God, the universe, and the nature of reality
Trip Start Nov 13, 2006
81Trip End Oct 21, 2008
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Too much attention to detail of the law rather than to the spirit behind it? Maybe, but think about it. By having different blessings for different food types you are forced to think about where it came from, before saying a blessing and then eating it mindfully. Is that really so crazy?
The Yeshiva experience is all about debate. You can't get away from it. Below I will outline my thoughts on the arguments I've heard and share some insights and techniques that have changed my life ...and could change yours
Something From Nothing?
All finite things have a source. The universe is finite. Therefore the universe must have an infinite source.
-It's the basic argument given at the yeshiva which convinced a frightening number of the students around me that there must be a God. If you define the universe as something which needs a source then you're bound to end up concluding that it needs a creator, and if you define God as something not needing a source then you can conveniently get round explaining how she got there.
The universe doesn't exist inside a flow of time and so there is no such thing as 'before' the universe', a time when there was nothing, or a cause before the effect.
Choose the Blue Pill
God created the physical world so that we would choose to realize it's just an illusion and connect to the 'infinite'.
-Isn't that a bit silly?
Why Bad Things Happen?
-Don't like that answer? Neither do I.
The Nature Of Reality
Now and again, somewhere between sleeping and waking up, I have moments where I am aware that there is more than what I can see in day to day life. We only have five senses and each of them has a limited range. There could be so much out there that we cannot 'sense'. In yeshiva they band about the word 'infinite' to explain the nature (or non-nature) of God. I believe that there is infinite in the sense of what cannot be studied under a microscope or understood.
The nature of reality is that we create it. Psychologically it is well known that we see the world through a myriad of filters that are affected by our world view. In films such as 'What the Bleep' and 'The Secret' we even hear a group of 'quantum physicists' take physics principles such as the observer effect to explain how our thoughts can effect the physical world.
Since I've been in Israel things I need have started coming to me like never before
For an object I need to appear before me an entire chain of events needs to unfold so that we are both in the same place at the same time. What's more that chain of events would have to have started way before I decided I needed that object, perhaps from the beginning of time. I don't see how the subatomic quantum leap of an electron changing orbits or a collapsing wave function can explain it. I think there needs to be a conscious manipulation of events by something outside of time as we experience it.
A Higher State of Consciousness
In my last few weeks at Yeshiva I realized I was there for a reason. I wanted to believe, and to connect with something higher. Call it God, the universe, whatever. I don't think it really matters. The commandment to 'Fear God' is a mistranslation. It actually means to be in 'awe' of God. Each day I now take the time to be in awe, and it has changed my life
I look at all the beauty around me, at my health, at all the experiences I might take for granted and I thank God for them. I may say a blessing or express my gratitude before or after I eat, go to the toilet, wake up, go to sleep, see a nice view. It raises my consciousness and hence my enjoyment of the physical. The funny thing is that the more I take the time to appreciate and be grateful for the good things that come my way, the more good things seem to come my way.
My time at yeshiva has given me the tools to get the most out of life. I have created my reality with God. I love God, and in so doing love myself, and life. As I move on to the next stage of my journey in Israel and in life I find that I just don't worry too much about where I'm going because I'm not really the driver. I still have to take action to get what I want but I have faith that I will end up where I need to be. I have no fixed abode and no plan.
So now enough of this God talk. It's back to the road with my backpack and guitar where a new adventure lies just around the bend.