Without Self-Consciousness We Could Not Live The Way God Wants Us To Live

SW.I 005

Without The Time Of Non-Being Science Couldn’t Get Done–In The Time Of Non-Being Only Becoming Exists

Halifax Bar Conversation Concluded

“God is a frame of reference, and more,” I said.

“Am I hearing a broken record or what? Why do you keep saying the same thing over and over? God—if God existed—would have to exist outside of time,” Bruce replied. “All traditional religious views say so; otherwise, God would be limited by time. God is not limited by time, or, are we talking about something different here?”

“No, we’re not talking about something different,” I responded. “Because God exists in time, because power and knowledge exists in time, God is in it all and it is for this reason that I can say that God is all powerful, all wise, and all present. Traditional descriptions of God remain unaffected. Within this view God becomes the condition of the possibility for any description at all.”

“What are you saying? What’s that got to do with reference frames?” said Bruce.

“Einstein was right,” I replied, “but not totally. He described the time of ‘things,’ space-time events, but so too does a different kind of time exist, a second time, the time of self, or I should say the time of ‘no-self.’ If that time didn’t exist, science couldn’t get done. For Einstein, the observer is enmeshed in space-time, but that didn’t stop him from questioning why we can comprehend nature. Indeed, nature’s comprehensibility was a big issue for Einstein, but, for the most part, he remained silent on that issue. Deep down, though, he believed that the comprehensibility of nature was no less than a miracle, and for him that meant that everything was a miracle. The time of ‘no-self,’ the time of non-being, is only found in our consciousness of becoming—our free will. In that time ‘surprise’ becomes an event. In Einstein’s space-time I live and die, but before I die I leave behind a history, and that history is fully represented in the cross-section of events—world lines– that we call ‘a life.’ Adding a second kind of time to that equation changes everything.”

“What about God? It seems you have excluded God in your ‘no-time,’ if that’s what you want to call it!” responded Bruce.

“Far from it,” I replied. “In the time of non-being ‘world lines’ are replaced by motives and actions. In the time of non-being only ‘becoming’ exists. In that time responsibility is birthed. In that time the consciousness of ‘right and wrong,’—the stuff that remains invisible to science—speaks for God.”

“You’re telling me that humans exist in a timeframe different from the rest of nature? I don’t buy it. The last time I checked,” Bruce responded, “my cat lived in the same time that I do. If you want proof, come to dinner.”

”Your cat lives in the present,” I said, “but not in the time of self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is reserved for those who can judge good and evil, right and wrong. “God is made manifest in that consciousness. In a manner of speaking, God reaches out and touches everybody in self-consciousness.”

“That sounds so tacky,” Bruce replied. “You know what Freud said about self-consciousness don’t you?”

“No I don’t,” I replied. “But I imagine he had something to say about everything?”

“He said self-consciousness was a late product of evolution,” responded Bruce. “As the brain became larger, consciousness grew more complex, and finally it was mere size that ushered in self-consciousness. All hell broke lose after that.”

“How so?” I replied.

“Before self-consciousness, life was simple,” Bruce said. “Hunger and sex dominated waking consciousness. People lived and died in an endless pattern. With self-consciousness came the capacity for self-transcendence and, according to Freud, it was only then that a sense of meaninglessness entered the world. All anxieties and neuroses can be traced back to our recognition of impeding disasters, death, and decay. It was, in fact, that sense of meaninglessness that opened the birth canal out of which religion dropped. Traumatic events became bearable with religion. As a result, the psyche, made fragile by religion’s false gods, became vulnerable to psychological tumult. Your God, I’m afraid, would not impress Freud. Does that surprise you?”

“Not really,” I said. “Everything good comes with a price, and self-consciousness is not exempt. Our freedom to ‘do the right thing’ pays that price. Call religion a crutch if you want; no matter though, without self-consciousness we could not live in the way that God wants us to live.”

“And what, pray tell, is that– the way God wants us to live?” responded Bruce.

“To be determined,” I replied.

“What does that mean?” exclaimed Bruce.

“The right way to live follows from first principles,” I said. “Once principles are determined—agreed upon—the stage is set for what is to follow. Principles like ‘doing unto others as you would have others do unto you,’ ‘reverence for life,’ and caring for the environment are all guiding principles from which a ‘religious life’ can proceed. Of course, there are always going to be challenges and controversies. For instance, how do we define happiness? Even more to the point, when personal happiness feeds off another’s pain, is that justifiable? Answers to questions such as these arise only after the behaviors in question are measured against the agreed upon first principles that determi
ne ‘right’ for ‘wrong.’ Identifying first principles is the hard part. Like the freedom principle, first principles tend to be general in nature, and therefore open to some degree of interpretation.

“Why do you say that? What kind of controversy can come from the freedom principle?” replied Bruce.

“You should have continued reading your Freud,” I said. “Unbridled freedom has always been a threat. Before civil authority, a system of taboos kept freedom in check. Obey God or go to hell, or leeches, if reincarnation is your bag. ‘The divine enforcer’ has always been the principle behind social control, and on the flip side, behind social bonding. ‘Shall we pray;’ get the picture? But now it’s different. Now we are on the cusp of a new consciousness. The God that resides in each and every one of us, simply asks: Look at one another and see God, then act appropriately.”

“And act appropriately,” said Bruce, “how exactly do you decipher that? How am I supposed to tell the difference between appropriate and inappropriate activity?”

“I’m not exactly sure,” I replied, “but, when appropriateness is determined, it will be both consistent with what has gone before and unique to that particular moment. Think of it as the stuff that nourishes life.”

“Oh, then its got to be chicken soup, eh!” Bruce replied.

“What? Well, yes, maybe it does, or is, or whatever,” I said. “That metaphor is as good as any I guess. However, the soup I’m talking about does not require stock. It comes with already added stock. Freedom and God provide the flavor. To give it more substance, reason, compassion, and justice need to be added to the mix. And further, while simmering, season it well with knowledge, consistency, and first-principles. When ready, serve it hot and often. There is enough nourishment there to provide for the needs of the entire Commonwealth. There’s enough energy there to sustain a balance between government and individual autonomy, and to sustain a balance between the law of unity and the claims of the community. But don’t forget the garnish! This soup requires generous amounts of garnish, –in the form of educational opportunities. Without a good education there would be no agreement on what nourishment is as opposed to what it is not. Providing fair, productive, and sustainable living conditions for all, that is the goal. Without universal educational opportunities, that goal—to provide fair, productive, and sustainable living conditions for all, would be impossible to even imagine let alone achieve.”

“Ah, romance!” responded Bruce. “Without the Romantics the world would die a wicked death, or at least I remember somebody saying that once. But realistically, wouldn’t it take a miracle for people to live like that?”

“It probably would my friend, it probably would!”


One Response to “Without Self-Consciousness We Could Not Live The Way God Wants Us To Live”

  1. bwinwnbwi Says:

    Reblogged this on bwinwnbwimusic and commented:

    It’s in the chicken soup my friend; everything you need to know about philosophy, religion/God, science, freedom…

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