Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sit down, Shut up ... and Listen!


Human beings communicate by signs. If one person has an idea he wishes to communicate to another, there are several prerequisites before one can successfully complete the communication.

First of all, the one who is going to begin to communicate the idea, must first have the idea within himself, i.e., within his mind. How did the idea get there in the first place? By having an experience of some sensible reality.  From the experience of the temporal/spatial reality, he forms an idea of it in his mind, a concept. He then cloaks that experience and concept with words he has previously learned which have been gained through his growing up and developing a working vocabulary. Through education and practice, he has learned how to speak those words clearly and distinctly for them to be heard and perhaps understood by a listener. He speaks those words.

The listener must have the sense of hearing. The vibrating air transmits the vibration from the speaker's vocal chords to the ear drum of the listener, which organ begins to vibrate with the same frequency and wavelength. The listeners nervous system transmits an electric signal to the part of the brain which interprets the vibration and matches these up with that of previous messages received by the hearer and which correspond to a vocabulary previously mastered over the years. Thus the hearer forms a concept which hopefully, but not always, matches the idea in the mind of the speaker. In this way the meeting of minds occurs, i.e., communication and, hopefully, understanding. Often times, communication may take place with other signs such as facial and bodily expression, gestures or even sometimes by silence.

Current astrophysical understanding of the cosmos, suggests that 13.7 billion years ago, the entire cosmos emerged from a non-dimensional point and began to expand with energy and the formation of matter at an accelerating rate. This original event was also the beginning of what we term time and space itself.

In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the word “God” is used in reference to the Cause of this cosmos with an acknowledgement that this Being is indefinable, ineffable, inconceivable by the mind of man simply because man has no sensible perception of this God from which to form a concept. It is the Judaeo-Christian custom also to use the unutterable name, YHWH, from the Hebrew “I AM” only in the most sacred of events but never to use this name in a vulgar ordinary speech; thus the Law directs us that  His Name never be used “in vain”; i.e., emptily.  Judaeo-Christian belief however is that the entire cosmos is God’s spoken Word, speaking Himself. This includes Himself as a human being, like us in all things except sin, who once said to his followers, “A wicked and adulterous nation seeks a sign” (an external proof of God); whereas what his earliest recorded words (Mark 1:16) as indicated above were:”The Kingdom of God is WITHIN.”

Science seeks reality by observation of sensible data, thus can never “prove” nor “disprove” God’s existence. It is a matter of belief (Faith). An agnostic says “I can not know (experientially) whether there is a God or not.” I agree.  The atheist says “There is no God”, and I say “Prove it”. Faith is a gift to be gratefully received but unattainable by effort. I believe one can ask for the gift, but will not be “punished” for not having been given it.

All mankind seeks to have an “experience” of God, but it won’t in all likelihood be a sensible experience, but one can best experience God by doing what Jesus apparently instructed his followers to do ;
            “When you pray, go into your inner room, and pray to your   “ABBA”(Daddy) in secret, and your Daddy who hears what you say in secret will reward you.”
            In  words as used by a current Christian prayer master:
“Sit down... shut up…and listen!”, i.e., contemplatively pray.
We all would like an experience of God in the concrete so to speak. The disciple Phillip pleaded with Jesus, " Lord, show us the Father, that is all we need." [John 14:8

We all want the sign. We promise to be satisfied with the sign. But the sign will never satisfy, only the Reality. If a family travels to Disneyland, they refuse to take a hotel room at the sign "Disneyland", but go on to the real thing. 

The entire cosmos;  energy, matter, mineral, vegetable, animal, human and the humanity of Jesus Himself, all together constitute the Word of God spoken to us, the Sign of God. If we have ears to hear, let us hear. But first let us...STOP ... SHUT UP...   and LISTEN. We just may have a life changing experience of the Reality.