midnight prayer

we are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. but we can understand the universe. that makes us something very special. (Stephen Hawking)

tonight i watched into the wild on my ipod. i watched while lying in my bed, before going to sleep. my short 2-3 sentence review is this: thank you, mr. krakauer for letting me vicariously live a fantasy of going into the wild and being one w/ nature. i also learned thru the experience of christopher (the main character in the story), that “happiness is only real when shared” (he wrote these words towards the end of his lonely, soul-searching journey to alaska). there’s got to be a way to be one with the world and continue our relationships around us, too. this is a new goal for me to live by. tonight my wife shared a poem with me that said: “real tragedy is not death, but a life not lived”

after going on this visual adventure and mental mind trip- and ending up in alaska, i switched the ipod onto a podcast, it was ffrf’s podcast (one of my fav’s). anne, in her sweet voice introduced herself as an atheist, her husband then did the same. i had just “been to the wild” and totally switched gears by turning my attention to this podcast. after imagining the wonders of the mountains and nature, however, discussing the non-existence of god seemed so trivial. as i turned off the ipod and closed my eyes, an internal dialogue ensued on the existence of god:

“can’t i just leave this as a big question mark in my life? do i really think i will ever get any answers from my studies? am i just digging an endless hole, never to find the treasure below? as beautiful and majestic as this earth is, do i really care about the arguments against a god?”

[feelings of elation, wonder come to me. the god part of the brain is activated- or more simply put: i felt joy]

“god, are you there? do you exist? are you there but just don’t meddle much in people’s lifes or prayers? that would make more sense to me than the god of the bible does. god, now more than ever i am open to your existence, please show me that you exist, but i will need proof. i will need evidence. you would know how much evidence i would need, i am sure.”

[no answer, the internal dialogue continues]:

“do i really believe that there is nothing divinely guiding my being here after having evolved from the same mammal ancestor as the odd platypus’ only 117 166 million y.a, and being able to live on this beautiful blue sphere so well protected, preserved, self-sufficient and self healing? the anthropic principle is sufficient for many and for good reason. it is a perfectly reasonable answer to our existence. but i do feel like there is more, i am special and there may be something out there. even if otherwise illogical, is it wrong for me to feel this special- as if there is supernaturally more to what we see? no! well, nothing wrong as long as i don’t subscribe to an absolutist mentality or follow the dictates of a man-made religion. god, is there an afterlife? [no answer]. please show me, if there is a religion you want me to follow, or purpose you want me to find, please show me- once again you know what kind of evidence i would need but i am open. i am listening. speak to me.”

“how amazing this world is to just be of chance! how amazing that no other creatures evolved such high intelligences as we’ve been endowed with. how improbable- yes, how improbable! if there is no god and only one life then i’ve won the lottery of life justs to have this chance! so do i thank Chance for blessing me with this rare opportunity of life, in the body of an intelligent mammal- and at a highly technological, and comfortable time to be living? how improbable; or how divine? which is more beautiful, anyways?”

“do i need to choose?”

“no. if i am blessed by the lord to be here or if i am blessed by chance- i am here. i am now. i am self aware. if this is chance’s doing then what a lottery i have won!”

[i imagine now our blue globe in the dark emptiness of space, and how it appears to be a paradisaical biosphere in contrast to the darkness]

“how fortunate am i to partake in this! every single day i have won the lottery, just to have a chance at one more day in existence- as rare and improbable as may be. so who do i worship or honor or thank? how about just take it all in, and not let a day go by unlived. if thanks are due to the anthropic principle, or the silent lord, i do thank thee. i won’t worry about which is true. not for today. that hole will probably never get me anywhere, no matter how long i dig.

furthermore on these topics

  • more unanswered prayers of others:

Jonathan Blake, in his post God’s Away on Business, said:

It’s hard to sort out the reasons and the sequence of my loss of faith. In the afterimage of my memory, it looks like a single explosion rather than an evolving realignment of ideas. The epicenter of that explosion is God’s silence. In my darkest hours, prayer produced no succor. I was left alone to struggle in pain and doubt.

Maybe God is trying to teach us something we might wonder. That might be reasonable when someone just wants to know that someone is watching out for them, but when a child on the brink of starvation in Africa cries out to God for food, or a sex slave loses all hope of escape from the endless rapes that have become her life, my heart tells me that no amount of learning can justify such gratuitous suffering. God will strike a man dead for violating the sanctity of the Ark of the Covenant with a well intentioned touch (2 Samuel 6:6–7), but he won’t lift a finger to protect the holiness in the heart of innocent children? I ask you to judge which is holier and more deserving of protection.

Kullervo, another former mormon blogger, also shared an unanswered prayer here: http://byzantium.wordpress.com/2007/02/27/last-night/

  • the beauty and joy of realizing we’ve that we’ve won the lottery of life

great discussion on this topic found on this podcast: http://reasondriven.blogspot.com/ (ask me which episode and i’ll find it for you)

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2 thoughts on “midnight prayer

  1. I am glad that many people are not mormons or strict lds. They go out and have great adventures, Golf on Sunday and get in the Church news if they win. They allow me to appreaciate life vicariously, like temple work, through their eyes and i can enjoy a life i am not living. I am not crying about it. You can’t do everything, but i am glad someone doesn’t spend their life in meetings, hearing the same old sh– day after day, week after year.

  2. In response to prayers unanswered, let me inject a thought. For my part, I am as mistified about God when he helps me as i am when he doesn’t. The randomness of the Lords aid is just irritating. For instance, when i was in college, i was a house parent at a Jewish Sorroity. One of girls lost a contact on a rug the size of a basketball court. She asked my assistance and seeing the scope of the problem, i immediately prayed for assistance. When i opened my eyes and the contact was exactly in middle of my opened knees. I picked it up in amazement. I guess i shouldn’t be mad at God, since he chooses his battles, but the Smart girl was just up the hill from her house. In a neighborhood of believers, no one got any inspiration and the girl was raped repeatedly for months. It gives me great guilt to know i found the contact but the girl stayed lost. And this is a just God. It is no wonder the Greeks looked at Gods the way they did. Life is not orderly and it feels as if we are being manipulated by a higher being. I think the incident of the guy touching the arc shows god to be a spoiled brat. David was allowed to live after murdering and adultering. But if you believe that good things happen to people at random just as bad things happen to people at random, because that is life and it has nothing to do with God, then it lets God off the hook as well as giving us a bit of peace. Mosquitoes kill people because. God didn’t create them to afflict us. He didn’t create them. They are a product of evolution and they keep thousands of animals alive as a primary food source. As soon as you stop the egocentric thought process, peace arrives. The earthquake in China is Gods judgement? or necessary to keep the earth renewed and viable? You want to live on a planet without earthquakes? Try mars or Venus. No earthquakes, no life. The earth without earthquakes is cold in the middle which basically means we are all dead. If we were hunter gathers an earthquakes would be a fun ride. It is only a problem if we are in a building that can crush us. If we look at the world as it is and not how we want it to be, we can have some peace. The truth will make you free.

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