I was running the other day. Everything I saw around me the hills, trees, streams, cows, humans and deer, was formed in its base elements far before the formation of the world it now finds itself caught upon.
In the ancient stars, which collapsed and exploded as they grew old and unstable, there formed these elements I mentioned, which we still see in part through the observable universe. These elements came together to create stars, planets, asteroid belts and other dense objects throughout the universe.
The elements we have on earth are available out in space. There was a really interesting video from Kurzgesagt the other day explaining asteroid mining and how we actually have a near unlimited level of resources if we can begin to mine the asteroids around us. This is because these elements, although rare on earth, and spread throughout the cosmos in hard to imagine quantities.
Why am I saying this? I have a desire to derive answers from the world around me. I am also aware that I have a strong desire to formulate religious attachments to things that I think provide those answers. For example, everything I have mentioned so far is research-able online. You can use science and investigate it all, it will blow your mind.
I have noticed that over the last few months I have fallen into scientism, commonly defined as: the promotion of science as the best or only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values (Wikipedia). This is possibly a dangerous place to land because although science does indeed give us the means to determine values, we also need to include our ability to explore narrative, philosophy and ethics. Arguably all influenced by science, but all are also very capable of challenging the status quo of science and our conscious reflections on what science can show us. For example, science can tell us how to create an atom bomb, but it cannot tell us how to use this power. It can influence the conversation, but it can’t provide ethical reflections in narrative form to challenge someone’s current stance on the subject.
Usually whilst I run, walk, cycle or sit. The world is a crazy place to live, and my desire for a resting place is driving me down roads that one moment look comfortable and healthy, and the next has me questioning the very ground upon which I make decisions of comfort and health.
You are made from the substance of stars. Everything you touch and interact with is made from the substance of stars. Does that not blow your mind? As I type these words out on my computer, looking at my two boys baking with their mother, all I see before me, all I feel, all I think, all I am consciously aware of, is coming to me from the stars.
Science has told me this. But science is unable to tell me how I am to unpack all of this. There are hard questions that the likes of C. S. Lewis raise that seem to scream within me. Questions of purpose, desire, direction, and reason. There is so much to this world, I honestly don’t know how to make a journey into the unknown without some sort of guide.
Outside of religion, we don’t have guides. What we have are starting points. Paths carved to a point and then left for others to navigate into the unknown.
So where does this leave us?
As I look at the rolling hills that my little house resides within, all I want to do is go and explore. Through wood and field, beck and bramble. There is an excitement within me for the world that I live within and all that I am learning about it. But there is also a desire to answer questions that enable my children to not have to question to the point of mental exhaustion, as I seem to do far too often.
There are challenging books within the Christian world that I have been reading and will be reviewing in due course, books that don’t allow the simple answers I thought right about religion and God to stand. Books that challenge my concept of atheism to its core.
I am not saying that I am religious, but I am saying I have a desire for a worldview that makes the most of the world around me. I am definitely driven by my emotions as well, not that these emotions are enough to make decisions, but one should not push their learing away because an emotion one feels doesn’t marry the thoughts one has. Rather emotion and reason need to coincide.
For example, I read this the other day from ‘The Silver Chair’ by C. S. Lewis, and it broke me. Now I need to think about why.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion. “I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill. “Then drink,” said the Lion. “May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realised that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. “Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill. “I make no promise,” said the Lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. “Do you eat girls?” she said. “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. “I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill. “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion. “Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.” “There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
Lewis, C. S.. The Silver Chair (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 6) (pp. 20-21). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.
_End of Blog Blurb_
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.
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Farewell For Now – When Belief Dies
- Farewell For Now
- When Belief Dies #100 – 'Psychedelics, Philosophy & God' with Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes
- When Belief Dies #99 – 'Open and Relational Theology' with Thomas Jay Oord
- When Belief Dies #98 – 'The Take Over' with Daniel Kelly & Roger Bretherton
- When Belief Dies #97 – 'The End?' with Daniel Kelly