Omniscient God, and the search for an ultimate answer

Posted: April 14, 2011 in life, religion
Tags: , ,

We all know that frustrating feeling of being stuck with a hard problem that we just don’t know how to solve. When you are really lost without any hope, isn’t it comforting to know that there is someone who knows how to solve it, for eventually you can get a solution to the hard puzzle? That is exactly the role that an omniscient God plays when you begin to ponder over the mystery of the universe. Eventually you realize that no matter how much you learn or hope to discover rationally, the chain of reasoning never comes to a terminating point. It’s like peeling an onion that is infinitely big; it never ends. Let’s see how that goes:

You basically start with, how did we come into existence?
And you know the answer, it’s the making of evolution.

Oh yeah, how did the raw material come in place to start the evolution, you ask?
Exploding stars produced all the elements necessary to make you and me, and with a little help from gravity and sheer chance that was a certainty given the vastness of the Universe, those elements in clouds of dust formed into planets.

Where did those exploding stars get their hydrogen to start with?
It all started with a Big Bang of course;

Well then, how did it happen?
hmm; let’s say quantum fluctuations, or may be it was the collision of Branes?.

Really? how did that happen, and what was that nothing from which everything came from?
Sorry, we really don’t know.

You see, with these hows and whys we are always in an infinite regression without any foreseeable termination point that can answer everything. Because no matter what the answer is, you can always add a how or a why to that answer and keep the loop going. This realization dawned on me when I was quite young, perhaps even before I entered into my teens. And the only comfort I could find at that time from this constantly nagging question was in the concept of an omniscient entity. It was relieving to know that there are answers to those questions though I can not comprehend them at the moment. The promise of a solution that would be self-evident once you are privy to it, to this apparently intractable riddle was alluring. What more, there are known ways to access that elegant solution. You just have to be patient and follow what was demanded of you. That was how I was sold to the idea of God when I was just a kid in school.

I know, when you bring in God into the equation, the hows and whys don’t really go away; and of course God itself needs explanation. But the beauty of the concept lies in its ingenuity in answering all those questions with a single stroke. And that answer is: yes, there is an explanation for God as well, but you know what, you will have to work hard and realize God to gain the insight required to understand those answers.

Of late, I have new-found hope that some day we might even be able to find an ultimate answer to this riddle; what made me think of this possibility is not the amazing progress humanity has made in understanding the universe; I’m still convinced that the recursion can’t be broken by anyone however intelligent she may be, at the current level of human consciousness and the rationality that is afforded by it. I think it’s conceivable that evolution is running its course and our brains may acquire a completely new level of ‘intelligence’ that might be able to see things in such ways that we can’t possibly imagine now. Can a monkey even comprehend what it’s to have the consciousness that humans have, let alone theorize about it?. The development of our brains to their current state led us to this amazing understanding we have about the universe. That is a huge leap compared to our immediate ancestors on the tree of life. What would another such leap do to our brains?

Here is an interesting idea: our brains might already have such higher faculties but most of us might not be accessing them. Some gifted people might be able to use those brain functions easily while the rest of us may have to learn it the hard way to exercise and master their use. I am considering the possibility that spirituality/self-realization might be a way to access those higher functions in our brains, and unlock the secrets of the universe.

[meta notes: This post had been sitting in my drafts since Feb 24th; The conversation at Malavika’s blog prompted me to fish it out and finish. There is a little more that I wanted to talk about: the common denominator of Quantum mechanics, String theory, and spirituality is the apparent ‘weird’ things that they do to our world. I will talk about it some other time]

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