On July 27 The Advocate published my letter in which I explained that my religious views were founded upon the premise that everything comes from (and thus returns to) the same source and that, consequently, everything is governed by the same set of laws, which I referred to as “god’s will.”
I was surprised by the title that was assigned to the letter — “One man’s personal concept of god.”
My views are not unique at all. They have been held by many and actually pre-date Christianity.
More than 2,000 years ago, Aurelius, in what are called his “Meditations,” observed: “Out of the universal substance, as out of wax, Nature fashions a colt, then breaks him up and uses the material to form a tree, and after that a man, and next some other thing. …”
Ecclesiastes 3, Verses 18-19, states “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the beasts. Man’s fate is like that of the beasts. … As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the beast … all come from dust, and to dust all return.”
Concerning the idea that the same set of laws (god’s will) operates through all of creation, Jesus, in Luke 17, verses 20-21 tells the Pharisees “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
These observations have far greater meaning for me than what is espoused by most modern religious institutions — precisely because I can look around me and see the evidence of their truth, without relying on “faith” in any way.
Over the past century, as physicists have expanded their knowledge of the universe, they’ve come to see that many of the ancient sages were quite accurate in their perception of the world and universe, even without the benefit of modern science.
In the book “Einstein and Buddha — The Parallel Sayings,” Thomas J. McFarlane paired quotes from Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism with statements by modern physicists, such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Max Planck. These show that many thinkers over the millennia have observed the interconnectedness of creation, either through intuition or through scientific exploration and experimentation.
These conclusions were arrived at through honest studies of the world, with the sole intent being true understanding. This gives support to Jesus’ observation in the “Gospel of Thomas”: “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.”
Wayne L. Parker