Speak, Rock

Winter and the Leap Year Moon

Friday gratefuls: Kate’s improvement and her skill as a doc. Kep, his kindness. Gertie, getting up, moving around. Rigel, who prances. Murdoch, whose youthful energy keeps me hopping. The 400+ episodes of Resurrection: Ertugrul. The Pho place in Evergreen.

How can a silent God speak? Remember Art Green’s challenge to himself: Does adding the word God help or obscure? Not sure how I feel about his answer, as I said yesterday. He answers not only in the affirmative, but then uses that affirmation to retrieve Jewish civilization (as does Mordecai Kaplan), especially the Torah.

The motive force behind the evolving, becoming universe. That’s god in Art Green’s formulation. Not too far from a usual understanding of god, at least in theological thought. He does, however, state explicitly that he does not believe in the god of the liturgy, the Torah, the one god he came to know in his early Jewish immersion. (His parents were atheists and he became Orthodox for a while in his youth.) It is, I just realized, also close to Aristotle’s idea of a prime mover.

If I understand Green correctly, he answers the question of how a silent god can speak with his claim that evolution is the new sacred narrative. As the Big History idea of evolution sees it, the universe began with the big bang (the tzim tzum) and has proceeded from there to create stars, galaxies, planets, empty space, and all the processes that occur in those stars, galaxies, planets, and empty space. Big History includes all this and its eventual winking out (big freeze, big crush) or its eternal existence in its definition of history.

On earth the motive force, god, has pushed elemental matter into many shapes: rocks, water, atmosphere, and, life. God has done this silently, working through molecules and accidents, deep sea vents and tidal pools. Following evolution’s arrow (not the same as time) from the inorganic to the organic, from the simple one-celled organic to the complex, conscious human, we can see the language of this silent god.

God, this universal motive force, acting in all places at all times, speaks in granite, sea water, fertile soil, amoebas and bonobos. These are the phrases in god’s expansive book, one written in such a way that a conscious mind will wonder about it. Try to find its place among its pages.

This is the silent god asking the first question of the book of Genesis: where are you? The same question god asks of Adam and Eve after they’ve eaten of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Where are you, human, in the ongoing dance that is this emerging world?

I’m with Green up to this point. I can hear the silent god speak. What Green contends, if I’m clear on this, is that religions are repositories of guides and signals, hints at how to commune with the one hidden within the many. They are all partial glimpses, I think, but Green’s project is to transform all religions (I’m extrapolating here.) into avenues for mystical consciousness, a direct relationship with this motive power within and among all things.

Far enough for today. The Silent god speaks. But how can religions serve as fingers pointing to this moon? Maybe tomorrow.

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