Monday, May 09, 2011

Some thoughts about God ("Sci-Fi Primary Deity")

Artists and people interested in art talk about expression and expressing things, and I think ideally that "expression" means that they are exuding some thing from (hopefully) some deep inner place common to all humans, and that is what makes "ideal art" of "great art" timeless and/or more than the sum of its parts (more than the medium and methods/techniques and material form of its execution). They also talk about "creativity" and "creation" thereby raising the notion that the activity associated with producing art brings something out of nothing, or at least something new of of something existing but as yet "un-expressed:", which (again) in the best sense is something timeless and over-archingly universal to human experience before, now or henceforth.

I preface this by saying I was once an avid science fiction reader. I still like science fiction a great deal, and think it is a great way to illustrate a lot of concepts and pass a lot of allegorical information, but don't have as much time to read it, unfortunately. So I use some science fiction here.

So here is where it gets a little convoluted but... there are theosophists who have talked about "information" being "encoded" into art, and things like the "DaVinci Code", where it is suggested that some conscious, semi-conscious or "channeled" conscious effort or agency inserts messages in to art.

Gurdjieff talks about "objective art", that art which "creates itself": Gurdjieff talks about "objective art" which contains a message that is 'encoded' into the work: "The difference between objective art and subjective art is that in objective art the artist really does 'create,' that is he makes what he intended, he puts into his work whatever ideas and feelings he wants to put into it. And the action of this work upon men is absolutely definite; they will, of course each according to his own level, receive the same ideas and the same feelings that the artist wanted to transmit to them. There can be nothing accidental either in the creation or in the impressions of objective art."

Now, Gurdjieff was very interested in art and the execution of art as it was applied to the control or extension of humans, seemed less so interested in the actual nature of the source of creation, and he talks about the more pure nature of his concept of "objective art" to some extent in a way which is indicative but maybe inaccurate (music having an "inner octave", a subtle structural complexity that can be sensed on a different level, citing the music of a snake charmer, which may or may not be the actual mechanism by which the snake is "charmed".).

C.G. Jung says"The essence of a work of art is not to be found in the personal idiosyncrasies that creep into it—indeed, the more there are of them, the less it is a work of art—but in its rising above the personal and speaking from the mind and heart of the artist to the mind and heart of mankind". He theorizes about a "collective unconscious" that all humans (in fact, all life forms with nervous systems) share. We can postulate that the act of creating "objective art:" somehow causes that collective unconscious to permeate the artist's creative state in a way such that it finds its way through the artist and then into the art:

Then, the whole 'creation' thing leads us to consider its antithesis, destruction, which leads us to physics (can't destroy anything, can just transform it into something else) into metaphysics (what are we actually creating/destroying and why, is all "creation" of the same "spirit" or "essence"-- that is, is everything that is created done in the same way and/or at the same behest that EVERYTHING was created, indeed if we "transform" something through destruction are we acting in the same spirit-- and is it true "we" are really doing the creating/destroying anyway?).

So that is some shit to be saying in parentheses, but there it is.

Now, there are theologies (metaphysical systems) that indicate that various forces (light and dark) vie for control of the universe and as such manifest themselves through "bad" and "good" actions. There is an interesting Theosophical motto that reads "There is no religion higher than truth" which of course cannot be argued with, [edit] certainly a most true religion is the "righter" religion, and a religion found to be "mostly untrue" is undeniably flawed.

[edit] What is "THE" most true? I think it does have a lot to do with what resonates best with the "truth seeker in question", because you won't apply the effort into divining the truth from something that is too obscure or too hard to understand or with too much weird baggage. That is only opinion/speculation, because I can only speak for myself from my own experience.

Then, there is "true" "True Enough", and "True", and also of course when you get into this area words start to fail--  suffice that"True Enough" is a subset of "True", but does not lead indefatigably to "True". In general, a religion can relate inaccuracies with regard to certain aspects that are peripheral to its core thrust and still be "True Enough" and "True". 

For example, that the Bible may or may not describe the precise mechanisms of creation exactly actually does not pertain to its validity in respect to its description of God's relationship to man, any more than a book of microwave recipies need provide an in-depth explanation and schematic of the components of a microwave oven or the methods for its manufacture.

Also, I think now that "True Enough" and "True" are sometimes outweighed by "Startlingly Insightful". It is Startlingly Insightful that the Bible indicates creation as happening in stages, almost identical to the stages of evolution and even astrophysical phenomenon as put forth in science, given that it precedes this science by thousands of years.

But, latching on to those things that are "Startlingly Insightful" can also be dangerous, because they can be red herrings-- they appeal to us emotionally, but in the overal scheme of Truth they are illustrative yet not always substantive. To arrive at real Truth, Pathos and Logos must work in accord, in the way an argument in court employs both rhetorical appeals and reason based on evidence.

Something that is reassuring is when a religion also promotes those tools that arrive at the truth as part and parcel of its teaching. Conversely, we have to consider that a religion that does not include these tools is counter to Truth.

So I've read some things about God and also about Jesus, because of course the Startling thing about Jesus is that he returns from the dead. Not only does he "manifest" himself, but he manifests himself in the physical form that he had when he was killed. So, after the resurrection, he walks among his followers but cannot be Biologically Functional. That is to say, if Bones McCoy was to hook Him up to the sick back apparatus, He might not not read as being humanly alive.

Why do I say this? Well it could be true because his body was not in a condition to be functioning. He was not only badly beaten, pierced, cut and crucified in a way that caused his key biological systems to fail, but was stabbed with a spear so that "water and blood poured forth". Not trickled, but poured.

So even  if Jesus were "divinely defribillated", His biological body wouldn't seem like it could continue to function without significant surgical repair and blood transfusions. However, the account indicates the wounds in limbs and side still extant, so no such repair occurred. But also these are details, the mechanical point is not so important.

What is important is that God (if god is God, the True God) is able to rewind, edit and fast forward time, and overlay, co-locate, and otherwise manipulate space and matter. There are lots of historical dumb arguments by intelligent people, arguments that had people calling one another heretics because of details based primarily on *sequential* thinking, and which caused torturing and killing and so on that completely miss this.

But, if like in a science fiction book, you give your Primary Deity character the power to do these things, operating in multiple dimensions, then everything happening in a subset of dimensions becomes very easy to explain. Maybe harder to explain in a science fiction frame of mind is why such a powerful being would even bother with us? Science fiction beings are always out for power or conquest. There is the "saving the world" theme, but from whom? Who could even pose a threat to such a powerful sciene fiction being?  You get into "why do bad things happen" etc. at some point, but maybe the most exciting parts of the sceince fiction story would be how the Primary Deity exercises His power to influence all the things that do happen and hoping for a really happy ending (or, if that sounds too doom-laden,  a really exciting set of unending sequels).


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