I have my good friend Tim Quinn to thank for many great book recommendations (except Steppenwolf), especially A Guide for the Perplexed. Schumacher's book helped me realize many things, one being that consciousness, while most definitely a function of biological processes, is also a phenomenon that cannot be understood in strictly material terms – it exists in a way that transcends "the material."
|Me posing in Harvard with Tim and Sarah in 2005 with Schumacher's book in hand.|
Yeah, random points ... I know. But I mention them because I've come to realize a lot of people really believe that these two worlds (or levels or reality, if you will) are mutually exclusive – that it's one or the other – and, as such, they fully embrace one, and refuse to recognize (wittingly or unwittingly) the other.
I don't understand this. I don't understand how people can believe in God, Jesus, Zeus, Allah, or whatever and refuse to reckon with the material realities of the universe. Conversely, I struggle to understand how atheists believe that science, a system of reductionism that focuses strictly on the materially observable, is proof enough that no greater intelligence (or 'being") exists in the universe. The 'god-only' believers fail to recognize that their 'believing' originates in a very material brain, and the 'science-only' believers fail to recognize (at least in the mainstream science of today) that there is an entirely different plain of existence beyond the materially observable.
To me, questions arise:
What if "God" (a term I use loosely) isn't something separate from the periodical table, but a function of it?
Or what if the periodical table isn't devoid of "God," but something that produces it?
What if .... shhhhh ... the two exist simultaneously and in harmony with one another?
Whatever the answers may be, all I know is that my darling daughter Gabrielle has forced me to think about these two things at great length: (1) the biochemical building blocks of life in order to understand her I-Cell Disease, and (2) the nature of life and existence in order to come to grips with the fact that she won't be here for very long. And, while I must say that I feel lucky and fortunate for all the insights I've acquired thinking about these things, a part of me wishes I knew more people who thought about them too. It would be so great to talk about all this stuff over a few glasses of vino.
But I don't. People tend to believe in one or the other. Well ... actually, most people today don't really think about either (like who wants to talk about this stuff?).
It makes me think of what my buddy Tim said years back, when I (pot-stirringly) remarked that philosophical questions aren't all that important: "How can you say that? They're like the most important questions we can possibly ask!"
I guess that's why I'm posting this.