and other things here on godseed earth.
looking into the eyes of a fellow human being can provide such a strong feeling of connection with god. we can experience more connection with each other than with anything else in god. and we're connected somehow to everything in god for god is full of connections. everything is connected in god in ways we can hardly begin to comprehend or imagine.
as for a final cosmological answer, how can i or anyone here know god's ways? we can only speculate and share our visions, and hopefully all learn to tolerate and appreciate each other more in the process. each of us has intimate feelings one way or another concerning the subject of god. let us create circles of tolerance where we can sit together and share our visions and questions about god, and really listen to each other and respect where each person is coming from and treat each other kindly and have faith that more of the truth that will unite us will emerge with time and that each of us is contributing to the emergence of that truth.
brother carl sagan wrote, “the total number of stars in the universe is greater than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet earth.” goduniverse is so awesome. god is one. god is great. god is energy, as much energy as there can possibly be, and with that energy comes consciousness. i believe that the universe, even if it's not actually endless, is as close to endless as anything can possibly be, and is therefore my god. goduniverse is as near-infinite as whatever can possibly be, it is whatever can possibly be now, and it is my god.
and we certainly have a purpose and a direction in god. fixing ourselves more and fixing our world more is our most important work. helping to generate more of god's light and healing unity on godseed earth is our holiest responsibility. may we all love each other in god, and all love god. we are many we are one.
note: different astronomical sources often
cite different statistics, and some statistics are also changing with time, so i
cannot vouch for the accuracy of all the statistics mentioned in this essay.