Finding God In The Universe
Is there a God? The answer depends on how you describe God.
1) If you think that God is the universe then, of course, there is – God is everything.
2) If you think of God as something in addition to the universe that we see, feel, touch, taste and smell, then the question becomes more interesting.
These rolls for God may help us explain aspects of the universe that we currently do no understand, but what happens to God if we come to fill these gaps in our knowledge. In these visions God that gets things started then lays back and watches the universe from a distance. This is not a personal God. When we start looking for a personal God we tend to give God some of our more desirable human characteristics; we seek a God we should strive to be.
None of these views of God are particularly satisfying if one is seeking a personal God - a God that takes an interest in each of us, a God that tries to help us help ourselves. In seeking this type of God I found a starting point in an unlikely place. A small book called The Little Zen Companion (Schiller, David, editor (1994) New York: Workman Publishing) had a quote from Wallace Stevens that said: “God is in me or else is not at all.” Could it be that God has chosen to work through individuals, rather than on grand schemes? Might we see God as a quiet voice in our background? Then if this small voice is different for each person it does not mean that God has multiple personalities, but that God tailors conversations to fit each individual.
While this type of God feels better to me, my rational mind kept asking: how does this work? How can God influence my thoughts? Can an immaterial God communicate with my material brain? Wasn’t there a neurological explanation for my thinking? Does God mess with the neurons in my brain?
Maybe the solution lies with our consciousness. It seemed that while consciousness must be based on the brain’s functions, it might hold the possibility of communicating beyond our brain and body. If this is the case our consciousness may be the link to God I was seeking.
In focusing on consciousness I discovered that few scholars had a perfectly clear definition. In fact, there were many thoughts on consciousness yet no framework for comparing theories – often people seemed to be talking past each other when speaking of consciousness. As a result, I attempted to develop an overarching model of consciousness. It turned out that consciousness could be seen as having three dimensions - not the three dimensions associated with Cartesian space: height, width and distance - but the dimensions of breadth, time and depth. The conclusion of this effort was a 2010 paper titled A Model Of Human Consciousness.
As you will see in the paper I still wasn’t able to determine if there is an immaterial and personal God or not, but if there is I can see how God might work through people. It could be that God is to gradually improving our universe (that is primarily ruled by natural laws) through people such as you and me. This is the type of personal God I was seeking.
Robert H Kettell