Deep in meditative trance a voice, my own perhaps, told me that I sought a god and had always done so.
The surprise was that I was surprised. Perhaps it was a sort of “coming out”. If that voice spoke the truth, and I have little reason to doubt it, then small wonder that a commercial life was an anathema to my soul.
I sat listening to the rain, pattering somewhere in my consciousness. There was a door or a barrier somewhere. Perhaps I was the wrong side of the tracks. Just the other side lay the infinite.
Do I anthropomorphize? No but I seek communication, communion if you will. At one stage I was in an empty theater, a Shakespearean image if ever there was one.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
Was the god I sought the director of such theater I wondered? I thought perhaps he might be. Was there anyone there in that emptiness? Who had built, designed and ran that theater. The answer was always on the tip of my tongue. Like a half forgotten memory, which needed just a little prodding to be brought back into the camera of my mind.
Are we a simulation perhaps, are we the men in Plato’s cave. All seemed possible. God was never quite found, or was he?
“Are we what you are seeking?” I seemed to hear. Yes, you will do I replied. Talk to me, show yourselves.
Were those voices the Omega Point? I rather fancied they were. You see, a technological god will do me just fine.
Anything omniscient, wise, beneficent. Omnipotent would be quite handy too. Something vastly bigger that what we normally perceive in our messed up world of concretized struggle.
Is my god that of Abraham or Mohamed? The question seemed irrelevant. Was I god I wondered, or, more properly put, was I an offshoot of some universal consciousness of which we are all a part.
The joy of meditation is the freedom from convention and thought. I feel, therefor I am. To misquote Descartes.
Out of meditation I still listen for those voices. In the wind, in quiet incantations in a temple, in silence and the panoply of a starry night.
But I am an eclectic sort of fellow and can see beauty everywhere, even in the little maths I am able to grasp. In the wonder of fractals seen in the design of a tree, its roots and leaves. In the bang which we are told kicked us all off and in the whimper they say is our ending.
Were I young again and could choose a different path, it might have been that of the physicist. There is a stark, ethereal beauty there too, a search for meaning of not such a different order.
If there is a god, he hides in the cracks, in letters written in lemon juice between the lines on a page. Perhaps the physicist will discover him silently existing at the center of an ultimate singularity, or wrapped in some exotic field of yet unthought of energy. In a dimension we do not yet know of. A life form divorced from what we conceive of as the physical universe.
Many a physicalist will sneer these days at a such a search. Materialism is the fashion and the universe can only be explained in terms of what it does, not what it means. It was not always thus and there are still physicists who dream with greater ambition, people who are prepared to ask why and not content themselves merely to count and calculate.
At my age I must remain a mere dreamer; the time for doing seems long gone. But where would we be without such dreams? The world will not be bettered by science alone. No “for profit” titan will create a heaven for all, merely a glory for one.
There is a place still for the hermit, sitting in silence and listening for quiet voices in the gentle winds. There is purpose in listening, even in a world where all seems driven by material ambition.
There is meaning to be found by looking with serene detachment and contemplating what is and what might yet be.
Anthony, I like what Einstein said:
“…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”
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He must have been a wonderful old boy to chat to!
Oh I love these sorts of posts from you. There are so many thoughts being provoked in my head. One, I love physics dancing in spiritual circles. Two, hermits have unearthed a great deal of mystical teaching. Three, listening to Nature is such a profound experience. Adding Shakespeare into the mix really makes for an interesting read. This stuff excites me.
You are very kind. I too am excited by this sort of stuff. A potential downside is that it does remove me far far away from anything man would normally describe as practical. Or some might say “useful”. I found myself at my laptop this morning working on an algorithm which was playing up. But I recognized that I would prefer simply to dream, preferably outside in some lovely garden or forest. To dream and meditate and listen to water trickling and rain pattering. To hear birds and smell the earth and plants.
Wittgenstein became a gardener of course. And so did Candide. Lessons to be learnt there methinks.
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Oh that is the struggle. On the one end it’s good to ask the really big questions in deep contemplation, but we still live in the material world. Osho had a really lovely way of explaining that dichotomy by citing how inadequate the materialist culture is in the West and India’s abject poverty being the result of lofty spiritual practice. There is a balance I’m sure but it’s difficult to find it sometimes. Tilling the Earth sounds a fine way to spend the later years in life though.