Copyright Steve Alexander – www.temporarytemples.co.uk, by permission.
Crop Circle, 2009; What is it? A blueprint for a device, a language? Nobody knows!
Might there be ‘someone/thing’, for instance God out there?
In the Clarification to Flight of the Garuda, I use the ideas of Yuval Noah Harari, who states in his book Sapiens, a short story of humankind, that everthing is imagined into being. This is from money to the gods.
Some readers of my book, mainly from religious backgrond, ask themselves if this is a peremptory truth. In fact, so they say, we cannot have an imagined God, can we?
That even god is imagined is nothing new. Spinoza said so: Deus sive natura, and also Harry Kuitert, a famous theologian of the eighties and nineties in the Netherlands has said that all stories about above come from below.
In Buddhist a creator-god does not exist, and the term ‘mind’ as organising principle is painted quite precisely: no gods in sight. In Song 10 of the Garuda the Buddha as the highest possible authority is cited, saying that all and everything is created by the mind in accordance to the label that the mind has attached, and thus manifesting.
Does this leave open that there is ‘someone/thing’ out there? My answer is positive, and my argument is as follows. The noumenon cannot be expressed in words, so cannot be contained in language. We relate to it, but this is nothing else than our feeling about it. Talking about it makes it crumble. But then, whát the noumenon is, god or something else, cannot be known exept in an imagined order, that is it is fantasy.
Many mystics have named this ‘someone/thing’ in the terms of the imagined order of their upbringing, Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism, et cetera, but what this something/one is, in the end cannot be pinpointed. It is beyond words, meditation, conduct and fulfilment.
In autopoiesis theory (Maturalna and Varela) is said that our knowledge, and in general our ability to know is bordered by our biological limitations. So there might be knowledge out there that could be known only if our biological boundaries would permit. It is my view that our biological bounderies do not permit this knowledge to pass, whether this knowledge exist or not. So in short, what this ‘someone/thing’ is, – if it is out there anyway – cannot be known.
To say that it thus not exists is a cut taken too short, but being certain what it is, is hubris, the human daredevilry, that in Greek mythology was punished by the gods.
This leaves open an ontological existence of ‘someone/thing’, being it god or something else, but so inexpressibly open that it is outside of our possibility of gaining knowledge of. As our biology is the basis and forms the borders of what we can know, we can definitely conclude that we cannot know, because we do not know. And because we do not know it is not fitting to judge, let alone to appeal to it, because this would be exactly the filling in that happens in the imagined orders.
To conclude: I think it possible that god or some organising principle exists out there, but that we cannot have knowledge about it. On the other hand the absence of knowledge of this kind makes us free. After all, we cannot take into account something we cannot know about, and so being it impossible to act upon it, we are released from all responsibility to do so.
I am very happy with this.