Growing up I was raised as a member of the Catholic church, attended mass every Sunday, and went through the processes of baptism and first communion. I mostly viewed all this as a way to spend quality time with my family, but it did open my eyes to great powers. It taught me the power of hope and faith; the way it allowed those who had reached a dark abyss to manage to turn their lives around. These people told their stories with great passion, great sincerity, and in the end the message was always the same; “I thank God for showing me the path and giving me the strength I needed to fight for my life”. My question was always the same as well, “Who is God”?
The Universe is God
Do I believe in God? Well that depends on the definition of what God is. Do I believe in a conscious entity who created us, who determines the paths that we can take, and who controls the good and bad of the world? Do I believe in a being that is all good, all knowing, and all powerful? Yes, but I do not believe that is the full definition of God.
God is everything we attribute the Universe to be. Everything that makes up life: the plants, animals, minerals, particles; everything that we can and cannot sense, experience, etc, is what God is. I believe the conscious entity which meets the above definition is each and every one of us. We all have the ability to be as good as we want to be, as strong as we set out to be, and as intelligent as we let ourselves become. The only thing standing in our way of reaching any set goal are the limits which we create for ourselves. If we realize and accept that no other factor plays a bigger role in our lives than our self-belief, then our possibilities become endless. There is no one in the world who can stop us from making our dreams come true; no problem too big, no person too small.
It may be a view some cannot accept, and I understand some reasons why. When we come across a situation that seems too difficult or odd to explain, we get a sense of discomfort. It’s human nature to want to understand and find a reason for everything that happens, whether it’s a natural event or a product of our imagination. There are still things we encounter that allude scientific, or even a rational explanation, and these are times when we look for a higher power to try and make sense of it. If we were to accept that we are that higher power, it would cause us to continue to live with that discomfort and uncertainty until the point where we find a logical reason behind it.
Another reason why some would not want to accept this point of view is that we as humans do not like to feel helpless. This has become more prominent in the age of television and global broadcasting, where we can see what is going on across the world in an instant, but it takes much more effort and time to actually do something about it. We see victims of natural disasters, violence, discrimination, or any other form of suffering and feel empathy towards them. We can see the despair in their faces and feel an urge to help, to bring hope and joy back into their lives, but we don’t know how. Sometimes they are too far for us to provide first hand assistance, or we are not in a situation where we can afford to provide economic relief, so how do we help? What comes to mind to many is to pray, to ask a higher power to do what we feel we cannot do, but this would be rendered insignificant if we were to accept that we are that higher power.
We Are The Universe
“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.” – Hubert Reeves
These are a couple reasons which came to mind when I first started to dwell on this belief, and they may be reason enough for some to disregard it, but I genuinely believe that this could progress us as a species to become a more loving and accepting kind. As humans, we have a tendency to view ourselves as more important to life than anything else around us, but that’s not the case.
Everything in this Universe is of equal value, all that differentiates us are the roles we play. Plants helped to form the environment, Rocks create the foundation, and Animals help keep the ecosystem in balance. This is a simplified way of viewing the world, but my point is to demonstrate how each species plays a part. We as humans, with our development of a more sophisticated cognitive mechanism, have taken on a new role: innovation.
We now have the capabilities to create technology that once seemed to be nothing more than a vision. We can now visit the darkest and deepest places on Earth, soar through the clouds in the various layers of the atmosphere, and get a first-hand glimpse at what wonders lie beyond our home planet. No matter how advanced we become though, we must never forget to take care of all other things which make up life. One day a greater species will evolve and they will take on a different job as well, possibly in a different world. We must make sure this is possible by assuring our longevity rather than jeopardizing it.
If we accept that the paths we take are solely up to us, we become more conscientious of the actions and decisions that we make. If we accept that any dream can be attained if we go out and make it true, then everything becomes possible. Just as the great Willy Wonka once said, “Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it”.