Unstructured Thoughts

EinsteinWe can never explain God simply can we? Never, no matter how much we try.

Oh we can pretend that we can. We can for instance call God, “love”.  All that needs saying right?

No, it but starts the conversation surely. How does this “love” allow for all this hate and misery and pain and suffering in this world of ours? And even before these creatures called humans deigned to stand up and gaze over the grasslands, it was so. Some animals are carnivorous, feeding off other passive creatures. How “loving” is that?

When the opposable thumbed ones stood up, did they do so out of a desire to see the world in a bigger context or because it enabled them to see danger when  it was still far enough away to do something about it? Before they too became somebody’s meal?

Creator of the universe? Yes, but is this “our” universe, or a lot of “ours” universe? Is it our playground or simply our small slice of this one? Are there many? Do they each have a God, or is this one running them all? Is Jesus our Jesus, or is Jesus, Jesus everywhere?

Oh you know the answer? Confess, it’s only a guess. You guess you know. You choose to believe you know. You don’t really know.

Is that the essence of God? Is it determining to believe what you can’t know? But perhaps I cannot know what came before the “Big Bang”. Astrophysicists tell me that I may not ever be able to. Is that where God is?

Are we all just struggling humans trying to make human sense out of what is not human? After all, did the psalmist have it right when he said, “how hard for me to grasp your thoughts”? Can I grasp them? What exactly is “in my image” mean after all?

♥ ♥

But then there is this: “if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge to be able to investigate the world, how have they been so slow to find its Master?”

We are tantalized with both you see, the confounded frustration of never “getting it” to the assurance that we can. Or at least the belief that we can. For that image thing surely means that we must “think” in the manner of God, in the sense that 2 + 2 = 4, and if A = B, and A = C then B = C. It must be like that, surely?

So why can’t we KNOW for God’s sake? Actually why can’t we know for our own sake, for surely God doesn’t need us to know, but we desperately need to know. Or don’t we? Is there some delicious wonderment in believing rather than knowing? Is that comforting and empowering somehow that cold factual knowing can’t be?

♥ ♥

After years on his cushion, a monk has what he believes is a breakthrough: a glimpse of nirvana, the Buddhamind, the big pay-off. Reporting the experience to his master, however, he is informed that what has happened is par for the course, nothing special, maybe even damaging to his pursuit. And then the master gives the student dismaying advice: If you meet the Buddha, he says, kill him.

Why kill the Buddha? Because the Buddha you meet is not the true Buddha, but an expression of your longing. If this Buddha is not killed he will only stand in your way.

If that’s true, and it may well be, then what are we to do then? Toss the bible in the trash? Stay away from every edifice that signifies the place of knowing, i.e., Church? Don’t read what anyone writes about the subject? Because the minute you think you have a handle on God, like partially set jello in your hands, it slides away? The minute somebody makes sense, or assures you that they know, you can be very sure they don’t?

I don’t recall wherein his Confessions, he said this, but  Augustine said, “God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed.”

How much clearer could that be? And pray tell, why does Augustine then proceed to tell us so much about God? We are driven to explain what is inexplicable, and by its very nature is probably clearly not what we explain.
Perhaps it is what keeps me in the Catholic church and out of it at the same time. I don’t trust the messenger any more, yet I know God is there. It’s all very funky in my head when I try to sort it all out. Perhaps sorting is the wrong thing to do. Just let it ferment old girl, just let it ferment. It will take care of itself.

♥ ♥

I do know that this passage has stayed in my head for more than a week. I can’t shake it. I guess I ask God a lot for wisdom. Maybe because that is one of the few things in the Bible where a feminine aspect of God is clear. Wisdom is SHE, damn it, and if you don’t like it, well too bad.

Anyway, I long for this:

There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy,

unique, manifold, subtle,

mobile, clear, unpolluted,

distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,

irresistible, 23 beneficent, humane,

steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,

all-powerful, overseeing all,

and penetrating through all spirits

that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

24 For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;

because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.

25 For she is a breath of the power of God,

and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.

26 For she is a reflection of eternal light,

a spotless mirror of the working of God,

and an image of his goodness.

27 Although she is but one, she can do all things,

and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;

in every generation she passes into holy souls

and makes them friends of God, and prophets;

28 for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.

29 She is more beautiful than the sun,

and excels every constellation of the stars.

Compared with the light she is found to be superior,

30 for it is succeeded by the night,

but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

8 She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,

and she orders all things well.(Wis. 7: 22-8:1)

Until God so chooses to grace me, I remain but a God Seeker. But then, truly, whether we know it or not, aren’t we all?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aliceny
    Dec 01, 2013 @ 12:44:50

    Wow, Sherry, this is pure dynamite. I need to re-read it several times to let it all sink in — and, of course. share it….Alice


  2. Tim
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 18:06:05

    Sherry, you’ve opened the big theological Pandora’s box here–and done a beautiful job of it! To live with uncertainty is to, as Paul so famously said, “walk by faith and not by sight.” I think your Buddha parable captures the whole of it. Once we believe we’ve worked out the equation, the only thing to do is erase the board and start over, because we’ve arrived at our own answer, not the answer. And I think this inability to know for certain is God’s greatest gift to us, as it is what continues to draw us back to God with more questions and doubts. For, as any high school geometry student will tell you, once you’ve worked out the formula and its proof, there’s no need to return to it. That we’re handed so many imponderables along this faith journey is God’s ingenious way of saying, “Stay with Me.” The older I get, the more I understand that every question is really an invitation, not something to resist or dismiss.

    Wonderful job as always–and it’s so good to be back here, wrestling with tough questions alongside you!



    • Sherry
      Dec 23, 2013 @ 08:22:06

      This too has been a bit of hiatus with me…I realized that writing these ideas just for the mere sake of writing was getting a bit dull. How many versions of the same gospel readings can one make before one is stretching. I decided it might be best to write when something actually made me think deeply. This was kind of my uncomfortable bellow…lol..I think that I too have come to realize that questions are way better than answers, and that’s what keeps me returning. I don’t want to have all the answers, I don’t want to feel “sure”….as you say, there is no point in returning when you “know”. Life is just good balancing on the pin. If sometimes I start to tip, well, I know there is a hand to guide me back to balance. Blessings to you my dear friend…Sherry


  3. bronxboy55
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 06:34:25

    Your honesty is refreshing. Most people seem unwilling or unable to actually think these big questions through — enough to admit their own lack of certainty. The more sure someone is about these huge mysteries, the more sure I am that they must be wrong. Great post!


    • Sherry
      Dec 27, 2013 @ 08:19:10

      Why thank you! I was just reading Joseph Campbell, and he was suggesting that the minute we think we have solved the great questions and know the answers, is the moment that we lose the value of myth and they truly do end. I suspect that’s what happens to atheists–they are so sure of what is not, that they have lost any sense of mystery…everything is just science yet identified. I think sadly too many people are so uncomfortable with being unsure, that they grasp and hold tight to substitutes as truth to feel some security. Life is insecure from start to finish. I appreciate your comment! !END


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: