"The knowledge of a Will above mine? I couldn't say when that particular awareness first announced itself - I only know He was there early, my God, a personality outside what people told me, beyond religion and the usual prayers."
A.L. Kennedy, "Genesis", in Killing The Buddha by Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlett
John Buehrens the former President of the UUA writes that when people say they don't believe in God he likes to ask them which God it is that they don't believe in.
Ha, ha, ha.
Great line isn't it?
And there is the old saying from World War I I believe that there are no atheists in fox holes.
Ha, ha, ha.
Another great line isn't it?
In Alcoholic Anonymous, the grandfather of all 12 step programs, the steps to recovery include the admission that one's life is unmanageable, and the need to turn one's life over to a Higher Power whatever you conceive that Higher Power to be. Those in the know opine that it is this surrender that is the miracle of AA. It is in this surrender that the program works and people begin to heal their lives.
Adam and Eve eat of the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil and they become aware that they are naked. Self consciousness arises. They are no longer one with Nature but separate from Her. God recognizing this separation says "What in Hell have you done!!!???"
And it has been downhill ever since. Or maybe uphill.
It seems that human beings want to get back again into God's good graces. Human beings want to go back home to the Garden of Eden to the lack of awareness which they once enjoyed.
"Ignorance is bliss" so they say.
Ha, ha, ha.
And trying to dull our awareness especially when it is painful to us we use alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, work, food, TV, Internet, shopping, and suicide.
Awareness can be very painful and it can cause much suffering. Better to be ignorant or anesthetized.
Some have found a way of sitting with their awareness and just watching it much as they imagine God must do. And it is in sitting with their awareness and watching it that brings them back to God. It worked for Buddha, and it seems to have worked for Jesus who spoke as if He was one with His Father.
Adam and Eve were not bad. Sin is not being bad. Sin is separating oneself from God, from one's Higher Power. It is in this separation that we experience Hell and we long for Cosmic Consciousness but don't know how to get there.
Genesis as a diagnostic analysis in symbolic and metaphorical words is pretty good. But as a treatment plan, it offers little but description of murder, rape, deceit, attack, and the idea that some sort of God is around somewhere who might be occasionally interested in what His creatures are up to.
The God of Genesis is a Patriarchal figure if there ever was one who is an anthropomorphic projection of the peoples who conjured Him up. Is God really like this? Sometimes in someways, but the God described in Genesis is only the tip of the iceberg and is more a figment of the human imagination than anything that is the ground of our being and the sorce of the Universe.
A.L. Kennedy has it right though when she describes her intuition that her navel is not the center of the universe and there is something, a Will she calls it, "above mine."
If you think you know what that is you are very mistaken, but to be aware that there is something that you can't explain, that is an awesome mystery, is the basis for a spiritual life full of reverence, faith, mystery, and joy.
At this point in my life at the age of 64 I don't think I am ready to die. I still have some things to do in my alloted time on earth, but I am curious about what, if anything, awaits me. Will there be answers to my existential questions or nothing? I don't remember anything before I was born, and there maybe nothing after my death. I don't and can't know the answers to these questions here on earth, and whether I will be enlightened upon death remains to be seen, but I can tell you that the journey here has been one heck of a ride.
This is article #3 in a series on Bible Study.