Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Physics, God and Me: Part 2

Following on from my earlier post Physics, God and Me: Part 1 where I explained how my search for 'god' led me to study physics, we have seen HUGE developments in our understanding of the universe and of sub-atomic physics over the last few years. However, we are still in the process of exploring the 4% of our universe that we are familiar with. The more we find out it would seem, the more we find out about stuff we know nothing about. Dark matter and dark energy still account for an estimated 96% of our universe and these are aptly named. We are still pretty much in the dark about them.


Spirit

I believe I have a 'spirit'; something separate from my body or my brain. The 'spirit' is not my mind, because it is not affected by mental illness. I would still be ME even if my mind was completely distorted to unrecognisability. My personality might become unrecognisable, therefore my 'spirit' is not my personality either. I believe 'spirits' are an energy or force. Perhaps they are made of dark energy? I expect they are probably the energy or forces that co-exist alongside of my physical matter. The 'unknown bits in between' those parts we already know quite a lot about. 

If so, then other material objects must have a 'spirit' also. A rock, a tree, a worm... must all have 'spirits' of their own. Likewise, a 'spirit' can become part of a collective 'spirit' too - a forest, a community, the earth - all have 'spirits' that are made up of smaller 'spirits' acting together. These 'spirits' are merely the energy or forces that co-exist alongside the physical matter that these entities occupy. 

Furthermore, 'spirits' are not confined to matter (or things made up of matter). So we can understand the concepts behind 'the spirit of...' - love, fair play, war, Christmas - and other more abstract ideas.

Life After Death - And Before

If 'spirits' are an energy, and we know from physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed, then it stands to reason that 'spirits' cannot be destroyed. So where was my 'spirit' before I was born? And where will it go after I'm dead? I believe there are two options here. 

  • EITHER my spirit has always and will always be what we recognise as a 'human spirit', i.e. what it is now, in which case I must have either been floating about since the beginning of time waiting for a body to occupy, or I must have occupied some other body in a previous lifetime, and will either go back to floating around the universe upon death, or perhaps occupy another body in the future and become reincarnated?
  • OR my 'spirit' is able to be transformed in some way, to fragment and become many smaller 'spirits', or to join up with others to become something bigger. Perhaps when the earth began, I was a part of a rock spirit? Perhaps I will become dust? Perhaps I will become a 'God'? 
Personally, I'm inclined to go with a combination of the two options above. Whilst we know very little about dark energy, we do know that the energies we're familiar with can be transformed into others; light energy can be transformed into heat energy for example. So I can easily believe that at the beginning of all time, a part of what is my spirit now belonged to an entity quite different from a human spirit. But I also believe that human spirits can stay in their 'human spirit' form, much longer than the lifetime of a human being in the physical world. 

God(s)

To my mind, 'Gods' are just another word for 'spirits'. Some are 'bigger' or more powerful than others. Those collective energies (or 'spirits') I mentioned earlier, are more powerful than their constituent parts. So the 'spirit' (or 'god') of a tree, is not as big or powerful as the 'spirit' (or 'god') of the forest that it is a part of. This is how I make sense of all the thousands of Gods and Goddesses worshipped throughout history and still today. And if there is one, almighty, eternal God of everything, then this is the collective 'spirit' of everything, everywhere, ever. Of course this means that we are a part of 'God', just as we can be part of many other smaller 'gods'.  It also means that some gods can be male, some can be female, some can be both genders at once, and some can be gender-free.

Good Vs Evil

I do not believe in 'karma' as I've heard it described, because I believe that 'good' and 'evil' are merely constructs of the conscientious mind. The universe in itself is neither good nor evil. I DO believe that it's beneficial to be kind to people, because as human beings we are social creatures; it is our instinct to want to be liked and accepted by our societies and communities. Not believing in a universal 'good and evil' does not give you exemption from the benefits of being kind to people or the drawbacks of being horrible. (Atheists rejoice!)

The 'Spirit World' - Back To Physics

I do believe that our brains are much, MUCH more powerful than most of us realise. And I DO believe it is possible, to connect with the 'spirit world' using our brain. That does not exclusively mean communicating with the spirits of dead people (although I do believe that's possible), as the 'spirit world' is also concerned with the spirits of things that are still tangible in our earthly world of matter and not just the spirits of humans past (or passed..lol) - remember the spirit of trees, rocks, other people, communities... etc.?  These everyday 'living' spirits exist alongside the spirits of humans (and everything else) past and present.

It's possible that this 'spirit world' lies in the dark energy that surrounds all matter. Some new theories in physics throw up other interesting possibilities. Look up String Theory and M-Theory if you're interested. I won't go too much into them here as I think I was in danger of getting a bit too geeky with my last post on this subject. But basically, some scientists believe that there could be other universes existing alongside of ours, opening up the possibility of extra dimensions. It's quite complicated stuff; it's not easy to imagine dimensions other than those we're familiar with; but it's still possible, within the realms of physics that such a 'spirit world' as I have described here does exist. 

Using Our Brain Power

There is much debate about how much of our brain we actually use, but it's safe to say that our potential brain power is very big. And that we are almost certainly capable of doing much more with our brains than we usually do. I believe that we can use our brains to engage with the 'spirit world' around us. And I believe that we can use this ability to tap into those energies and effect change. 

We can change our fortune, our opportunities and our potentials by connecting with those collective spirits, or gods and exerting our own influences and will on them, in order to bring about changes that benefit us in the physical world. We do this all the time on a subconscious level anyway, as we are a part of the bigger world around us, and therefore intrinsically connected to it, but when we do this subconsciously, we can be having as much of a negative effect on our own fortunes as a positive one. 

Subconsciously we act passively on the universe around us and therefore tend to be at its mercy. Since these 'negative' and 'positive' effects are only perceived as 'negative' or 'positive' (or 'good' and 'bad') because of our human perception, or consciousness, it's neither a good nor an evil thing to interact with the universe in this way. It's no more good or evil than using our consciousness to effect other choices we make. Although having said that, I maintain that as humans, it benefits us to be kind to one another. 

How Does This Work?

I shall be explaining more about this in my next post in this series. Many of us already believe in the power of prayer, or the power of positive mental attitude even if we're not quite sure exactly how it works. As a Pagan, I use 'spells' and 'rituals' to connect with the spirit world to effect change, but these are just words that describe the same intent and similar practices to prayer and positive thinking. 

It is a method we can use to exert our conscious will onto the subconscious parts of the brain that connect and interact with the 'spirit world' or (possibly dark?) energy around us and effect changes that affect us in the material world. 


Disclaimer

I do not claim to represent all Pagans by any stretch of the imagination, so please do not think that other pagans by default, hold the same spiritual beliefs as I do. Paganism is an umbrella term that includes many belief sets and religions that vary widely. As I don't uphold the law of threefold return, I'm clearly not wiccan, although there are several wiccan beliefs that concur with my own. I would not be offended at all if you were to call me a witch, but I call myself a panentheist, as I feel that word best describes my spiritual beliefs. I'm very proud to be a panentheist. Einstein was a panentheist too, and I reckon he seems reasonably well qualified to choose a sensible spiritual path. 

I do get asked a lot of questions about my Pagan faith, which is why I'm writing these posts. But please understand that my beliefs are my own, and whilst they often coincide with those of many other different faiths, I only speak for myself. 

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