Thursday, 16 July 2009

What I mean by 'god'

I use the word 'god' quite a lot in this blog, especially at the beginning. So, any social scientist would tell me off for using terms without giving my definition of them.

So, er...

I mean two and a half things, I think.

The first is really simple. If you took all the good qualities and stood them beside each other – trust, honesty, love, generosity, thoughtfulness, playfulness, kindness, honour, integrity, justice, grace, mercy, forgiveness, all that – and then if you gave those things a collective voice, you might call that voice god. You could have a conversation with it, and feel far away from the parts in you that are scared, mean, paranoid, selfish, and which believe the world is small. And you could ask god to be with you, or in other words, you could call up the good in yourself to come to the driver's seat in that moment.

This kind of idea is probably quite unproblematic to atheists like my Dad. He'd probably just say, why do you have to call it god?

Good question. The word has slipped in over the last 8 years and it's gradually getting stuck.

Ok, second thing.

We're moving slightly out of atheist territory here, but only slightly.

I feel, strongly, vividly, clearly, unmistakably, unambiguosly, would you like any more words, no I think you get the point, i've been reading jay griffiths and i'm getting slightly too used to very long and verbose sentences – I keenly feel the aliveness of life. It's an aliveness that is above the aliveness of individual living things. It is a kind of primal creative force within and around us and you feel it much more at the top of a mountain than you do in a air conditioned room or on a golf course. You see it in the sky, feel it in your tummy, hear it and feel it when we sing alone or even better, together.

So that, to me, is not life, it's Life. Life / god. Same.

I'm happy with those two things. They belong and settle.

Then there's the half, and this is where I get foggy.

My questions are around the relationship between Life force in natural ecology and life force in social or personal ecology.

I mean this: we see in ecology a fantastic intelligence at play. What the algae do in the shallow waters of Italy affects what the trees in Germany do, which affects the rain in England and the tides and the moon and the monkeys. Disparate parts of nature communicate and co-ordinate with each other across brainwarping degrees of separation. Life's creative genius is not an intelligence we recognise easily for it is not human and it is not linguistic, but I see our intelligence – and particularly the kind of flowing, instant ingenious intelligence we can have individually and socially when we're on it and letting and working chaordically and so on – as a kind of a child or a subset of that bigger, intangible intelligence that chaordically keeps life alive, or that is, perhaps, Life itself.

Fine (subject to some specifics from the ecologists).

The wierder part for me is where some people think that that kind of chaordic intelligence is also at play in the social / personal realm. In the realm of decision and destiny, sliding doors.

'Commit and the world changes,' says my yoga teacher Alaric.

Really? The world is changed by your commitment?

Why not: quantum physicists say an atom's behaviour is changed by its observer. Same dynamic.

Pauline, my coach (we're having a six week skills swap. I'm sorting out her website and she's sorting out my heart) believes that when you sit quietly, what you need comes and lands in your lap.

What's that about? So, yeah, ok, maybe it does and lots of lucky / jammy / 'synchronous' things happen but how on earth do we conceptualise the mechanics behind that? Is there some kind of chaordic intelligence at play in the world of mythos and logos – thought, word, deed – as there is in the world of eros – earth, nature, music? Can we change the world with our intentions and will, beyond the tangible, visible paths of influence that we know and accept?

That's beyond me, that territory. That's why it's half. I think when I talk about god, I entertain the possibility that that kind of thing is going on. I talk to Life all the time. I set intentions. I'm grateful a lot in our chats. Sometimes I ask questions and the wind answers. Maybe it's coincidence. I don't really care. I like it :)

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