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June 18, 2007


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First, Einstein was a very smart man and cute as a button, but he was not a philosopher by training or proclivity. He was a mathematician. Not everything that came out of his brain was math. So although Einstein's every utterance has been enshrined for us in the Church of Relativity, I am not inclined to trust him on spiritual matters.

Dodging to "Spinoza's God" was a non-answer. Look past the connotations to the denotations and it is clear that Spinoza was an atheist in the most reasonable sense of that word. That is the best position Einstein could take, given his reluctance to cede any more ground to randomness than was strictly necessary. Nature can logically be inter-changeable with God when one assumes both are forces of intelligence.

The "nature" of a thing, be it coffee, cogitation or vacuity, is only the supposition that there is always a mystery behind: That sense that there is a beauty imperfectly beheld is, according to Einstein, that very nature. Houston, we have a tautology.

This tautology does not discount the entire program as set up by Spinoza, et fils. In fact, these self-defining terms provide the mechanism to "widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." You must, however, assume that we are priorly separate.

So let us see if God, as Nature, has no likes and dislikes: has there ever been a measurement of emotion? Can anyone show me emotion? Is the "most beautiful emotion" of which Einstein writes so eloquently a hobgoblin of the mind?

I talk to disembodied presences all the time. People may assume I am loony. I may as well say I am happy about that -- I can not prove to you that I am happy or sad. My blood pressure, galvanic response, rate of respiration, all change for all sorts of reasons, none of it proof that my emotions exist.

Now, here's the kicker to my absurd little tale. We all know damn well that we experience emotions, and we also know that each of us has the identical "nature" in our so called emotional lives, including the understanding that we may react emotionally in a wide variety of ways to similar stimulus. It is ridiculous for me to say that emotions do not exist based upon provability. If God is experienced through our emotional participation with the world "als solcher," God is as real as fear, or, you know, wonder. You may gainsay disinterest as well as gainsay holy possession.

I don't care much for the term 'god' very much because to most it connotes some being, a ruling/omniscient power, a phenomenal object that can be perceived as such by another phenomenal object. So, if that is what god means, I am an atheist.

It can, however, be SEEN that 'we' are Reality itself illusorily conceived like flies futily attempting to cross a window pane all day when the other side is already open!

When the open pane is crossed it is SEEN that all are already realized, but many are not conscious of it, actors in a play that believe they are their role. They are like bubbles in stream who when asked what they are say, "I am a bubble". Others with some understanding will say, "I am the stream." Others would simply say, "Stream".

Well done, Brian. Nice blog post.

To add my two cents to your comment...When I type out or speak that word, "God," increasingly it seems unnecessary to me. Why don't I simply say "reality," "existence," or "cosmos"?

I would say this - God is your tango partner when you are dancing cheek to cheek with the nature of everything. It is the awareness of self-awareness. When we recognize that we are part of the whole but also an individual, that is the sense of "God". Saying "cosmos" or "existence" doesn't truly convey that consciousness self-awareness.

To me, God is the mirror that reflects the universal oneness and debunks the selfish ego.

I think that Marcel hits upon Spinoza's "God" nicely, and I'm not sure that Edward's equating Spinoza's writings on the matter purely with Atheism is completely fair. If Spinoza wants to term his unity of all substances as "God", who are we to say that it is only nature and not divine?

In fact, I can think of no more poetic (and personally satisfying) way to think of God than to posit that God is the sum total of all nature and existence, which happens to equal one.

Finally, I wouldn't be so quick to sell Einstein's spiritual or philosophical ruminations so short. The line between mathematics and philosophy is largely an illusion. Many of the pre-Socratic philosophers were mathematicians, as were Descartes, Frege, Issac Newton, Leibniz, C.S. Peirce, Bertrand Russel, and yes Spinoza. One could argue that science, writ large, and mathematics, are just sub-classifications of philosophy.

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