I feel like I’m falling
Like I’m spinning on a wheel
It always stops beside a name
a presence I can feel
I…I believe in love
God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
I don’t believe in magic,
I just believe in me
So if you read those two verses you get a sense of theme. The second verse is, of course, from John Lennon’s song God. A song where he ends the myths of so many things he saw in the world. Including the Beatles, God and his own mythology, thrown on the pile and set ablaze.
The first verse is U2’s God Part 2 which Bono wrote as a follow up to Lennon’s. Less self-dispelling and more looking both at his own questioning and what he feels.
One man is trying draw a line in the sand a start anew. The other is looking forward at common threads we can all tie together. I always thought both songs were risky and that is what made them great.
So what’s the point? What is belief? Why do we spend so much time dealing in mythology. Why does our purpose have to be so tied to eternity and less tied to our time on Earth? I found these definitions on a dictionary site:
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child’s belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.
So I look at them and all I see is contradiction. Confidence, trust, faith, truth. Belief to me is an expectation of truth. Because the doubt is always there, inherent. For me if I believe something, that is less than knowing. Knowing, real knowing, is truth. I’m not talking about being able to say ‘I know God exists’. Those are words without the burden of proof. Knowing implies the removal of doubt.
All of that leads to the ultimate speculation. Truth. Truth for me is verifiable. There is that expectation that you can back up your words with real evidence. Proof. Verification. It is absolute isn’t it?
Or is it? Ahhh, I love the conundrum of all of this. You see truth for many things is verifiable with the tools we have in hand to test them. But think back over decades and centuries. A grain of sand or speck of dust may have been the smallest elements in a world without microscopes. At the time, that was a provable truth. And then came the atom. Then the nucleus, electrons. Other sub-atomics and so forth. So what was a provable truth once may not be in 20 years.
So even truth for so much is hardly absolute. Can anything be? We can argue stupid ideas like stone is hard but isn’t that just pointless?
I believe in me.
I believe in love.
If we get existential for a second, do I really exist? Or do I only believe I exist? Our senses can be dulled, confused. Brain functions can be manipulated. So what is reality? Is the Matrix as far fatched as it may seem on first glance?
I remember reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead and learning the concepts around how each moment of life and in death are just that, a moment, an image. And as you move from that one instant to the next, that moment dies. So we end up dying and being reborn in every instant. Over and over eternally. Thus your body death is just another instant dying before you start the next instance.
So is that what religious belief is? Or is it something else? The concept of soul is a generalization that the brain cannot produce the personality. Spirit is used to define the intangibles. Internal peace, connections to the universe. A concept I think Lennon could attach to. As long as it didn’t involve religion. The question it begs is this: Can the concept of God just be the holding place for that which we don’t understand, know, yet? Will we reach a point in knowledge where all of those questions can be answered completely? Or will this always have a place in mankind. A need to know ‘the rest’. The ‘after’ is an endless question. Unfortunately that question has been abused so much that it gets easier and easier to not ‘believe’ every day.
And love? Is it our brain that produces the appropriate chemical reactions to produce that feeling? Does someone else’s chemistry interact with our own to produce those pheromones and all the other chemicals involved?
I believe in love because I feel love. But does that make it a ‘truth’ let alone an absolute truth? A religious person will tell you they feel God, feel His love. The difference for me is feeling love from nothing versus feeling love for what we can see, feel and interact with. I ‘know’ that someday the ‘belief’ in love will become a ‘truth’. I can’t say the same for God with the exception that as a placeholder for some of the unknowns we share, maybe there will be something.
Ultimately we could all be wrong about ‘God’. Maybe all this investigation will lead to a further construct of life and what happens, if anything, after our bodies die. Maybe our collective energies live. Maybe we go some unknown dimension. Maybe our ‘souls’ gravitate into new life. Who knows? I could outline concepts all day.
For me, there will always be a burden of proof. And I’m willing to change my mind if the evidence warrants it. I have seen many times what people who live in a world of absolutes can do. And how many people have died because of that?
It’s interesting that love is likely a brain response but we associate it with our hearts and souls. I believe science will continue to advance and new truths will emerge. Not just around love but all aspects of who we are and our existence.
I love that my brain travels all these roads!