The Cosmic Flower of Faith

 

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Is there a transcendent reality to our existence? Is belief in such a reality an illusion?

We live in an age where people find it difficult to discuss the supernatural at all. One of the reasons for this is that our words are changing. Definitions are being shorn of their supernatural meanings.

Take, for example, the word “cosmic“. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (online) gives us the following:

Definition of cosmic
1 a :  of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone  – cosmic radiation
b :  of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas – cosmic wisdom
2 :  characterized by greatness especially in extent, intensity, or comprehensiveness – a cosmic thinker – a book of cosmic significance

However, the Bing (search engine) gives us this:

cos·mic
[ˈkäzmik]
ADJECTIVE
of or relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth:
“cosmic matter”

synonyms: extraterrestrial · in space · from space

inconceivably vast:
“the song is a masterpiece of cosmic proportions”

Notice the supernatural meaning is stripped from the definition. And it’s happening in other words, too. Some people think “soul” is now a person’s personality or character. The word “mind” is preferred over “psyche” as people accept that there is nothing more inside us than a mechanical brain that responds to external stimuli due to evolutionary conditioning.

For many people there is no God, no heaven or hell, no angels, no spirits at all – just the mud of the earth we are made of. When we die we decay into lifeless molecules and are absorbed back into that same Earth. It’s no wonder that the atomizing of society follows this philosophy of the atomizing of the individual. What point is there to family, religion, community if it all ends in dust? Why should we adhere to bonds between souls when the soul is a figment of the human imagination?

There is no proof we can offer that we will exist beyond death or that there is more to us than our physical bodies. However, there are arguments that point to something beyond this material universe. And this is what we call “faith.”  But, it is difficult to hold onto that faith. We may study the best arguments of humanity’s finest philosophers, but the dominate culture of this age rejects these arguments summarily.  And yet, isn’t the possibility of life after death appealing? Should it be rejected simply because it can’t be put to scientific analysis?

Faith is fragile – even for those who feel certain that God exists. First, it is hard to maintain faith in a vacuum.  Secondly, it may be that whether one believes or not in the supernatural depends on one’s personality and circumstances.

But my point is that whether one is a believer or not, the transcendent is worth spending some time studying and discussing. All references to  this (potential) aspect of our existence should not be wiped out of our vocabulary.  The difficult truth is that we will not know the truth of our existence until the moment of death. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, we will not know whether the fragile flower of faith is based on reality or not until that moment. It will be the most critical moment of our existence.

So, isn’t it worth spending a little time, while we’re alive, contemplating what our flower looks like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Writing Life is a category on this website where I muse about life in general and writing in particular. You can find this group of posts here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Numen

As promised, I am working on a free content story for my website.  The page is up and the cover artwork done. The summary for the story is below. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Avery is an atheist who sought satisfaction and happiness in his work and life. Disillusioned with both, he finds himself wondering if he has achieved anything of value.

Olivia believes in the supernatural, but has had her own disappointments with religion. She finds her faith has changed and wonders what she still believes in.

On the threshold of old age, the two cousins renew their friendship and begin a text correspondence during Olivia’s daily excursion by bus to her new job.

Avery, bored with his own work, asks Olivia to tell him a story as she used to do when they were children. She obliges him with the tale of The Year of the Numen.

 

 

Love and Beauty Among the Ruins (The Late Start: Advantage #2)

Aging

So you’re still worried about that late start as a writer.  I mean, what’s the point, right? Aren’t we running out of time? Time to write something big or something important?

I suppose it all has to do with what is important to you. Is fame important? Is it necessary to have a huge following or to gain acclaim before you die? It would be nice, I’m sure, but not everyone is going to achieve this – even those with remarkable talent.

For me, the thought that keeps me going is that I still have a lot to say to my family and friends and I find it’s easier to express these things through my writing than sitting down with them for long talks. I have things I want to say to my children, the lessons I’ve learned, but some of these things they are not ready to hear. First of all, they are young and they may understand the things about aging that I’ve told them about now, but they are far from experiencing them. I would like to leave them something for a time when I may not be there to reassure them.

Continue reading “Love and Beauty Among the Ruins (The Late Start: Advantage #2)”