As religious fanaticism continues to pester civilized people, one wonders how civilization has managed to advance as far as it has. One would have thought that by this time religious fanaticism and intolerance would have become passé.
Religion aside, it would seem that the least everyone could agree on is a single, self-evident point: that a Universal Intelligence exists. I guess if someone chooses not to believe that there is a Universal Intelligence (“God,” “Conscious Universal Power Source,” “the Universe,” “Supreme Being,” etc.), there’s nothing wrong with that — provided he doesn’t try to interfere with the rights of others to connect in their own way.
Over the past twenty-five years or so, an increasing number of scientists have arrived at the conclusion that there is something unknowable beyond science, primarily because science cannot answer the “how” and “why” questions: Why do scientific laws work the way they do? Why do human beings have the ability to discover and understand these laws? If the universe is “dead,” how could we have evolved from dead cosmic dust into cognitive beings? And so on.
To those who insist that humankind is the result of nothing more than a cosmic accident, I must confess that I don’t know what they mean by the word “accident.” How does unconscious matter “accidentally” become conscious matter — atoms combined in such a way that the resulting molecules are able to reflect on their own existence? Quite an accident, to say the least.
Many people get off track because they begin with a false premise — that science is in opposition to God. On the contrary, I believe that science, along with everything else in the universe, is a creation of Universal Intelligence. In fact, science itself, which is bound by universal laws, is a miracle. Why? Because it works! No one has, or will ever have, any idea why science works — let alone why it works the way it does.
Perhaps Gene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17 and the last man to walk on the moon, put it best when describing what he felt when he looked back at the Earth from his historic perch:
“What I saw as I looked at the earth from the moon was that it was all too beautiful to have happened by accident. This could not have been the result of two dust particles coming together. I wanted to grab that crescent earth, put it in my spacesuit and take it home and show it to people. Looking up at the earth, I had the sense that I was sitting on God’s front porch.”
I’m not a proselytizer. I’m a social observer and philosopher. My only reason for sharing my insights into this subject is because I genuinely believe you can benefit — right here and now, in this life — by making the effort to connect with Universal Intelligence. Regardless of your belief system — religionist or atheist — you’ve probably already done it many times in your life, though you may not have been consciously aware of it.
Has anyone ever called you at almost the exact moment you were thinking of him, someone with whom you had not spoken for many months, or even years? Have you ever taken action on a hunch and it led you to something wonderful that you would never have been able to imagine?
My doctor recently told me that he was introduced to his wife at a party by a woman — a total stranger — who said she believed they would make a perfect couple. Sure enough, it was love at first sight, and they’ve been happily married for more than thirty years. But guess what? Neither of them ever saw that mysterious woman again, nor do they have any idea who she was. It makes one wonder why the metaphysical world operates the way it does.
Try making a list of all the big “coincidences” in your life — things you cannot explain in rational terms — and dump them into a mental compartment labeled “Universal Intelligence.” Then, review its contents from time to time. If you’re not already there, you may ultimately come to the conclusion that pretty much anything is possible if you can just find a way to plug into the Universal Intelligence that is responsible for those things we cannot otherwise explain.
Which brings me back to how each of us chooses to relate to the Universal Intelligence of which all atoms are a part. What the precise form of that Universal Intelligence is, no one can say with certainty. And how a person chooses to “worship” Universal Intelligence is his own business. Surely, all rational, civilized people can agree on this self-evident, natural right.
Sadly, however, they do not. Which makes this the overriding question of our time: What are we to do with the ignorant but dangerous religionists who seem more intent than ever on making other people’s spiritual business their business? It is the prime question that civilized people around the globe must answer as our world continues to spin ever faster out of control.
The very survival of modern civilization may well depend upon the answer.