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What if WE are God - as part of a "living and working" universe

by merlin@landwu.com 

Posted: 16 May 2007
Word Count: 4006
Summary: Traditional beliefs have created global warming and therefore cannot produce a solution - We need to change what we think about our relationship to each other and the planet to survive.

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The Past doesn’t work anymore

Apart from the increasing minority with vested interests, there are few people who would now deny that global warming presents the greatest threat to the continued existence of civilisation.
I believe the effects we are now experiencing are evidence of Intelligent Reaction to what we have created through the life we live within our global environment. “Intelligence” of some description has to be at work or else why would a reaction occur?
Professor James Lovelock paints a picture of Earth as a living organism, totally capable of looking after itself. If we cannot accept that this beautiful planet is our partner rather than just a facility, then our continuing abuse will result in it reacting with ever greater force to protect itself.
If during this reactionary process we are wiped out as a species then so be it! This is not the action of a “Vengeful God” remonstrating because we have been “naughty”, but the actions of a “Living and Working” Universe of which we are a part, simply reacting to something going out of balance in line with ground rules set in place at the beginning of time.
So how have we got to the dangerous position we now find ourselves in?
I would strongly argue that because our traditional beliefs fail to recognise who and what we are as a species and in so doing ignore these fundamental rules we are now headed towards our own extinction. We believe that the planet is something separate from us and so we abuse it with impunity. We seek solace for the problems in a separate “God up There” who will save us, allowing us to divert responsibility for our own actions and alienating us from our real purpose in living our lives.
These are traditional and basic beliefs that we have lived by for millennia, with ridicule and suppression as the traditional reaction whenever they have been questioned. However, our evolution as a species now has us “growing away” from the traditional presentation of these beliefs, as evidenced by dwindling church attendances in the West.
Whilst Globalisation is thrusting us into multi-culturalism, it is also highlighting the inherent problems within our traditional belief systems which have continually inhibited our ability to interrelate fully and positively with each other.
These beliefs carry timeless and intrinsic truths within them which are essential to humanity in meeting that part in everyone of us which desires faith, and the comfort this brings as we fulfil our purpose in living and experiencing life.
In questioning the restrictive and controlling practices that administer these truths I have found answers which seem to me to offer a permanent solution to global warming and the type of global conflict we continually experience - including the birth pangs we are now experiencing of true and full international integration as a global civilisation.
If it is our beliefs that cause our ceaseless conflict with each other and have created the desperate global situation we now find ourselves in, it must follow that they are totally incapable of providing solutions to these problems.
Consider the situation surrounding global warming. We believe it is our right to take from this planet whatever, whenever and however we choose, without any thought or responsibility for managing what we are doing – and still continues today in spite of accelerating climate change.
We are seeing increasing droughts and drying up of riverbeds, as well as flooding from whatever causes and rising temperatures. All of these changes in environmental balance directly affect our water supplies and seriously hinder food production, leading to our increasing inability to feed ourselves.
We are now further increasing this dangerous situation as we begin to our use our food socks for ethanol production to propel our transport. We have also begun to “take aim at our other foot” as we intensify our destruction of the forests to plant more Soya crops to meet the increasing demand for ethanol, thus fuelling further temperature imbalance.
If we now place in this equation our belief in financial management and the law of supply and demand to regulate what we use, then a growing shortage of food means ever increasing prices. This in turn will see an increasing number of people unable to feed themselves as basic life sustaining nourishment is taken beyond their financial capabilities.
We are already beginning to see the price of basic foodstuffs rise to feed this growing demand for ethanol. Rising grain prices directly affect the prices of our other food sources such as meat and eggs, where up to a 20% increase in prices has occurred over just the last 12 months in China alone – and theirs is quite a large population!
As this problem escalates our traditional political beliefs will need to be seen to be doing something, and so we lapse into blame as one nation accuses another of hoarding. The application of “labels” begins as hatred is stirred up between supposedly differing groups, be they racial, religious or any other ethnic grouping.
And so we deteriorate into conflict, further expanding the threat to our existence as a civilisation through the powerful weapons we have now developed, and our inability to manage them effectively because of the ancient beliefs we still hold about each other and our surroundings.
The most powerful nation may come out on top by annihilating everyone else - but as global war escalates, who can say with any degree of certainty that they too will not blow themselves off the face of this beautiful planet, given the nature of modern terrorist warfare and the inability to determine who is the ”enemy”?
I am not exaggerating anything within this scenario, but simply applying the effects of our traditional and limiting beliefs to the growing problem we are creating, and which they can only fuel rather than resolve.
By challenging what we believe, and in so doing providing the opportunity to better understand who and what we are, how we function and how we relate to each other and our surroundings, I believe it is possible for us to create the basis for a huge evolutionary leap forward as a species. We are at a unique moment in time in our history and embedded within this era are the ingredients for either our destruction or survival – the choice is ours.

So what is the purpose of Life?

Suppose at the beginning of time there was only Intelligence – and nothing else!
Who is it - What is it?
Who knows - because there is nothing else with which it can compare? As comparison is the only means by which measurement, analysis, knowledge and understanding are achieved, what is to be done?
By its very nature intelligence is inquisitive. So how does this Intelligence begin the mighty task of establishing who and what it is all about?
The answer I would suggest is to “Create” an infinite number of different aspects of it. Through the experiences created by these differing aspects interacting with each other in a constantly changing environment, this Intelligence can gradually build up a picture of who and what it is and its capabilities. "Balance" is the means by which this information is created, assessed, retained, refined or discarded.
This is my personal slant on what Science refers to as “The Big Bang” and Religion calls Creation, in which a vast amount of energy was applied to an immense task of investigation and understanding.
As time has passed many and various aspects that have been created have been retained, refined or obsoleted, depending upon “what works” and “what does not work” in a process of comparison and balance that we call Evolution.
If we look at the shark for example, it reached perfection millions of years ago. It continues to operate within this thing called life without seeming to endanger the subtle balances in its own environment – it works!
Conversely the internal combustion engine reached perfection 100 years ago and through its interaction with the atmosphere is now contributing to unsettling the balance of the environment. This imbalance cannot be remedied unless it is obsoleted, or dramatically changed from its present form – it doesn’t work!
These two examples have one thing in common – their ability to function within an integrated and evolving universe – a “living and working” universe - and in so doing add another piece to the vast jigsaw puzzle that is Creation.
Similar experiences on every new and diverse aspect of life are generated continuously as this “Intelligence” goes about the business of gaining knowledge and understanding. Evolution is the direct result of this generation of information, which also fuels new experience and knowledge.
Ancient (and modern) Wisdoms extol us to “live in the present”. The past and future are two aspects of life over which we have no control. If the purpose of life is to experience then the past has served its purpose and the future is waiting to do its job. By living in the present we too fulfil our role as elements of this Intelligence, experiencing every moment of our lives to the full.
Time (in human years) offers some idea of the magnitude of the task, and the miniscule and detailed level of understanding that is sought. It is at this point that I find human values are totally inadequate to try and even begin to estimate the magnitude of information gathering that is going on and the manner in which it is happening. However the simplicity of this description of what life is all about answers for me the “paradox, pain and perfection” that is life.

We need to understand better Who and What we are

Consider when President George W Bush declared war on Iraq and followed up by inferring that “God is on our side”. I found myself saying - “Wait a minute! We said this a thousand years ago during the Crusades and have continued to say it with monotonous regularity right into the 21st century.”
And where has it got us over all those centuries? Absolutely nowhere as a civilisation I would beg to suggest. Suppose we were able to “beam down” into the present a Crusading Knight of 1000 years ago - (chain mail and all!) - what might his reaction be to civilisation now?
I think he would be completely speechless when confronted by such things as a microwave cooker and seeing food cook without fire – to say nothing of cars, light bulbs and space travel - just a few of our many spectacular achievements in a relatively short space of time. If we were then to say to him “We’re going to war with some Muslims over the water, fancy helping out?” I’m sure his reaction would be enthusiastic approvable and support.
The point I am making is that in spite of stratospheric advances in our technologies and all that we surround ourselves with, we seem totally incapable of achieving a similar development in the manner in which we interact as a species.
Indeed, with the genocides in Kosovo and Rwanda we seem more barbaric now than when we lived in caves. I would go further and suggest that the atom bomb is no more than a sophisticated 21st century “club” – and the caveman’s club was a lot more environmentally friendly!
Based upon bygone values and vested interests, caused by an inability to properly coordinate our decision making functions of logic and intuition, we continue to use outdated “labels” with which we identify each other – Black – White – Man - Woman – Jew – Gentile – Muslim – Pagan – Shaman – Atheist etc. Interacting within limiting beliefs which accompany these labels and create judgemental opinion, we continuously leap into action and reaction with each other which usually results in violence.
Instead of seeking to understand we seek to control, because each label believes it has exclusive rights. This exclusivity demands “control” of a water hole, “ownership” of property, (be it a field, country or human being), acknowledgement of the “one and only” True God . . . and so on.
In so doing we build “pyramids of power” which provide anguish and torment for those at the bottom, and supposed increasing levels of personal security and comfort as we move higher up the pyramid. At the heart of the problem lies a fear based upon our feelings of separateness and detachment from each other, this planet and the Universe as a whole.
We often manipulate this fear to enhance our ability to control each other, resulting in a collective suppression of our ability to interact positively and evolve to higher levels of human achievement.
In his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith refers on many occasions to the social ethic of “natural” liberty provided by the ability for markets to operate freely to assist in raising levels of human achievement. Reviewers have found it difficult to decipher the real meaning of his use of the word “natural” in this context.
I would argue that in our most “natural” state we are only able to function fully by efficiently using both our intuitive and logical senses. In this 21st century the present structure of society is dominated by logic, as evidenced with our increasing measurement of life by financial criteria, and the slow erosion of spiritual or intuitive values with which to balance and temper this unnatural state of affairs.
Logic does not deal in grey areas and results in the separation of all aspects of life into “black” and “white”. Separation can quickly become exclusivity, and provide the foundation for intolerance and conflict, or abuse of each other and our surroundings. This unbalanced situation has been the cornerstone of what traditionally we believe in, and which directs the values we place upon all aspects of our lives.
What we have constructed, be it institutions, finance, religion or science does not have to change in what we ask them to achieve. However the manner in which we pursue these activities is driven by outdated beliefs which have to change if we are to survive as a civilisation into the next century and beyond.
I no longer believe that we are separate from each other or any other facet of this wonderful Universe. Indeed I am convinced through my own experiences of life that we are an intrinsic part of a Universal Intelligence operating in a “living and working” universe that has purpose.
By bringing together the wisdoms contained in Science, Religion and Psychology, a picture can be painted of a Universe in action - what fuels it, how it communicates and what it is seeking to achieve - through an abundance of clues that are provided to help us understand better what we and life are all about.
The clues are there, it is simply up to us to review our traditional beliefs as to who and what we are and in so doing realise that we are a part of a “living and working” universe.

Courage identifies the Connectedness of Life

I read a press report of a mother returning to Turkey following a holiday romance and taking her eldest daughter of 17 with her, the daughter also having had a romantic experience. They left behind a younger child of 15, who returned from school to find £25 rolled up in a note and no forwarding address or phone number. The tenancy agreement on the family’s home had been cancelled after the mother had written to the Housing Association telling them there was no more rent forthcoming.
The 15 year old was in the care of the Social Services who were assessing a number of alternative homes that the child had been offered. What went on in her head as her whole world fell apart is a matter for conjecture, but all who met her agreed that, whilst extremely upset and hurt she was able to put on a brave face.
In the 1950’s and 60’s we saw a vast influx of overseas immigrants to Britain from our Commonwealth countries. People and families seeking a better life were suddenly engulfed in an alien society and way of life. Coming from a tribal community it took time for them to integrate, years not days.
During this time they suffered the continuous pressure of racial abuse, some of which is still prevalent today. For many the chance of a new and better start for them and their children was paramount. The ability to withstand perpetual confrontation and violence demonstrates the courage inherent in us all, no matter what race, colour, creed or sex.
I cannot conclude this important subject without reference to Jasper, my partner Wendy’s black and white cat. He has and air rifle pellet lodged in his hind leg, which gives him a permanent limp. He was run over when younger and this causes his left ear to be continually “gunged up”, as well as loosing some teeth. To add to this he has been diagnosed with a tumour in his spine too close to his brain for safe surgery to remove it, and is therefore a source of considerable irritation in his right ear.
In consequence of all this he has a problem walking, and his blocked ear has dramatically reduced his sense of balance to a point where he carefully selects his route to food and garden, to ensure he has something to lean against at all times. Often he will spin around and around to try and regain his balance but invariably without success, and collapse on his back in a heap. You can see from his face that he has no idea where he is, and patiently waits for the world to stop revolving before getting up again and continuing his interrupted journey.
In spite of all this he has a healthy appetite, a beautiful glossy coat and his purring when receiving attention would drown out a London Transport bus! That small animal is a constant reminder to me that any aches and pains I think I might have, pale into insignificance compared with what he is dealing with every waking minute of his life. (Sadly poor Jasper died in 2006 when his tough little body finally gave up on him, but his memory will always be a source of courage to me.)
These examples are just a few of the experiences I have been privileged to witness over my life. They try in some small way to identify and pay homage to the wonder of life as a “living and working” universe, and the contribution we make in dealing with what is presented to us.
Perhaps a review of society’s current values and beliefs would help to reduce the need for many of the acts of courage that currently occur, enabling us to achieve greater levels of respect and support for each other in understanding our connectedness and thereby recognising the challenges we have all taken on in this thing called life.

The Desperate Need to Review our Traditional Beliefs

The traditional beliefs that operate now were formulated when conflict was carried out with swords and bows and arrows. Anti social behaviour, racism and ethnic violence are barbarous activities, wholly in keeping with civilisations of a bygone era that operated from the parochial perspective of simply defined territorial environments.
Hugely different criteria applied then to that which operates now in an era of nuclear bombs – bows and arrows never harmed the environment! Our continuous evolution as a species means that we are not the same type of person that walked the planet 2000 or more years ago.
Our achievements in personal development, as demonstrated by the manner in which we interact with each other, trail a long way behind our technological achievements and this gap is now threatening to lead us to extinction. With restrictive spiritual beliefs we are severely limiting our capability to properly manage what we develop, in a rapidly accelerating world of multiculturalism and technology.
No amount of government legislation can mange or control our evolution as a species, because that very evolution assists us in finding endless ways and means around the laws we create. It is only by continually updating a positive and healthy spiritual attitude to the life we create that we stand any chance at all of surviving the catastrophes our past beliefs have now set in motion.
Science and Theology are important “tools” in the research we have so far carried out to gain knowledge and understanding about who and what we are. The intuition provided by theology is painstakingly investigated by science and the results qualify whether that intuition works or doesn’t work, so providing our perspective on life – up to a point.
The continuous conflict between these two perspectives is as it should be in stimulating ongoing investigation, fuelled by the lack of acceptance by each as to their respective places in this thing called life.
However, Science is particularly disparaging about the lack of proof surrounding the principles of Theology, whilst missing the relevance of intuition in scientific progress. Religion is equally slow to accept scientific discovery and its almost sole contribution to our evolution, and so the two remain aloof from each other.
Perhaps it is worth pointing out that Religion is not responsible for Global Warming and Science is not responsible for continuous human conflict.
Politics and Business then enter the equation, infiltrating ever aspect of human activity, creating barriers of exclusivity and control because of vested interest. These barriers stimulate the evolutionary process, whilst also perversely holding back our personal development as a species, presenting us with a “Catch 22” of monumental proportions.
If we were to remove these power structures from Religion and Science we would see more clearly the “divine” in both, in their ability to produce pure non-judgemental knowledge. However their removal would also take away the primary stimulation for ongoing development.
Conversely if we remove Science and Religion from Business and Politics, power manifests without any moral guidelines or controls. By taking our development forward within these very narrow disciplines of power and profit, as is the case in this 21st century, we are being driven towards our own extinction through excess and greed of unparalleled proportions manifesting in the shape of Global Warming.
Without holistic values which incorporate all of our beliefs we rapidly go out of balance with our environment. This is now becoming evident in an era when our technological capabilities far outweigh our spiritual development. This deficiency is seriously inhibiting our ability to effectively and responsibly manage what we develop, creating universal imbalance and threatening our evolutionary progress as a species.
Financial solutions and disciplines are being proffered as the answer to climate change, because of our current obsession with financial measurement as the universal panacea, and vested interests seeking to protect their political and economic positions and growth. Given the magnitude of what we are facing these solutions operate within too narrow a set of criteria, and are also prone to easy abuse through judgemental manipulation, as history repeatedly shows us.
Because traditional beliefs dictate our attitude to life and how we relate to our surroundings, they have become the root cause of our present predicament through their insistence that we are separate from each other and the planet. If, for this reason, they are the cause, then surely they cannot provide a solution that will ensure we survive the catastrophic reactions this planet is now demonstrating.
I would argue that it is our attitude to the planet and our relationship with it that has to change if we are to survive. Only by accepting our connectedness, as part of a “living and working” universe, with a planet that it is a living organism which we have a responsibility to nurture like our gardens, do we stand any chance of reversing our current race to hell in a handcart.

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