Paulelmo's Blog

Thoughts on Being Part of It, an expansion on thoughts set forth by Norman Maclean and his dad, and an addendum to my “Singing” post

This one got a little long. Sorry. I’ll delay no more.

Our good friend Angie Braun made the comment that the post on “Singing” was “kinda deep.” It really wasn’t intended to be, however; rather, who I am is greatly based on what I believe, and sometimes I can’t address questions I want to address without touching on what they’re based on. I act the way I do and live my life the way I do because of what I believe.

I don’t sit around and think about the existence of God, or what all might God be or not be. My thoughts on those things are set. The thought of God being an atom is actually a response to the belief of others about what God might or might not be.

My thoughts were originally inspired I think by the feminist notion that God is of a female gender, and the resistant thought, which says that God is male. These last are somewhat underscored with the thought that God is, of course, male, as He made Adam in His own image.

This has to be a fallacy, as God existed before the realm of physical form. That also rules out that God is a woman. Some people don’t believe in evolution because they think that doing so means they have to accept that God is some sort of ape, which has to be faulty for the same reason.

It struck me odd when people would espouse beliefs such as these, and it had to be that, if I had made decisions about these things that I thought God isn’t, then the question had to be begged about what God is.

Having ruled out the belief that God has physical form, I tried to think what image of His own could God have possibly created us in (and other oddly-worded thoughts, no doubt). The atom was the only thing I could come up with that makes any sense.

The atom is the building block of everything, yet we can’t see them. Almost the entirety of an atom is empty space, yet they make up the entirety of the physical world. Atoms cannot be destroyed, one of the principal properties of matter being that matter cannot be destroyed, it can only be displaced. You have the ever expanding Universe; you have fire to smoke and to vapor and to ash and dust, water into steam and air… We know a good deal about atoms, yet there is so much we don’t know, and maybe can’t know. Sounds like God to me.

Why is fire so mesmerizing? Why are babbling brooks and wind in the trees so soothing? Why do surfers refer to their art as “the source?”

And, yes, you have music, atoms on waves, which go to a point and then go no farther, and how blessed we are when we can be in the path of those atoms, before they spend themselves and turn into whatever they become next, and then next, and then next, air, peanuts, tire irons, God through it all.

This all means more than just stuff happening to me. I am no philosopher, and I don’t think that any one of you has the potential to see these things exactly as I do. On the other side of that, I don’t think the rest of us can see things in exactly the same manner as you. It has to be personal; it has to be ours, and the only criteria is that it works for us and we believe in it. We find the small nuggets where we can.

In A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean talks about how his father, a Presbyterian minister, “believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace.” Maclean continues to say this of his father: “I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty.”

These thoughts are part of the basis of my philosophy, but, not only do I believe God can count, I believe He Is that which is being counted.

The thought that “God is everywhere” has been part of church-speak as long as I can remember, but I was never led to believe that to mean that God is, indeed, everywhere, physically; for me, God in that context seemed like a conscience, an all-knowing sentinel to keep us in check; I don’t think that was just the guilt or paranoia brought on by the life I lived during my years of substance abuse, my backslidden times, the old folks might say; rather, He did seem to possess that Orwellian Big Brother mystique and potential.

But what if God is everywhere? Then, It’s all God; We’re even God; Everything is God, except for what He allowed Us in Eden, and even That’s Him too, just like Delmar’s even forgiven for knockin’ over that Piggly Wiggly in Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou and Prego spaghetti sauce, It’s in there, baby; It’s all in there.

So, I’m already There, and I’m already It, and singing just to focus on being part of It. Yesterday, I spent three or so hours mowing and focus on being part of It. The contours of the earth create the design of the mow, but then they mess it up and a new design emerges, and it doesn’t matter if it is left looking like bad art when the mowing is done, only that it did get there, and it was recognized, and what could have been mere tedium was turned into something uplifting, expanding even.

A big ol’ pool of It All, swimming in it, while somewhere someone is reading something CS Lewis wrote about the mind of a poet.

And one great thing about this subset of a belief system is that it isn’t mutually exclusive to Christianity, but humanity. You don’t have to be Christian to be human, and you don’t have to even be human to be a part of this; We’re the only beings, however, who have to remind Ourselves to get back into the rhythm. A flock of 10,000 birds will take wing, and not one of them will ever rustle the feathers of its neighbor, and 10,000 more flocks of birds will take off 10,000 more times, and the same will be true.

We can’t do that, that apple made us have to remind ourselves.

I don’t want it to be thought that I’m coming out for some all paths to God ideology, as that is not what I believe: I do, however, believe in One path to Here. Nor do I ever come to these pages with any notion that I’m in the soul saving business. My job here is to tell you about me, how I’m living it, what it feels like, and how I’m carrying the rock; the only soul that’s my business is my own.

I’m going to leave this there. I will tell you that when you get around to reading The Situation with Phillip, you will see expansions on these thoughts.

So, yeah, as far as Angie’s noting that things were getting a bit “deep,” I guess I’ve laid those pretty little questions down to bed. Ain’t nuthin but sunshine and daffodils here.

See you out there in the waves and the rays.

Sorry I rambled. With heartfelt thanks.

 

 

 

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