Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Nine Billion Names of God


In 1953, Arthur C. Clarke wrote a short story entitled: “The Nine Billion Names of God”. In it he proposes that when all the names of god are recited, the world will end.
That would be a good exercise for atheists. It would keep them busy.
My favourite name, though not strictly identified as god, is Tao. Lao Tzu says that “It is always impartial, it is always on the side of the just man. “
God, by any name, is whatever we decide it is.
There is this great presumption, particularly on the part of the self-proclaimed atheists, that if you believe in anything at all, you are ‘believer’, and thus a religious person. What balderdash! (Sorry Dr. Dawkins). Every scientist believes in science, thus no scientists could be considered an atheist. To them, science is inerrant and thus divine.
Poor Stephen Hawking. Most count him among the greatest scientists of the modern era. And he, this great mind, has stated that there is no heaven. That heaven is a fairy story. Obviously he never looked into a newborn baby’s eyes.
Semantics. It’s all semantics.
I suggest many deny heaven because of what religions have done to the concept. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read my blogs about heaven. Or read a less serious version in Beyond Religion vol. III.

In the past, all we had to do was to exclude the Old Man with a long beard, a god created in our image and likeness, to be counted among the enlightened people, who freed themselves from the Big Guy up there, and stood on your own two feet. Ah, yes, two feet is still mandatory.  A prerequisite. Any more than two and we are not “in the image and likeness”, or, the other way round. How do you know that god doesn’t have four legs? Or six? I would have thought god can have any number of legs hesheit wants to, and it’s none of our business.
I suggest that dismissing the Old Bearded Man, does not make one an atheist. It just means one began growing up. I firmly believe in the benevolence of the Universe. The Universe(s) is not god, with or without a beard, but if the universe weren’t benevolent then why would there be flowers in such diversity of colours? No, it’s not for the bees—they can see only some colours. What would instill in us the awareness of beauty that is not necessary for our physical survival?
So few of us seem to realize that the so-called scriptures (which simply means “something written down”) seldom if ever dealt with religion. They were the inspired thoughts of those before us who listened to their unconscious. To the Self within them (or without, if you will) and tried, with such means as were at their disposal at the time, to bring them out into the open.
That’s all folks! 

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