I used to love debating about creationism— and I still do. But I am very much inclined to bias– from an evolutionary perspective.
I can’t lie, Darwinian evolution– survival of the fittest and natural selection, are concepts that make the most sense to me. And though I feel it is true that both can co-exist within themselves, I am still compelled to against against the typical creationist perspectives.
When I used to work for the railroad, I transferred from a large urban city, to a much smaller, rural one. (Toronto, ON to Moncton, NB)
Coming from Toronto, there was a lot more spiritual/cultural diversity, where as Moncton was much simpler through both of these aspects.
While working the railroad yard in Moncton, I fell into some deep conversations with some of my co-workers. And though we were often debating, there was hardly any real arguing, where the concepts were presented and received with an open mind. I wasn’t there to change someone else’s ideologies, I was simply processing my own beliefs against the firmer beliefs of others..
We covered a lot of different life perspectives, where their perspective painted the creationist picture very well in considering a very literal interpretation of the bible. It was very interesting conversation.
In one instance, we bagan to cover the topic in finding God. I explained my points, and found common ground among a higher power/entity/creator, however, I could not see how one could undertake the very literal position of the bible and attribute it towards a truth in God…
I couldn’t see God’s role so ingrained within our lives, absorbed within the futile contexts of our existence– our meager wants, and insignificant longings. Nevertheless, I am always willing to take on someone else’s reasoning in order to build on my own.
Back to our conversation, I explained to this very religious Pentecostal man about how I am in fact open to meeting this creator of ours. Rather hoping for God to reveal himself to me– But hopes that never came, never surfaced, never showed.
There is something very interesting about words. When spoken properly, they can instantly impact your lifesyle.
It was somewhere here where he mentioned something along the lines of:
“God reveals himself to you at times when you are meant to hear something.”
He was expressing his moments in church.
“What do you mean mister?”, I urged him forward.
“I frequent church weekly. But I admit, I am not always so absorbed in the experience. But sometimes, somewhere within the hour or two of the sermon, there may just be one measly sentence that will completely resonate with you. A message that is specifically yours to hear. It is here where God finds you, in the simplest words or phrases that happen to catch you just the right way. That one word or sentence that strikes its chord within your heart. These are the intricate ways in which God works.”
He then mentioned,
“When you completely surrender, believe, and put in your faith–blindly, he will reveal himself to you.”
It all sounds very poetic and motivating, but it doesn’t leave much room for argument. How can you completely let go of doubt to find what it is you’re doubting, though you avidly seek its truth?
From my own experience, there have been many moments of surrender, many moments of calling, many moments of desperation– all without answers. None that were obvious at least.
I have had many interesting encounters and impressions that are a cause to question the validity and fine workings of orchestration– synchronicity if you will— but even in that, are these truly acts of grace, or something entirely different?
What I took from this.
It was difficult to challenge his words. Even now 4 years later, it is easy to see the impact they had on my lifestyle. I became more receptive towards picking out the signs that I am potentially meant to hear. And though I don’t always understand them, I definitely do a better job at identifying them.
Even so, these signs are still very questionable:
Are these signs from God? or is it really my gut picking out of my subconscious wants, urges, and yearnings.
Perhaps it is that part of the brain refered to as the Reticular Activating System.
That part that fires up, sifting through things out in the environment when you are conciously/subconciously looking for them.
An example of the RAS in action:
Do remember that new car or thing you didn’t have yet, that you later bought, and then saw it everywhere everyday after that?
You’ve primed your subconscious mind to pick these things out in your environment, simply because you’ve invested emotionally into it — to some degree.
If church is your environment, and your preacher happens to trip something inside your brain that happens to identify with your own personal questioning,
are these signs from God,
From the universe,
is it simply surfacing your deepest thoughts or desires?
Where is credit given when credit is due:
To divine intervention?
To your preacher?
To yourself for recognizing your own self-fulfilling wants and needs?
THE GUT vs GOD
This co-worker also happened to illustrate how he himself tried and tested the faithful waters. In explaining his doubt from long ago, he undertook to fasting and prayer to find God– which apparently worked.
I must say, It was all very intriguing…
But, I am no stranger to fasting, and I can’t claim any similar experiences.
A little food for thought— Pun intended
The gut-brain connection is a term used to describe the link between gut biodiversity/health and its influence towards the healthy functioning of your brain. Afterall, it does make sense that if you can’t breakdown or absorb nutrition properly, your body/mind will suffer.
You are what you eat
An interesting thing to note, current thinking claims that many mental health issues can be cultivated within the gut. Being the case, you may predispose yourself to certain diseases/ailments based on what you eat.
Ex. Celiac, Autoimmune Deficiency, Hashimoto, Crohn’s, etc…
Is it any wonder why many of these gastrointestinal conditions have been linked to mental health, and in the past have been highly scrutinized as psychosomatic. Anxiety, depression, or other forms of mental stress can be linked to gastrointestinal stress.
In getting a little bit off topic, this can also be regarding as a Chicken vs The Egg scenario.
So is it God revealing himself to us, or can our diets be influencing our thoughts and judgements to the point of influential perceptions of reality– Delirium perhaps.
Jesus, Siddartha Gautama– The Buddha, Prophet Muhammad, Shiva, And an almost endless account of spiritual figures and dieties have undertaken spiritual fasting towards divine progression. As a result, fasting is an integral part of religious practice and belief.
You’re not “You”, when you’re hungry— But who are “You” when your not?
Who can say anything about anything?
How many spiritual cases have surfaced under physically trying circumstances: fasting, famine, or– pain. What is left to say about traumatic experiences that influence such spiritual enlightenments.
How many encounters with God have been formed through the traumatic experiences following failed relationships or lost love, personal loss, physical self-inflictions, or self harm, near death experiences, wartime, etc…
Perhaps our Brain/Gutbrain procures these experiences as a form of epidural comprehension. To block out or to make sense of overwhelmingly painful situations by attributing them to the inner workings of divinity.
I’m not doubting divine intervention, or fasting for that matter. I am simply trying to look at the varying perspectives…
No matter how ludicrous it may sound in saying:
God is actually in your gut,
Our painful experiences of trauma creates a God for us as a means to cope.
If it wasn’t so widely ingrained in our cultures and faiths, it would be equally as crazy to think about:
- the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being. **Google’s definition of God
- a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.**Google’s definition of God
- A bearded man-father-figure in the sky cloaked in white giving birth to planets, stars, gravity, and people.
- A Flying Spaghetti Monster
The unexplained is explained by the unexplainable.
With questionable hunger