What do I really believe? This is a really tough question. I have always been somehow a bit religious, I just can’t help it, we’re basically baptised into a culture where religious themes are played out around us whether we like it or not. Religion is the mantra of this world and believe me, not even atheists are spared from it. There is plenty of room for all kinds of spiritual exercise. You might say “I don’t believe in anything unless I can see it with my own bare eyes, touch it and know that it’s true”. Well, we don’t see energy to know it’s real, we see it’s effect, and in the same way we see people affected by something they call god that causes them to act in strange and weird ways.
How do we believe? Faith, according to the writer of a letter in the bible (Hebrews), is the substance of things hoped for but cannot be seen (or experienced yet), so it’s an anticipation of something to reveal itself to us at some time in the future. According to this writer everything we see was originally unseen. He doesn’t say it (or the raw elements from which it is shaped) didn’t exist, in fact, he is clear about it that it did exist before it manifested itself to what it is seen now.
Faith is a creative force and it can unleash great evil into this world as we have seen Hitler do in Nazi Germany. How was that possible? It was possible because people believed in him in the same way that Moslems believe in their spiritual leaders and Christians in their pastors. “Ah”, somebody will interject, “but I don’t believe in my paster, I believe in Jesus”. Oh well, then you might also say that you believe in the bible and that it is God’s word and once you go down this road you will have to admit the scriptures admonishing you to listen to your leaders. Stuck in a circular reference system you follow man but believe it is God’s will you’re doing.
You read the bible because somebody told you about it, possibly your pastor or a member of his church. The pastor admonishes you to read the bible and to do what ‘God’ tells you in it. In the bible you read that you shall listen to the pastor, for he is God’s anointed one whom he put over the church. Circular references, so convenient, so slick.
Ok, let’s get back to the subject. What is it I really do believe? I have thought long and hard about what is true and worth to really believe in and when I say I thought long and hard, I really did, nearly all my life. Like Immanuel Kant, I want to get to the bottom of it, of how we can really know things.
Next. What do I really know. I know that one plus one makes two, that is in mathematics. However, mathematics deals with abstracts and once we try to implement them into reality it’s not so obvious that one plus one is true. Here is why:
Think about a perfect circle. What would a perfect circle look like? We all have an abstract idea that there is such a thing as a perfect circle, but has anybody anywhere ever seen one? No, because what appears like a perfect circle at closer inspection always turns out to have flaws. This is the nature of our world. The same is true with a straight line, it doesn’t exist. Put a line that appears perfect under the microscope and you discover, it’s not straight, but jagged, uneven, full of holes and spreading into all directions.
Yet, there is such a thing as one item plus another item makes two items. As long as we don’t insist on identical items. So what can we learn from this:
In our universe at our current understanding we can only measure inaccurate things in number.
In other words, we can only measure that which doesn’t require exact precision. We aim for more precision but no matter how high we aim, at a certain point precision falls down. Even the best engineers in this world can’t build with perfect precision.
Now, knowing this I can only assert that we humans are incapable of precision. Maybe once we discover such a thing as a smallest particle will we be able to gain the precision required to produce absolute perfect things. But alas, quantum physics has played a joke on this thinking. The more we tried to find the elusive smallest particle the messier the world became.
So how can we know anything?
Lazy Christians all over the world proclaim to know Christ. Really. What fools they are, speaking of emotional experiences as if they convey knowledge about a historic person. They are so deluded in their thinking that they can’t even step back from what they believe and look at it from a rational distance. If they did they would understand how stupid utterances like these are. They know Jesus as little as they know me and most other people in this world.
What Christians really mean is that they have a warm and fuzzy feeling and an inner kind of intuition that tells them that they know Jesus. Through reading the bible and listening to thousands of sermons on Sunday, through constant affirmations from fellow believers, it is not surprising they believe what they feel to be true. It’s not rational, not rooted in anything of real substance, just a constant whipping up of emotional believes through constant exposure to emotionally charged words. Words have that power and it doesn’t have to be Christian.
Observing and understanding how people gain false knowledge, through the senses and exposing oneself to environments that provide sensual feedback loops, we learn that to find real truth one has to detach oneself from anything suchlike. The only way to discover truth has to come from a disciplined mind. Strangely, in the scriptures we find exactly this advice: Be sober minded (or cool minded).
The bible contains a lot of good advise. It also contains a lot of bad advise. This is not surprising as it is the work of many men ( not so many women, unfortunately, as they are ranked alongside cattle). The bible is in many parts a collection of the wisdom of desert tribal people who judged things by the standard of their times. Therefore we need to proceed with caution when we go into the scriptures. We also have to seek understanding of these times and the people who wrote them, the political motivations behind many of the writings and the fact that the written word at these times was a powerful way to control people.
To know a thing we have to step back and look at what can be known. We don’t know things by experience, only the effect those things have on us. To know a thing we have to understand it’s inner workings and often to do this we take it apart, yet by taking it apart we often kill the very thing we want to gain more understanding about. What we gained is really not understanding of the thing itself but just it’s shell. Science sadly has often become like this. Instead of gaining an in-depth understanding of what they study they inadvertently killed it’s essence in the process and see nothing now but dead matter.
Step back and be cool. Look first at how you look at a thing. Understand the processes that are involved in learning to understand. How do you know that what you see is really there? Is it by how it looks, by touch, by sound. What is it that communicates any of these sensations and how are they interpreted in your mind. How would we see the object under investigation if we were an animal, a cat or a dog, a bee, a fly, a bacteria or a virus. How does each of these alter our perception?
Think out of the box. Find ways to describe your experiences in objective terms. Think hard why it is what it is. What makes a stone a stone, a rock a rock, a tree a tree and a house a house? Is our world shaped by reality or is it by agreements we make with each other. Are we restricted by limitations that might not be real? Could it be that the world around us is not real but an illusion? Are we just living in a dream and could wake up any moment in a completely different world – maybe dying is just waking up.
Yet speculation does not lead anywhere. How do we know, how can we know anything for sure?
- Why does anything exist?
- Has there ever been a beginning?
- If there was a beginning and there was absolutely nothing before it, what caused the beginning?
- What is eternity?
- If eternity has no beginning and no end, what did God do all those eternity before us?
- If eternity is outside of time, how is it measured?
- If eternity is not measured or not measurable, how does one move in it?
- If one moves in eternity, how can it not be measured?
- If one does not move in eternity, how can one be alive?
These are hard questions and they reveal one thing: There is and can’t be any purpose in our universe. We see patterns in randomness and in them find God but God does not find us because this God has no substance, is not real. The reality around us is shaped by our believes yet our believes are not informed by facts because we don’t know them. This makes mankind insecure because nobody has the ability to know. What we call knowledge is really falsely called so as it only informs our senses. We have become Gnostic in our approach to the universe, seeking enlightenment through the study of ‘holy scriptures’ and the practice of certain rites and prayers. We have not learned yet how to penetrate through the darkness into the light. As the embryo grows into a child and will be rejected from it’s mothers womb into the outer world, another reality will be unleashed upon us, a world where all will be explained and new wonders are to come. Yet we need to push, push out that child and into the light.