Monday 15 April 2019

Is This God?

          This is not the post I had intended to write but, rather, the one I feel needs to be written. I have written in the past about the ego and the Higher Self and also a rather shadowy self that appears to be about a sense of I-ness. It is that which appears to be associated, or identified, with both the real or higher self and also the lower self or ego but never simultaneously. It is always an association or a state of 'either/or'. In the light of my recent return to my thoughts about physics, one might describe that association either in terms of particles or of waves. In short, the sense of I-ness shares much with the quantum uncertainty principle.
          When I consider the ego, it is more than simply a system associated with morality or with my persona. It is as if the ego has expanded to include the totality of my engagement with the realist world around me. Yet one feature of that engagement is its essential duality. I am the observer of that world, not an entity which is indissolubly part of that world. And I can enter that state at will.
          When I consider the Higher Self, I realise that that state is the only true me, the only true and real self in any meaningful way. Only in that state which seems to be offered to me, rather than my claiming it when and where I choose, can I experience anything that I choose to call God.
          In one of his books, "What Is God?" the lovely Prof. Jacob Needleman describes an occasion when a close relative has died, and young Jacob is sitting on a step with his father. His father looks up at the night sky and utters the words, "That is God". Since reading that book I have often wondered what experience lay behind those words. It seems to me, now, that it was a heightened experience by that part of one's being associated with what has been called the True Self in which duality has disappeared, or has been removed by something beyond consciousness, and in which one is at-one-ment with the universe. That experience cannot be defined: it is what it is.
          The clues and experiences have been cropping up throughout the second half of my life; I have written about them here on Gwynt; but they have become spread out, dispersed; they almost demand to be brought together and experienced as a totality. Yet I cannot do that right now. That experience of totality, that experience of being absorbed into God, is too big, too overpowering. It excites me to the depths of my being, but it also scares the hell out of me. And maybe that is precisely the point.


  1. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for posting this insightful post that so remarkably clarifies how the quantum wave- particle duality conceivably applies to our existence. After all it is what you and I amount to at the sub atomic level, so it is yet another example of how physics can help underpin and or complement the sacred. Quite at odds I suggest, with the western secular monistic thought that one’s mind and brains can only be the emergent property of the material brain.
    I love the example of the professor which reminds me of the increasing popularity of roadside memorials down under, at the exact spot where a loved one died. From all walks of life, the increase in popularity is because of the experiences of the grieving participants. The unanimous response is they experience something so profound words fail them. That is just a simple ceremony involving finally the placing of flowers or some symbol to mark the exact spot. What they all report is an easing of the burden. The closest expression seems to be it is as if they were standing on a sacred ground, but all express the feeling they felt so much better for the experience. Now upwards of 20% of people involved in tragic accidents get involved as the word spreads.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Lindsay;

      I have never been enamoured with the idea that the mind is an emergent property of the brain. The risk is that one only considers hypotheses that conform to one's own preferences. Neither am I a hard and fast believer in logic; it can lead to all sorts of unrealistic solutions. Geometrical thinking, rather than analytical thinking, has therefore been my choice of analysis with with its concomitant, so-called lateral thinking. [This may be somewhat tautological.]

      I am also aware that inspired thinking, intuition, also carries risks. When one travels beyond logic, reason and intuition, I think one must always look for consistency. I do believe there is a reason why we have minds, beyond mere evolution. Why mess a journey about, which is difficult enough, by being deliberately inconsistent?

      As for my reaction to the second half of your comment, I feel the jury is still out. I can well imagine the easing of the burden of grief for some people. But when I see, for example, in the UK vast laying of flowers [remember Princess Diane? and Hillsboro'?] I wonder about dysfunctional motives. For me, grief and inner pain has always been a personal, not public, journey. I choose not to be a victim. Having said that, I do believe that some people get genuine help from the laying of flowers. Maybe there will be flowers laid at Notre Dame de Paris. There is enough grief to warrant that.

  2. Dear Tom, I'm inexcusably late in my comment --excuse me. It's been a strange year involving radical changes in my extended family --selling property to cover their care etc. And I feel, approaching my 70th birthday, that some forces of nature, like gravity, are less than friendly. Yes, I stumble and fall oftener. Yet, gravity is among those cosmic constants that allow our star to burn and our planet, our garden, to move around it. Cosmos is the region of the universe we can understand --it increases according to the progress of our minds. Still, the infinite remainder is faith. Faith is a product of trust, and unresolved suspicion. I'll settle for an easier time with gravity and get to the remainder later.

  3. Geo,

    A charming comment, and never inexcusably late. It has now been some seven months since last I posted. Somehow, I find myself in a wilderness, not knowing which way to go. More and more I feel drawn towards some kind of gnosis, yet also feeling cut off.

    Faith? Ah yes, but something which I find difficult. I have never been big on trust. Yet I have to ask myself, why do I warm to your comment? I also feel that my inner cosmos is something which, even if I cannot understand it, is something with which (by the grace of God) I am increasingly familiar. And I am often surprised by a sense of, "of course!" and, "so that is what it means."

    Perhaps in the end I do trust more than I know. Ans maybe that realisation is a natural outcome of your comment. Thank you Geo.