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am i a christian?

I got that question recently and as i often do i gave a rather bungled answer. For one i’ve put some thought into and answered regularly you’d think i’d have an answer. I do but i have lots of them, talking points depending on who asks. Sometimes none of them really seem to fit and i sputter around trying to answer the question. As with perhaps all binary questions the real answer is yes, no, neither yes nor no, both yes and no, and the question is meaningless. Its a big universe.

What i would have liked to have said might be something like this. I believe in the universe for lots of good reason. I believe in my own existance for many more. I have looked to see what i am and have some preliminary conclusions at least. I am consciousness with volition, the ability to process sensory information, remember the past, imagine almost anything, and i have some degree of self awareness. I know my consciousness arises in a process of emergence, self organization of simple routines. I believe the universe is likewise. Like my brain and body spinning off mind stuff that has achieved self awarenss it is conceivable to me that the universe has done likewise. The physical universe is perhaps 18 billion years old. I am fascinated by science and believe it is telling a largely self consistent narrative of how things came to be and see no serious reason to doubt the universe began with a Big Bang some time ago. As the first stars formed planets coalesced as well, perhaps 17 1/2 billion years ago. On one of those planets life arose which achieved self consciousness for the first time. On that planet one being had to be the first, allowing the first conversation and the creation of the information universe. Before this the universe consciousness had no one to talk to and without another there is no self consciousness. We are created through conversation. Words are the component of the internal dialogue the matrix of the self. In the beginning was the word and the word was god and the word was with god. Information has no particular location nor time. It just is. This first being achieved self consciousness and created the information universe and for all practical purposes invented god as they reflected each other. I have no reason not to think this first being incarnated on this planet as Jesus. I have had religious experiences that lend this idea credence, I don’t ask you to believe on my word but i challenge you to have your own experiences in whatever way is meaningful to you. Spirituality to me is less about what you believe and more about what you experience, though of course our experiences are mediated by our beliefs. the 2 forces that shape our higher consciousness are love and meaning. Deny a newborn love and it will die. Once we exist we can live without it, i have seen evidence of this but there is no evidence a self consciousness can develop without love. Nor can it exist without meaning. Meaninglessness would prohibit communication and we are created in a social context. No man is an island but every man and every woman is a star. A luminous being of the light of consciousness. We shine in this world and another, though it be just a story that is alright. Thats all anything is, anything real. Until its a story its existance is only as potential. probability. Reality breaks down into probability without an observer. Why is heaven referred to as the Book of Life? Jesus said both i have made many mansions and ye shall do far greater things. He quotes Psalm 82:6, ye are gods but shall die like men. Each of us creates our part in the universe of ideas. Mediated by our experiences in the material world we create a self and equip it with tools; ideas, language, stories, memories, the capacity for imagination and conversation. These are the treasures of heaven that moth and rust cannot destroy. The ideas of things are more real than the things themselves. So i am a christian in that i am a co-heir with christ. I am a child of the god that made the universe, if not by creation than observation, as i suspect the universe made god as much as the other way around. The god i tip my head to is the sum total of all things, the emergent organization of all mind in the universe, all that is and all that has ever been, and all that anyone could ever imagine anywhere and anywhen, and probably more as well. Its too big for words. All words lie in that they create necessary assumptions that obscure the total truth.

Categories: philosophy
  1. chad1972
    July 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Here here! Once we start to label God(Creation/Universe/etc…) we end up inadvertently perverting it. Our tool of communication (words) is clumsy and imperfect. Your description is as apt as any that employs the clumsy tool that is language. I know this was not written for me, but I feel I should thank you

  2. Mike
    July 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the comment. Just to expand on that a bit i am not implying labels are valueless but that they both enhance and detract from The Truth and we should use them knowingly. I think the key is not so much abandoning labels but to feel free to use them positively, with understanding of their limitations. Growth is a continual process of finding and then discarding ever more accurate and helpful labels. Thanks again for the thoughtful read.

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