When I woke up this morning, this is what came to mind. I believe in science and I believe in God. What does that mean? Where does that put me in the understanding of the universe? My father was an atheist. He was born in 1940 and grew up during a time of war, great technological advances and scientific discovery. I believe we are all products of our time, deeply influenced by what is happening in our culture at the time. He loved math, science fiction novels and Carl Sagan (I too love Carl Sagan). He always wanted me to be a scientist. It was a shame he never lived to see computers in everyone’s home, the internet or the iPhone. Very futuristic.
I did want to be a scientist so that was good. When I was 3 two things happened. I saw a show on King Tut and told my mom I wanted to be an archaeologist. I also woke up in the middle of the night and told my mom Jesus was in my closet. I didn’t know who Jesus was but I was positive I saw him in my closet. Both of these moments have deeply influenced my life. When I was 5 I told my dad I wanted to go to Sunday School and he was very agreeable. I remember sitting on the stairs putting on my runners, doing up my velcro, and he said to me “you are more than welcome to go to church but don’t come home and start telling me about Jesus. I know all about him.” I agreed and off I went. I went to church with my friends on and off for many years until about the time I was 12 and my Sunday school teacher told me the Devil had created Santa Claus to take away from the birth of Jesus. I can still feel in my body how ridiculous I thought this was and I never went back.
I will say that my father always maintained that Jesus was a real man and that he may in fact have been able to do all the things that they say but that there was no way the Bible was an accurate reflection of any story given the fact it has been told through the millenia and changed to suit the needs of kings and the church. It was always clear to me that the Bible must have lacked accuracy, I mean have you ever played Telephone? You can’t get through 20 people and the one sentence remains the same. So is the Bible true word for word?
I argue not but I’m no expert. I haven’t read the bible in many, many years. I do believe the Bible is a metaphor. A collection of teachings on how to be in the world, treat one another and of course an attempt to answer those deeper questions “who are we, where are we from and what are we doing here?”
It is in the interpretation of the Bible that the problems lie. All I can say is in my belief, if there is a God, the message is love. Period.
I believe in science. I believe in evolution, astrophysics, empiricism, rationalism, the scientific method, I buy all of it.
I also believe in God.
Is this possible?
Science doesn’t explain everything. We also don’t have the science to know everything. For example, the big bang happened, but why? where did that stuff come from? where is the end of the universe? where is the beginning? where is the universe? This is where for me, there has to be a greater force at work. I do not prescribe to any religion but I do know that I believe in something. I also believe that we may have very well randomly evolved from a series of processes on a planet we call earth, by chance. These things are not mutually exclusive to me.
The real teaching here though is that I am not invested in if you think I am right or wrong. Giving up being right is the teaching. Why?
Because being right is all about ego. If you truly believe something, you do not feel the need to convince others of your truth. Period. Letting go of ego helps one get back to the truth of oneness, interconnectedness, which you can explain with science or god. Remembering that you are part of something greater is the piece that is important. So give up needing to be right. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you respect the rights of others as you walk the earth. Believe what you like but do no harm in the process.
For those of you that are wondering, I did go on to get a degree in Archaeology as well as Psychology. I have not had any men in my closet as of late except for my 18 month old son but I still do see things out of the corner of my eye. You can definitely explain that with science however, I like to believe that the questioning that ensues is the intention behind the glimmer.