Something About God - an Article
This is the first of the articles I would like to publish on this site. Because of that, it needs to provide a form of introduction to the topics I am interested in, and most importantly to the manner in which I approach those topics. My main interests rest in the information understanding and in deduction. Moreover, most of my divagations are related to the concept of Divinity in one way or another.
Many years ago I have seen a clip on TV where some scientists or likewise were expressing their desire to learn more. What they were saying is that they wanted to think "deeper", in order to understand some complex issues. Those statements were made in another part of the world and in completely different cultural background than I live in now, but still they have some relevance which is independent of time and place. There is a common perception that in order to understand something better, or in order to make a discovery, one needs to think deeper and stronger about the issue involved. To me it looks like saying that in order to squeeze more juice out of a lemon one needs to press harder. I do not see my mind to be lemon like, and I do not squeeze it for information.
There is another way one may approach the topic of information understanding, the one that I follow, which I would like to describe on this page. This method involves a form of passive observation and mental energy redirection. Before I describe the specifics of this method let me give an illustrative example.
Suppose there is a university professor who teaches some complex mathematics course at some school. He is reasonably fluent in his subject, and in mathematics in general. One day when he works at his desk at home, his eleven years old son comes to him with a question related to the exercise assigned at school. The exercise is in mathematics, and does not present any challenge to the professor. He interrupts his work and patiently explains to his son the notions involved in the exercise. He not only helps him to solve the problem, but also explains the reasons why this form of exercise is assigned at school. The boy happily returns to his room and solves the remaining problems assigned.
Now, let us look at the same example but let it be set in some different environment. The same professor sits on his sofa and watches football match on television. At the same time he speaks on the phone discussing some important topic with a friend. The professor's attention is divided between the match he wants to watch and the discussion. At that time his son comes to the room and asks for assistance with his mathematics problem. Now the professor is faced with a dilemma. He needs to divert his attention to yet another person, and in doing so he needs to either stop watching television, or excuse his friend on the phone. The problem is that the amount of his mental attention is limited. Unless he readjusts his attention his help would not be beneficial. In fact, he even may have problems with solving the task presented by his son.
What I wanted to show above is that there are two initial requirements that need to be satisfied when one tries to approach the topic of searching for understanding. The first one is the amount of erudition related to the task. In the example above the professor is knowledgeable in mathematics, therefore a school assignment given to an eleven old boy would not be a challenge to him. This is due to the fact that the professor possesses in his inner memory the necessary information needed to solve these kind of problems. In fact he must have solved them in hundreds beforehand.
The amount of prior information one possesses versus the difficulty of the problem is relative. If the same professor was faced with a problem brought by his research student, he may have been challenged beyond his abilities to answer. That is, his prior knowledge of the subject could possibly be insufficient to resolve the question being asked.
The second element of the example is the attention span and the need for redirection of mental energies. Every person is limited with respect to the amount of mental energy one possesses. When we watch television the mental energy is directed toward the notion of seeing, if talking on the phone the energy is directed to the task of listening. Moreover, when resolving a mathematical exercise the energy is directed toward the logical thinking.
There is a mental sense that is responsible for directing the mental energy to the specific tasks. Those tasks are performed by other mental senses. This sense has been labeled by myself and my wife as "the sense of concentration". This name is chosen to be in agreement with the ordinary use of this word. The sense of concentration directs the mental energy/resources to various places within the person's soul and in this manner strengthens its' workings. When we solve a problem in mathematics the concentration strengthens "the sense of logic". When we listen to some sound we want to identify, the energy is sent to the hearing.
On this page I intend to describe a manner of finding new understanding without thinking 'deeper' but rather by the specific assignment of the mental energies. As suggested above, two conditions need to be satisfied in order to be able to be successful in this task. The person involved needs to have enough prior knowledge in the area of studies. Secondly, the attention of the mental faculties needs to be set in a proper way.
One may say that I am trying to describe just another form of contemplation. This would be very much so. The person involved is not to think deeper. Rather the person needs to 'look at' the issue trying to observe it just as it is.
A person needs to find understanding about some issue. This may be anything, something related to the studies, or something related to everyday life. One may try to understand why his neighbor makes faces when passing on the street. Equally well, one may try to understand the notions behind some complex scientific experiment one is involved in. Whatever it is, the person needs to understand some hidden truths which are not obvious to him. At the same time the information needed for such understanding could be already there. Either as comments made by some other neighbors, or in the form of experimental data already gathered by the researchers.
In order to find the understanding one needs to direct the mental energies to the proper locations. One such location is the observation of the topic of interest. One is not supposed to try to think about it, that would introduce the notion of thinking deeper. Rather one is supposed to be just looking at it. Look at it at your leisure, not to press the issue, just observe it and contemplate it. One may say "ponder upon it within your heart". This is the first of the directions the mental energy is to be associated with. The second one is within the interior of the mind. More specifically the interior of the inner memory. Again, contemplate the memory just by looking at it. Again, "ponder upon it within your heart".
Thus, what I am trying to describe is the function performed by the sense of concentration, with the mental energy distributed between two areas of the mind. One contemplates the issue at hand, the other contemplates the inner memory of the person. Both of them look and listen to those two areas of the mind. The first one looks at the issue being resolved, the second one listens to the inner memory. It takes time before each of those areas can supply the information needed. Moreover, they are not to be disturbed, as any form of disturbance redirects the mental energy toward the region of disturbance.
When one tries to perform the above contemplation one may find it exceedingly difficult. This is because the mind does not want to stay focused in any specific manner. In fact the mind of any person is restless and tries to wander around all the time. A person talks to oneself in the mind. Moreover, continuously, all the other spiritual senses supply information about what happens around.
In order to address the above problem one may try to keep on repeating some predefined text. Such repetitious saying of some text makes the mind more focused. In principle it may be any text you like. If you keep on repeating the text for a long time the mind stops observing the text at all. One needs to find some secluded place where this exercise may be performed without any disturbance. Then, sit there, keep on repeating the text and allow the mind to focus on those two areas of interest. Looking at the issue, and listening to the memory.
The text that I use in "the Rosary". It is easy and serves the purpose very well. Moreover, I can measure the time when saying it. It takes me almost thirty minutes to say one Rosary. I do not actually use Rosary beads. I used to have some of those but I lost them many years ago. I just count my fingers when I am saying it. This is actually quite handy as I take my fingers with me wherever I go. Also, I do not make it obvious to anyone if I happen to concentrate on this particular exercise.
The complex and difficult task of contemplation leading to understanding becomes quite simple when saying the Rosary. That prayer allows for the mind to wander around. One may keep on returning to the topic at hand but without forcing it. One just looks at it and allows the mind to drift away. At the same time the mind needs to repeat the verses of the prayer, and this task requires calm listening to the memory. The verses are being recalled from the memory and the concentration assigns some mental energy to that task. The side effect of this is, that the person continuously listens to the memory during the process.
At some stage the memory recalls some information that is related to the issue being looked at. In other words the memory tries to associate some information with the issue being contemplated. When this happens the fragment of recollection or of information is confronted with the contemplation. Another sense is called to resolve the confrontation.
When the memory provides the information the sense of concentration supplies some energy to the sense of logic. The logic looks at the issue being contemplated and at the information recalled by the memory, and tries to correlate them. If indeed they are related the effect is seen as understanding. In this manner the person would discover the understanding of the problem.
The above method may be applied to any topic one is interested in. This article is titled: "Something About God", therefore we may apply the method in order to learn something about Divinity. The question I would like to pose is: "What does God look like?". A substantial amount of information related to that topic is already available, therefore, we should be able to contemplate the issue and understand something that we have not seen before.
First of all we can examine the information that is readily available. What do you think God looks like? Is he tall or short, fat or thin? Maybe he is balding. Does he look like Jesus, or maybe Jesus looks like him. Maybe he looks just like the painting on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. Old grey man with a long beard. Can not be any of that. Why? Because God is supposed to be pure Spirit. That is, God is supposed to have no physical body at all. You may not assign any of the above attributes to God, only because he may not have any physical body. God is not material at all.
If so, how come God created human beings in his own image? Aren't we all so physical? We do have bodies. If this is the case then maybe we do not understand the text relating the act of creation?
Evidently the above line demands some contemplation. We see a contradiction and we do not know the way out of it. What we lack is the understanding. There must be a way of interpreting the text that would preserve the purity of the text and allow for the current observation of reality. The contemplation leads to some logical explanation.
The explanation could be provided as follows. God being of spiritual nature created spiritual beings in his own image. Then the beings consumed something represented in the text by a fruit. That consumption separated them form the creator. Subsequently, they were given the 'skins'. Most likely those skins represent the human bodies. In that moment they would become physical in appearance but spiritual by nature. Thus, they would resemble spiritual God through they spiritual qualities but would live physical lives within the physical environment.
We have made a small discovery, and possibly understand the text more thoroughly. However, we may contemplate the issue even more and gain some further understanding.
God created human soul as an image of himself. One could look at that soul and see what could be understood about God. If we resemble him then we should be able to identify those points of resemblance. All we need to do is to carefully contemplate our own nature.
For example, we observed above that human soul possesses a sense of "concentration". This sense directs the mental energy to the part of the soul that requires it. If this is the case then we may expect that the same process happens within God. Moreover, we also observed that the soul possesses memory and logic. It would be prudent to expect God to possess those as well.
As we are describing the spiritual properties of the human soul, each of the identified properties should also be present within the Divinity. In fact one may identify all those properties and list them. We attempted to do so in our book. If you are interested in that subject and would like to learn more about the senses and even more complex spiritual qualities you may like to have a look at "The Spiritual Law".