A Cantankerous Reality.

There is a desire in me to seek answers, and I have the most difficult time giving up on seeking the answer. I am thankful for this natural curiosity of mine, this drive to know. It is one of the most driving forces behind all that I do, the unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and learning, the impulse to see what it is that something does. To see the button, I have to ask, what’s it do?

I am troubled when I hear people say that if we could understand God, then he wouldn’t be God. Why not? If God could cease to be God simply because I understood him that wouldn’t speak very well of him now would it. Think about it. “You’re only special if you’re a stranger.” it sounds all nice and reverent perhaps, but kind of misses the point. Not only do I believe that the seeking of understanding God is a good thing, even if we can never attain a full understanding, but that if we could, in theory, understand all that there was to know about God, how exactly would that diminish him as God? Is God a slave to being known? Is he so weak as to be vulnerable to knowledge of himself? These cannot be. Even if we could not only understand all that there is to know about God, but could do everything that God does. Would that diminish his status as God?

No. It would not. Even if we were also all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere-perhaps everytime. We would still be human, and he would still be God. These are not things that can be stolen from him, taken from him, diminished, divided, or what have you. God is God, because God is God. Not because of what God does. This is an important, but surprisingly often ignored, distinction. God is. I cannot help but consider that he refers to himself as “I Am”. Just “I Am”. Curious answer, but it makes perfect sense in light of him being God because he’s God, because he’s God, rather then being God as a result of having God’s qualities. He is, because he is. Not because he possesses certain attributes, but because he simply is.

Thus, keeping in mind, that God is God because he’s God. I can acknowledge that fact, which to me anyways, is honoring to him, because it is believing that he is exactly who he says he is, and loving him for his own sake, not necessarily what he did or is doing for me, though all that I have are gifts he has given. I don’t want to love God because he’s good, I don’t want to worship him because he’s great. I want to adore him. And is there a stronger word for worship? I need a word that expresses the complete and total abandonment of the human soul to, the complete giving over to, honor of, obedience of, love of, esteem of, the reckless abandonment of our whole being to something outside ourselves? Worship just doesn’t come close enough. Of him. But not because he is good, and not because he is great, but because he is. I want that he is God, to be enough of a reason to esteem him as such. Not what he has done, or can do, or will do, but because he is.

And so I can’t help but seek after the knowledge of him, seeing him, as he is, brings ten thousand questions for every one thing that has an answer. In reality I doubt I shall ever, not even if I had all of time and space to work with, ever understand, fully, the full glory of God.

And I’m okay with that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to understand as much as I can learn about him. At what point do I want to say, that’s enough, please, I don’t want to know anything more about God, I am content to stay put, and never see anything new about him that I didn’t know about before.

There are places where it is good to be discontent. Knowing God is one of them. I don’t want to ever be content that I know enough about God, that I have arrived, but to always be learning something about him that I didn’t understand before.

There is in me an unsatisfiable thirst, not only for knowledge, if I could I think I would try to understand the sum total of all of human knowledge and then some, I can never find enough knowledge to satisfy my curiosity, I always want to know something more about it. Always. But also in my desire to know God, I cannot help it, I have a drive to always learn more about him, even though I know that it is someone who is an infinite being. Infinite. There is no end to the knowledge of him. I can always learn something. Always. No matter how much I learn, there is always infinitely more.

But, whether I understand him or not, he is God.

He is God even if I do not understand anything about him at all. Which is something of an impossibility as well, considering that, generally speaking, we have something to go on just by being alive. But in theory, suppose it was possible to remain absolutely ignorant of God, would he cease to be God if we were absolutely ignorant of him? Of course not. He isn’t a part of us, in the sense that, he is not formed by our minds, but is separate from our ideas and thoughts, he is not merely a product of our imagination, whether we speak of an individual or collectively as the whole of humanity throughout all of history. We know God is. It’s a fact. Some folks might not agree with it, and even I am sometimes, to be honest, troubled by the fact that there is a God. But wishes are not reality, and never can be. I can’t wish or wish away anything. There is, and always will be, a reality that is. Not a reality that is desired, but one that is.

I do not believe that we can ignore the truth, not absolutely. Yes, we can delude ourselves  and we do, even I hold to numerous delusions, most likely, hundreds, if not thousands, of illusions, but the fact that we walk around believing thousands of lies doesn’t change the nature of the truth one bit. The true thing will always remain the true thing, regardless of how delusional I am about it.

We cannot make things as we hope them to be, but must face things, as they are, because that is what we have been given, no more, no less.

And while we can argue about the nature of reality from now until the end of time, if that exist, itself, it doesn’t change things any. Things are what they are. That’s what they are, and that’s what they will always be. The question is how willing are we to accept it?

I am beginning to believe that we humans do not think rationally except for on very rare occasions. If we did, we wouldn’t be so violently opposed to things we disagree with, especially in regards to things that are true. Instead we believe things that we are comfortable with, and understand. We don’t like to believe things we don’t understand. But this is irrational. If we were rational creatures, we’d be a creature far more accepting of things that horrify us, we wouldn’t be so afraid to acknowledge ourselves, our weaknesses, our sufferings, our hopes, our dreams, things we don’t understand. Rationality demands honesty, humility, courage, and so forth. But we would rather wear our mask then be rational about things. Especially about ourselves. We will do anything to avoid coming to terms with ourselves as we truly are. Even if what we are is something beautiful, we are afraid of such transparency. In some cases we fear it more then we fear death. We hate the idea of being known, of being transparent. We like our mask, our disguise, whatever it is that you want to call the immense lengths we go to to avoid seeing ourselves as we truly are.

But, if we come up against the reality of God, we have a choice to make, we can either believe it, or we can ignore it. Because it is a reality that is, there is nothing we can do about it, nothing at all. We can try, but we cannot succeed, at the end of the story, he’ll still be there, just as he always was. He simply is.

Let me ask you this one simple question: If you learned one day that God wasn’t good, or that he wasn’t great, would you still hold him to be God? If God is God, then God is God, even if we’re delusional in our beliefs about his goodness and greatness. Thankfully, I do not think we are, I think God is both truly good, and truly great. But he doesn’t have to be. He is, but he doesn’t have to be, not to be God. He can be God even if he’s not good. If he is God because he is God, then yes, he would still be God. But if he is God because he good, if he was discovered not to be good, what is he? It is a strictly hypothetical question, not a question designed for the purpose of teaching a truth, but a hypothetical consideration of what it is about what he is, and why it is that he is what he is.

Would you stil believe him to be God, even if all he ever was, was God, and nothing else in addition to that. No goodness, no love, no greatness, nothing.

It is an odd question, I get that, but a consideration I’ve long had, and I believe that God is God because he’s God. It is the best answer I have to why it is that God is God and not me. Because God is God and not me. It’s a simple truth, and if it is a truth, no matter how fundamental  or basic, it might seem to me. It is still a truth, and to me, must therefore be accepted as such, whether or not I feel like it.

I desire to see people think rationally on these things, and about things in general. But I must admit, I am rather bothered by the blatant disregard for anything that we are uncomfortable with. If we don’t like something, or are troubled by it, we simply ignore it, paste a smile on our faces, and pretend nothing is wrong.

Who are we kidding? Nothing is wrong? Tell me then, why do bad things happen? Why do people do the horrible things they do? Why do good things happen? Why do people do the wonderful things they do?

It isn’t all bad news, but the world isn’t all good news either. It’s not wrong to hope for a better world, but it is wrong to ignore the truth, even if it is a horrible one.

I understand it is an emotional survival mechanism. We can’t bear the thought of acknowledging the trail of suffering that even we leave in our wake every day, as the effects of things we do, and say, work out throughout the world. For example, we might buy something, but a part of that something, or even the whole thing, might have been made by someone’s suffering. For example, slave labor. Even on my desk, I am certain there are a number of things that have at least components that were made unethically. Whether it be a wire in my computer monitor, or the screen on my iPhone, or even the paint on my coffee mug. It is a cruel world in places. That is the reality, and that is just the possible suffering, the human suffering, present on my computer desk.

I need not continue on, but I will a bit more, whether we speak of environmental damage that might be caused by driving to work, I’m not saying that it does or does not, but assuming that even minute damage to the environment occurs, it must be considered that we are causing it. We live in a world where suffering exist. Where things do happen, and do get messed up, sometimes terribly.

Who are we kidding that things can’t go wrong? Oil can and does spill into water, but we seem to believe that it won’t if we just ignore the possibility of it.

We are uncomfortable with accepting anything that makes us uncomfortable, and believe me, I find the notion of God, of his existence, at times, I find it the most uncomfortable truth imaginable.

Other uncomfortable truths, that cannot be ignored, would be things like my own existence. I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are times that I question why it is that I even exist. It is an uncomfortable truth at times, you know you exist, but you’re not exactly comfortable with the idea of it. If you’ve ever wished you’d never been born, you know exactly what I mean by that. Even if it was a passing thought, you do sometimes feel like you are more of a hindrance then a help to the world. This doesn’t mean it’s true that you are, though for all I know, you might be, I don’t know, I do like to consider every possibility, no matter how unpleasant  but I also believe that every person is a purposeful person. There are no accidental humans, and never have been. There was never anyone who was truly a mistake. Whether we speak of the greatest humans ever in terms of kindness and so forth, or the most evil people imaginable. There are no accidental people. They all are because they are supposed to be.  Knowing this, I can hold fast to the belief that we exist with a purpose, and there can’t be someone who is more of hindrance then a help innately. There are no accidental people, therefore, there are only purposeful people. This is tremendously encouraging to me.

I desire to accept things as they are, not because I desire them to be different do I want to think for a moment that what I desire, is what really is. I don’t wish to be deluded that there is not some things I am going to find uncomfortable, unpleasant, that suffering exist, that pain is real, and that beauty exist, and goodness is real. Delusion isn’t always in regards to things to horrible for us. Sometimes we can be just as fearful of accepting things that are wonderful as we can be about things that are horrible.

It is my belief that by attempting to seek what is the actual reality, the truth of a matter, that things we be done far more effectively then if we were to remain in a dream of our own making, that doesn’t exist. Yes, our little dreamworlds may be all cheerful, and pleasant, where everyone smiles, and gets along fine, and what not, but they are not real, and it would be a terrible thing to confuse them with the reality. But, that is exactly what we do, that is what I do, and it is something that is as capable of causing as much suffering as willful intent can cause. Just for the sake of a wish, is it worth it?

For my part, I desire to be a person with a mind that is open to accepting new things, approaching something willing to accept that I might be proved wrong, and holding to the truth of a matter over the temptation to delude myself into believing that things are only a matter of how I think they are. My thoughts are not the only correct thoughts in the universe, for which I am very thankful. But that is what we are essentially holding as our core belief, that only our view of reality is the true view and if we imagine it to be something different then it will be, rather then accepting the fact that this is where we live. If there is going to be a relief of suffering, it is by people actually doing something about it, not just hoping that it goes away if they ignore it, or by thinking it will be better, or that, heaven forbid, it is actually something beneficial, or brought on by the person themselves. (Though this can sometimes be the case, in a number of cases, it is not so much an individual that is to blame but the unwillingness of those around them to care that is to blame for their suffering.) I’m not saying that all men are victims of society, and that sometimes things we choose to do not have dire consequences, that isn’t true, and we know it isn’t. We are all too aware that our choices fo have consequences, and sometimes we ourselves are actually to blame for our suffering. But, it is also true that a good part of the whole picture of human suffering is brought about by the hurting of one man by another. A murderer kills another man, leaving suffering, caused by the murderer, who in turn may well have been harmed himself by any number of factors, or he might have chosen to do this thing, either way, suffering is caused by the choices of someone, and the suffering extends to more then the person who made the choice, whether that person is the murderer himself, or someone else, it comes down to someone’s choice, and someone else having to suffer for it.

Yes, it is true, our choices do make a difference, but that doesn’t mean that everything that happens is result of our choices. So while a great deal of things are influenced by the choices we make, there is also a great deal of things that happen that are not influenced by the choices we make.

So, for my part, I am determined to seek what is true, even if it makes me a bit uncomfortable, or what have you. The greater good then my comfort is the knowledge of what is true, and when I walk in truth, I then have the eyes to see things as they are, not what I wish they were, which frees me to actually be able to love people and do what I can, to actually seek to help them.

To acknowledge the truth, we become more genuinely human. We become a people that is actually able to reach out and help those around them. All because we don’t ignore what we don’t want to deal with. That’s just how it is.