Radhika’s Question: A Flash of Lightning

Dear Radhika,

Now to answer your question: Do I believe in God? From the perspective of my beliefs the answer is simple: I have no idea if there is a God. Certainly science has not proven or disproved the existence of any kind of a divine being, let alone God. And so from this rational perspective the verdict is still out and I do not expect it to come in anytime soon. I think agnosticism is the only rational position. Now, from the perspective of my faith, I must admit that I do have, and always have had, a faith that demands that I accept the existence of some kind of higher power, call it God if you wish. I have no control over this faith. Even as a child I have had this faith and as an adult this faith has not waned. So I have to admit that I do accept the existence of God, although I do not place any qualification on what that God may be: male, female, neuter or something else.

Radhika, in the ten years since the completion of my doctoral work I have shifted my studies away from theology and into the field of science and mathematics. I have done this because I felt that my education has been unbalanced in favor of the humanities. I have been particularly interested in the fields of astral physics and quantum mechanics. So far I have found nothing in the scientific field that conflicts with my faith, in fact if anything, I find that my faith has been nourished by my study of science. I am utterly astounded by the order and beauty of the physical world both on the level of the macrocosm and the microcosm. To me such beauty suggests the existence of some kind of divine order behind this physical world. Could this be God?

Of all the religious writings that I have read, I am most inspired by the Upanishads. And of all the verses in the Upanishads that I have read, there is one verse that most captures the essence of my religious perspective. It is a simple, but profound statement: “The flash of lightning that causes one to blink and say, “Ah!” that Ah is the Divinity.” (yad etad vidyuto vyadyutad a3 itinnyamimisad a3 ity adhidaivatam). In other words, this verse teaches that God can be found in one’s own sense of wonder and awe at the world. The sense of wonder one gets looking at something as ordinary as a snow flake, a flower, a sunset or even a beautiful woman is an experience of Divinity. And I will take this idea one step further, the sense of repulsion that one gets in watching destruction, evil and death is also an experience of the Divine.

And so I reply to you, Radhika: When you have grasped the understanding of this simple, but sublime teaching, the presence of Divinity will become so apparent that you will not feel the need to even ask such a question, unless of course, what you are really asking is whether I believe in the existence of a sky God, to which I respond, “I gave up my belief in a sky God a long time ago.”

 

Image Source: http://www.macwallpapers.in/wallpaper/Lightning/


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