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Episode · 1 year ago

Lecture 22 GOD AND DIVINE LOVE REVISITED

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This lecture looks at the concepts of God and divine love through the lens of critical thinking and rational understanding. The question is, do these concepts keep some manner of sense and legitimacy from this exacting perspective?

Meditation Time Lecture Twenty Two, God and divine love revisited. According to Stephen Hawking, mysticism is for those who can't do the math. While this man's repute as a brilliant physicist cannot legitimately be challenged, should we not question his anti religious quip, which may betray the failure of his reason to validate the profound insights of the heart, the locusts of our subjective experience in the form of effects versus their behavioral effects, beyond the confines of hard science or materialistic objectivity? Surely the validation of these insights should not be done wholesale without critical thinking? Throughout the ages, prominent mystics from a variety of cultural backgrounds have...

...founded religions that not only bear the stamp of their spiritual knowledge, but also of the ignorance, delusions and questionable conventions of their time. A champion of atheism like Richard Dawkins has the merit of subjecting these religions to a rigorous analysis based on scientific evidence, which serves as a litmus test to determine whether a belief is credible. Having said this, his stance and that of comparable detractors should be taken with a grain of salt. Science has its strengths and limitations pertaining to its outward focus and rational method of inquiry. Perhaps the most balanced, comprehensive and truthful approach lies in philosophy, including epistemology, logic, metaphysics and ethics, at the crossroads between religious and scientific traditions. This approach would advocate a courageous and respectful disposition to acknowledge or investigate new facts and new ideas...

...in a spirit of tolerance and integrity. It would also demand empirical and Methodological Rigor in defining and processing evidence, while remaining vigilant and adamant against the most patently and offensively inane or insane persuasions. No tolerance can be absolute without welcoming its opposite and destroying itself, thereby setting the stage for anarchy where the highest values of civilization, liberty, the quality and fraternity no longer rule. And might is right now, beyond the many points of contention that pick great religions against one another and other belief systems, all the more divisively as they each claim, in some Vedas, the Torah, the Bible, in the Chor on, to be divinely inspired and absolutely true. What fundamental notions can generate...

...consensus among the followers of these religions and likewise can survive the scrutiny of philosophers who dare listen to the voice of experience and think for themselves? Let us consider two such notions in their most generic and least contentious acceptation, God as the creative force at the heart of creation, and divine love as the gift of existence and Resilience That God bestows unreservedly upon everything it creates. Defined in these terms, God is compatible with science, which details the many ways it manifests itself in the form of physical forces, as opposed to non physical ones that elude science. Its methodology focuses exclusively on spatiotemporal phenomena, which are observable, accountable and predictable. Together, these physical and non physical forces can be subsumed under the single, albeit multifaceted, nature of God, because they drive...

...the creation of complex yet unified entities, the most telling example being as humans at the top of the evolutionary pyramid. As for divine love, it is an eloquent metaphor, inspired by motherly love, to describe the nerduring aspect of God, manifested via the gift of existence and resilience. God is here a core metaphysical concept representing the prime cause of everything. As such, it is somewhat of a misnomer because it departs from its anthropomorphic acceptation found in the sacred texts of great religions. For that reason, we shall simply refer to it as the creative and nurturing force at the heart of creation. A burning question remains. If the nurturing aspect of this creative force is reminiscent of motherly love...

...in so far as a mother gives birth to a child and promotes its well being to the best of her ability, does the similitude extend to the limited nature of this ability? The limitations explain why a mother, despite her best intentions, can fail to safeguard her child against all manner of ills? If the answer is yes, then the so called Almightiness of God, as portrayed by the founding mystics of Great Religions, is a myth indicative of wishful thinking. In other words, the power of the creative and nurturing force at the heart of creation is immense but not unlimited, and the possibility of suffering and death is an understandable and unavoidable consequence of this sobering fact.

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