Friday, October 7, 2011

Does it Matter?

I am easily distracted by all the tangent ideas in this world.  Give me a topic and I will find all the other perspectives and issues associated with it, leading to a complete stagnation of reasoning.  Sometimes I combat my own thinking.

The bible tells us that Jesus was asked to identify the greatest law.  In other words, what matters more than anything else?  I could interpret this passage numerous ways, as have many people before me.  Instead, it got me thinking of what was left behind.

I have been put into an intellectual corner on several occasions, sometimes by me. For example, I have been weighing in on the topic of God.  Who is God?  What is God like?  I felt I needed to know the answers in order to better know how to conduct myself.  What does God expect of me?

For starters, God "exists".  And by "exists", I don't mean to some state whose opposite is "non-existence".  There is a god (or more) and I don't question it.  I cannot prove it, but I understand there are things that exist which cannot be proven with words.  Study zen, and ask someone to describe satori in words.  It cannot be understood with words.  God is.  I know it.

But, is there one god or many gods?  Is God so all-powerful and all-present that God cares and interacts with each and every thought and action of every being?  Is there a different god for different people/creatures?  If there are multiple universes, as some people are considering, is it the same God in all of them?

Then, it struck me: does it matter?  What do I need to know?  I know there is a god.  There may be more, but the others don't matter to me. Whether God commands other universes has no impact on me.  It doesn't matter.  I cannot convince someone of God's existence or non-existence with any logical argument.  It doesn't matter.  What does matter?

What matters is I understand my relationship to God.  What matters is what impact my understanding has on my behavior and other beliefs.  What matters is between God and me.

There was a point in my exploration of God where I postulated that God simply created everything as a plaything which he set into motion and is watching the cause and effects of his initial work, perhaps with some nudging here and there.  Under that reasoning, it "explained" why undesirable things to people.

I also considered God as a personal father figure: guiding me with advice and rules.  This explained why my situation would gradually get worse until I learned a lesson. ("God keeps escalating things until you figure it out and change.")

How many ways has God been portrayed?  I have considered them all and rejected them all.  None of them tell the complete story of what I have experienced.  In the end, I ask myself, does it matter?  I also looked at all of them and asked if there was a common thread running through each and everyone of them.

Does it matter?  Not really.  I don't need to pigeon-hole God into some finite construct or symbol whereby I limit God to a single idea.  I don't have to be God's toy or child.

What I know is there is a God.  There may be other gods, but it doesn't matter to me.  God may be all-present and all-powerful, but it doesn't matter to me.  I owe my existence to God and for that, I am humbly grateful.