Thoughts on Reality
This might get philosophical, really quick, so brace yourself.
What is real? Is what we see real? Is our physical world real?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this question in the last week and chewing on some ideas from process theology with Dr. John Cobb and thoughts from Deepak Chopra. Here’s where I am at…
The consciousness/soul/non-physical and non-visible is reality. What we physically perceive is a product of moments/occasions/events within our consciousness/soul. Now, the concept of God/Cosmic Consciousness has a primordial nature which is the ultimate plan for all of creation. And God also has a consequential nature. The consequential nature attempts to influence our decisions in every moment/occasion/event in the physical world. This is why every decision we make matters. God is always good, always loving. Humanity is uniquely made in the image of God, of which one of the characteristics is the ability to choose and create (in Genesis we are depicted as created by a creator with the power to create). God never said humanity was created evil, this is a product of human doctrine. Humanity, along with the rest of creation was created good, very good according to Genesis. So, we humans have extraordinary capacity for good, but also extraordinary capacity for evil (because of choice).
This is where it gets fun. Jesus proclaimed that the good news (or gospel) is the Kingdom of God is at hand. And Jesus called for people to repent in response to his proclamation. “At hand” points not towards a future existence in heaven after we die, although that is part of it. But “at hand” points to a new reality, the Kingdom of God, which is here and now. To “repent” literally means to rethink. Rethink what? It starts with you, then the church, city, nation, and the world. And this rethinking is not a one time event, but something that happens daily and in every sphere of life. We can’t see the kingdom but it is what is real. I want to argue this is the primordial nature of God (see discussion above) and the Holy Spirit is the consequential nature of God (see discussion above) that influences our decisions from moment to moment. And this Kingdom (new reality or reign or commonwealth) of God is available to all people everywhere. This new reality calls us to rethink and even reinterpret our religious beliefs in light of the command of Jesus to first and foremost, love God and our neighbor as ourselves. This new reality calls us to rethink our us versus them mentality that most religions have in common. This new reality calls into question the dividing lines of humanity (religion, race, sex, orientation, culture). It’s happening, it’s breaking into our world and has been ever since Jesus ignited this movement. It’s breaking into this world in meek, gentle, humble ways, as Jesus compared the Kingdom to a mustard seed.
That is good news, my friends.