Friday, February 6, 2009


I think I believe in God. I'm not sure. At one time I called what I felt inside of me 'the still small voice'. I talked to people when I was young--remember, I am part of the Bible belt--who told me not to complicate things or try to figure God out--just listen to the still small voice and know that that is God. And so that is what I did. I believed in God and didn't really think much about it.

Then, ( I now realize in retrospect), I became manic and I developed what a psychiatrist would term, hyper-religiosity. I became fascinated with the Bible and with God and anything to do with God. It was like an itch in my brain. I didn't even know what I was looking for but I knew I would know it when I found it. I was frantically reading anything that I could get my hands on.

At this same time, I was taking some science classes as well. I was taking a chemistry class to be exact and I was learning about units of matter and the bonds that hold atoms together. One time my teacher said that if you broke everything down to its smallest components we would find that everything is made of the same basic material, if everything that we were made of was laying on a table we wouldn't know which used to be a person or which was once part of a molecule of oxygen.

This really excited me and I got really 'cosmic' thinking about it all. I thought about all sorts of weird things and was still reading and reading and reading. It was at this time, (Benjiboper) that I read The Tao of Physics which has many concepts in it and is one of my favorite books and tied in with the science classes I was taking.

The author, at one point said that if the nucleus of an atom were made the size of an apple, then the elecrons would be circling the atom at about the circumference of the length of a football field. So, there is a lot of empty space inside of matter. In fact, if you were too take all of the space between things out, we would reduce down to the size of a pencil point. I asked my chemistry teacher about this and he told me that everything we see is actually an illusion, that everything is mostly empty space and what we see is the light reflecting off of the protons, electrons and neutrons as they circle about the nucleus of an atom.

It was at this time that I began to think of God as these forces that held everything together and 'decided' what these atomic components would be. For me God basically became a sort of glorified covalent bond, If it had an intelligence, it was an intelligence beyond anything that we could comprehend, a cold sterile being. Nothing that I could really relate to. Nothing that cared about me or anyone else....just a thing.

Yet I still experienced that still, small voice. I still found myself saying little prayers or feeling that God was with me or feeling guilty when I did something wrong, feeling like God was disappointed in me. Sometimes I could feel my soul like a suppplicant thing wishing for forgiveness and then feeling a cold place when I remembered that the God inside of myself no longer was.

By this time I had reached a point at which I looked at the idea of a God with human characteristics as a sort of societal construct. The reason I was having all of these thoughts and feelings is that these thoughts had basically been built into my psyche at a young age and will sort of always be there no matter what I do. I completely dismissed the idea that God was trying to speak to me and thought of this as apparent 'God issues' I have from growing up in the midwest.

By now, I was reading Carl Jung, who explained my feelings to me like this. He said that we have an area of our psyche that is in touch with the collective unconscious where our God consciousness is located. Basically your experience of God represents some struggle within you as you try to define a relationship with a higher power. How you feel about this and how you respond and move forward has to do with issues that you have. But the reason you have to define God or related to God is because we humans are hard wired for this because other words--we have a still, small voice inside of us.

It's very strange how it all came around full circle. I have much more sophisticated ways of explaining things now, but nothing changed. It was just like the people told me long ago...don't try to figure it out. And I don't any more.