The God Factor

The God Factor

Sistine-Chapel

By Rob Roman

America is a melting pot of religious persuasions. People who are agnostic (the question of God is not relevant to living a moral life) and people who are atheists (do not believe in God) have been around throughout the existence of the United States.

Let’s look at the official definition of God. From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

1 capitalized:  the supreme or ultimate reality: as 

a   :  the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

 

b   Christian Science   :  the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit :  infinite Mind 

2:  a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically:  one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality

3:  a person or thing of supreme value

4:  a powerful ruler

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god

god 6More and more, agnostics and atheists are asserting their rights and feel excluded by the government as God appears in our pledge of allegiance, on our money, and in many other places. They invoke the “separation of church and state” and our notion of equal rights to try to persuade the government to remove all references to God.

People who are against this cite the fact that our nation was founded mainly by deeply religious people who fled Europe due to religious persecution. They cite our strong history of a Judeo– Christian ethic and structure of laws. They will say that America is by and large a Christian Nation, and has always been so.

god 2We hear the perennial argument that it’s not inclusive of everyone to say “Merry Christmas” or to suggest that Christmas is only a Christian celebration. People point out that there are many other holidays around this time of year, including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Being inclusive does not mean that others should give up their rights or that we should neglect our history. How does having the word “God” stricken from everything serve the public interest? Isn’t it just as divisive to exclude the word “God” as it is to embrace it?

god 1Then what is “God”? How many people use the same definition? Many Christians see God as an all powerful creator in the same image as man. But divinity students may not agree, and they talk about a trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Muslims speak of “Allah”. This is their word for God, but is it the same as the God the Christians believe in? Buddhist are thought not to believe in a separate, personal God, but in the “Buddha Dharma”, which permeates everything, including all space and time. All three of these interpretations of God are creative and sustaining forces.

god 4Atheists say they don’t believe in God. Then what do they believe in?  What is most important to them? What is their driving force? What do they base their lives on and put their trust in? Many would say they put their trust in Humanity.

Being atheist or agnostic has moral implications. That doesn’t mean that they are amoral or immoral. True agnostics and atheists must have some sort of moral code.

Then we have the science vs. God argument. The truth is they are not mutually exclusive and can’t be. Some people believe that science is imperfect and attempts to deny the existence of God. Many people believe in both God and science and some trust neither.

Some people say they do not believe in God, but they say they do believe in a “higher power”, even if this comes from within themselves.

evil 2What would be a more universal interpretation of God? Maybe it’s a higher power, a higher consciousness, or a higher responsibility. Maybe everyone, including agnostics and atheists, can agree to at least one of these three interpretations.

humanity 2

There are three things we all want to do, if we are caring sentient beings. We all want to move in a direction. We want to move away form the darkness of ignorance and towards the light of understanding. We want to moves away from hatred and depression, and towards love and joy. We want to move away from selfishness and towards generosity.

god 5Within the idea of a higher power, a higher consciousness, or a higher responsibility, I think we all can agree that we all adhere to at least one of these as a driving force. Within the three directions, I think we can all agree that we embrace at least one of these.

So, instead of believing we need to remove the word God from everything, maybe everyone can define it for themselves within the parameters of these three interpretations and these three directions? This would be more inclusive than shutting out so many of our citizens and so much of our Nation’s history.

Now, this way, even Agnostics and Atheists (and Buddhists) can comfortably say “In God we trust” and “God bless America”.

What is your Opinion? We would like to know! All comments are welcome.

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Our Universe

Always under construction  –  Constantly evolving!

A Meditation

By Rob Roman and Amanda Chen

space 1 lg

This is what we’re riding on. The Milky Way Galaxy. It’s only one of so many systems.

Whatever you believe in, God, a Higher Power, Science and Evolution, The Buddha Dharma, or Nothing at all, there is never an apple tree with only one apple, or a flower with only one petal.  If self-consciousness is the goal, there must be others out there.

There is a God for everyone, you just may define it differently than I do, or someone else does. We all came from the same origin, and we are all on the same path, universally speaking.

space 3 lg

We have some powerful telescopes out there, and this is out there. Some kind of plasma. Who needs the dry scientific explanation. Intuitively we can know what it is, it’s made out of the same basic stuff that we are.

space 4 lg

Even if it’s not interpreted in colors, there is energy and mass and movement here. A really tremendous amount of energy.  Our minds are powerful enough to tap that energy. All space and time can meet at the intersection of the human mind, no matter how distressed we are with finite and minute circumstances.

space 5 lg

Here we are all one, and here, there is no separation, as we are removed further and further away form the particulars of our space and our time, and move into the infinity of all space and all time.

Only the human mind can grasp both the minute particulars of the here and now, and  the vast generalization of infinity. We coalesce the infinite within the finite and timelessness within time.

space 6 lg

Is this time-lapse photography? I don’t want to spoil it by looking up what this is. Then I will be restricted by logical and studied interpretations. We can use our intuition to know what this is better than any scientist. We have a direct connection and we are directly related to this phenomenon.

space 7 lg

My guess is that this is reading infrared or ultraviolet light. So we are seeing heat, movement, and direction. We are seeing concentrations of light and energy, cooling into mass and becoming distinct, separate, and relative.

space 8 lg

The latest theory is that a failed planet or a mass of asteroids formed into a sphere and veered into the orbit of earth colliding and deforming earth, coming together again and forming the moon. Is life even possible without the moon? I never bothered to look that up.

They say the real cycle of the moon is 28 days, so our calendar should have 13 months x 28 days = 364 days. Starfish. Instead, we have different lengths of months with 28, 29, 30, and 31 days, leap years etc. Maybe 13 is not so unlucky a number. It’s a lucky number, though misunderstood.

Neil Armstrong said that when he went to the moon, what he really discovered was the earth.

space 9 lg

The big blue marble. it’s a living organism, truth be told. When people first saw this photo, they were awestruck. It opened up a higher consciousness, and for some a higher responsibility. Is it just a human control fantasy to think we can control the earth? Maybe , if we need it to sustain human life.

space 10 lg

Is this real? I don’t even know and I don’t recognize it. It’s just navigation on an ocean of space. Reality belongs to the perceiver, and the elements of perception. Cruising through the giant mind which is outer-space, the Universe is completely endless. No foundation, no edges, and no confines.

From a distance You look like my friend Even though we are at war

From a distance I just cannot comprehend What all this fighting is for

space 11From a distance There is HARMONY And it echoes through the land

And it’s the hope of hopes

It’s the love of loves

It’s the heart of every man

                    It’s the hope of hopes

                      It’s the love of loves

                      This is the song of every man.

God is watching us

                God is watching us

                           God is watching us

                                                      ………From a distance

-Bette Midler

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fky1dfANPiI