Continuing From Part 1, personally I have come to disregard Medieval Conception of God (MCG) as outdated and divisive in our complex world. I believe it locks people down in a feudal mindset of poverty and hostility without answering any of their life’s aspirations. In fact if you notice, MCG is most prevalent in poorest areas of the world (Asian and African regions) where development has not reached or has not been allowed to reach by vested warlords. The baggage of MCG then in my view is a blockade that has to be cleared if human progress has to continue. The debate has to shift from identity issues to developmental agenda. One part of civilization cannot be entangled in a time warp while the other moves forward with time. There is no sustainable way that a globalized human civilization can exist in two time capsules simultaneously.
Talking about moving forward, rationalists and atheists, who have kept pace with informational world believe that not only there is no god but also there is no place for it in current scheme of things. Their arguments on God are also dead wrong as they are in complete denial of human nature. Theirs’not a movement forward but prescription of neurosis for the entire mankind. Western world where divinity denial view is prevalent, by all accounts, is itself unraveling psychologically ( largest selling drugs in US are anti-depressants). It cannot be otherwise as in Einsteins words, either everything is sacred or nothing is. Let me explain why loss of sacred is one of the worst psychological injury west is dealing with.
All philosophers Kant onwards, have argued that it is impossible to clearly demarcate the outside and inside worlds or draw a hard line between human subjectivity and objectivity, All psychologists know that because of this epistemological ambiguity we end up realizing innate psychological energies by projecting them onto the world. (as an example, you are drawn to somebody partly because of the characteristics they exhibit ( objective) and also because you project your attraction energy of gender polarity (subjective) on to them) Any innate energy that gets stymied or remains locked inside the psyche, turns hostile and causes schizophrenia and other psychological aberrations.
Evaluating concept of God from this psychological perspective it becomes obvious that this is such a powerful concept because it acts as a receptacle of some large force which we project onto it. I believe our innate “sense of sacred” is what gets permanently engaged with the god principle.Backed by innate drive to believe in holiness and transcendence, we then project great amount of energy to whatever form of god conception is culturally prevalent in our time. An analogy to clarify this is that an empty canvas is the recipient of an artists resident creative energies. Now if we believe rationalists, atheists and refute the conception of god altogether, we will lock colossal subjective energies down and rob people of great emotional pillar that add existential meaning to their life. If this is not a recipe of a psychological epidemic I would not know how to start one.
So I believe that we have to go past MCG as a cultural necessity and find an alternate conception as a psychological need. Alternatively, we need to innovate and create a version three of the God Idea. However this time around I believe, we can frame it as a Sacredness Principle instead of an Anthromorphic Principle.
The central proposition of my Sacred Conception of God (SCG) is that our resident sacredness instead of being dedicated to an omniscient God (as in MCG) or fragmented hybrids (as in TCG) can be surrendered to a nurturing mother nature which sustains the whole earth as a self-regulating complex system of life and non life sub-parts. This is aGaia hypothesis looked at not from a lens of science but from frame of reverence.
The feeling is akin to when you are in a jungle, its silence and surroundings can be explained scientifically but when you listen to it intently, the mystique of that silence and surround, overwhelms you.Likewise you can explain nature elementally, by a reductionist approach, however taken together as a whole,it overwhelms you, transcends you.Another perspective to SCG is that is a Tribal Conception of God (TCG) with a systems twist. In TCG individual elements were conceptualized though with SCG, system becomes a transcendent whole.SCG, as I think of it, posits that if you are in awe of and connected to nature, you are close to something holy. Also SCG in its transcendent form scales to a pantheistic belief in divinity of the entire universe.
Once meaning and sacredness check boxes of God Principle are checked, under SCG, we still need a value system to live by. If explicit “Though shall not kill”, “Do Kill the infidel” or any other deontological MCG ethics will not work, as replacement, we need a consistent ethical framework to base our actions on. Of all system of normative ethics, I find virtue ethics carried through stoic action path closest to my temperament.Details of that though is another post, another day.
To have a closer look at contours of this SCG then, lets quickly examine the four foundational components of MCG,
- Explain the universe and life as we experience it
- Give and Uphold the moral principles of life.
- Be the purveyor of justice by finally administering rewards and punishment on judgment day.
- Give Meaning to life by being recipient and primal cause of all actions of everyone.
This is how Sacred Conception of God(SCG) stacks on each of these items:
- SCG framing essentially means we do not have to load it with having to explain the working of the universe.We take it as it is and this gives science its play and effectively ends the god vs science debate.
- The moral principles of life are based on Virtue Ethics mediated by Stoic rationality.
- Any ethics you have to have, should be for and about this life and not after life. If you want to be good, be for its own sake (being virtuous) rather than for any divine incentive system.
- Gives meaning, as individual is in service of system and is destined to serve it.
So as you can see God for me is dead however it cannot be buried.I have resurrected it in a different avatar for my personal sanity and health. Talking of Avatars,the movie did present a pantheistic system working on the planet pandora.
Now I invite all those who have felt a discontent with the modern state of religion, god or themselves or who feel an intellectual dereliction about old concepts being redundant and new ones defunct, to consider this alternate conception of God. You can take the projection screen of your sacredness as Gaia ( in my case I found a resonance with it, as I was raised in Hindu faith where nurturing mother is not only the most dominant archetype but also much mythologicaly eulogized) or any other overarching principle that you find a deep connect with. As an example Buddhists do not follow MCG or TCG route at all but use the Buddha-mind as their sacredness hook.
Now the only question left unanswered is how do you pray to this God.You don’t. Any prayer, without a policy and a plan,is politics and this God will not be campaigned with, So you do not pray to SCG because you serve it. You serve first, by being a person of excellent character and second by connecting and taking care of planets’ ecosystems and biosystems,to the very best of your abilities.It is your holy duty. Thereupon if you seek transcendence you contemplate and connect to the wide universe by going beyond your individual self;