Perhaps it’s the one question most of us would like answered - Does God exist ?
Sir Isaac Newton spent ten years locked away in his house looking through the Old and New Testaments for a hidden code. He was convinced that the bigger picture, the word of God, was to be found here. More telling is the fact that he went to extraordinary lengths to find it.
I wonder if he found what he was looking for, and if he did, who would know. Did he go to his grave believing that his last breathe would open the door to life everlasting.
But what if God was not the bearded old man of our childhood, what if God is the love that resides within us all, like a gravitational field, attracting us all to one another. Could the father of gravity have missed it all along, because he couldn’t see what was in front of his eyes.
I cannot say if having this illness has exacerbated a restless angst, or given birth to it, but during the last eighteen years I have found myself looking beyond my everyday existence to the extent that, like pieces of a jigsaw, I have tried to make sense of events in my life with a view to finding more than the sum of the parts.
I’m searching in the dark, looking for something that is invisible ( even with the light on ) and yet I still feel the need to look for clues.
Perhaps my weakness is not that I might believe in God, but that I was foolish enough to think he might believe in me.
In 2011/12, Imperial College, London, discovered that an electron is, for want of a more deserving description, ‘’incredibly round’’. That is, were you to expand this invisible subatomic particle to the size of our solar system it would be so round that any imperfections would be smaller than the thickness of a human hair.
Like a child unable to comprehend the brilliance of the world around him for which no other explanation than God would do, I concluded that this might bring me a step closer to that I have been searching for.
I was astonished, though if this was another piece of the jigsaw, where would I put it ?
But like a child that climbs into adulthood and sees beyond the horizon I saw what was once certain, now something else. If that electron were to continue its expansion to the size of the Milky Way ( to say nothing of
the universe ) then what appeared to be so perfect, would prove to be so hideously grotesque.
Having the opportunity to converse with a Priest I asked him about his faith and why, if God did exist, and why, if God was so powerful, there is so much sadness. It was the kind of answer a child might ask, and perhaps I once did, but I can honestly say I have never received an answer that meant anything. It always occurred to me that such answers are like missing pieces from another jigsaw. Any relevance they might have had are quickly discounted.
Although sincere I couldn’t help think his answer ( quickly discounted ) predictable, well worn, and utterly inadequate.
I looked with uncommon intensity into the whites of his eyes, and to my sadness I didn’t find what I was looking for.
He said that one day I would be seated in front of The Father, and although i’d heard this before, and it had meant very little to me, I couldn’t help feel a little overwhelmed. Perhaps having been broken by this illness, I am susceptible to any semblance of hope, be it real or otherwise.
But how would I know that what appears to be God is not one in a long line of ever more powerful Gods ?
Is there a horizon beyond the horizon. Will the bigger picture expand forever ?
And if we did live for eternity in God’s presence, wouldn’t that be a frightening experience for some ?
The polemicist Christopher Hitchens remarked that ''at least in North Korea, you can eventually escape’’.
Some months ago I found myself in a part of the city I didn’t recognise. In fact I am not wholly sure what I was doing at the time, and how I came to be there.
There was nobody to be found along an endless row of terraced houses. Rubbish, graffiti, abandoned toys. None of this was important because I had seen this scene a thousand times before. What struck me was the desolation, the despair that I felt. If this street was a human being, surely it had no soul.
I fancied that if there was a God, it had not visited this street, and if it had, who would know.
A philosopher once said that if God didn’t exist, then we would have invented one. Perhaps in some parts of the world we have invented one, but we killed it a long time ago.
We navigate our ways through difficult waters, heading towards a destination none of us can be sure of. We may or may not be helped along the way by forces yet unknown, I do not know, but I know that if we loved a little more and hated a little less, then perhaps we might find what we have been looking for our whole lives. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have a name. Some might even call it God.
the boy with the thousand yard stare
Blog entry posted by Quilp, Nov 5, 2013.