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Let god be god

Science and religion have been in conflict for decades. According to the Bible, the entire universe, including life, was created in six days (creationism). Scientists speak of 14 billion years. Now, theologians say that the theory of evolution is no longer a theory but the best scientific explanation of the origins of life and the universe.

Lately, priests have written books implying a need to review our concept of a creator, the dogmas and rituals of religions, the requisite for a new kind of spirituality, to address the changing times. These are men of the cloth — Teilhard de Chardin, Hans Küng, Matthew Fox, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Thomas Berry and George Coyne. Within the last century, the human intellectual faculty has evolved at a considerable pace, into an awareness of the need for interconnectedness among all of creation, organic and inorganic — life, the earth and the entire cosmos.

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Theories about the beginning of the universe, the composition of matter, how the cosmos and life evolved, or the participation of an entity in an ongoing creativity are coming out of the woodwork. Scientists and theologians have arrived at similar assumptions hinting at a possible cooperation between the two fields, for the gap that separates them has all but disappeared. It appears that science, not theology, will henceforth lead us in our search for an alternative reality. An enormous leap in human intelligence has evolved so that humans have become more efficiently equipped to understand the process of creation and evolution and their participation in this magnificent opus. Hand in hand with this gigantic leap is their need for an article of faith that conforms and does justice to the magnificence, beauty and mystery of the cosmos.

The history of humankind must be visualized not from the initial appearance of life but from the Big Bang said to be the beginning of the universe where O’Murchu, a priest and social psychologist, sees us as participants, one with a divine spirit, creating life and the cosmos with all of its imperfections. Perfection is still in process so that the instability and unpredictability of an imperfect cosmos become a significant part of the power that energizes the process of evolution. If everything were perfect then evolution will cease, for there will be no more need for change. Imagine the beauty of an endless process of complexification toward more beauty, grandeur and goodness, an ongoing task of creating and visualizing a universe where benevolence, elegance, grace and, most important of all, love, become the norm.

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There might be a temptation for radical proponents of a religion to see this as a grand design, this with an intelligent designer — God? To me this would be a misnomer, for the noun has accumulated a bunch of negative trash through the centuries — mechanistic and with human qualities we abhor even within ourselves that have caused much human suffering and death even at this very present.

We and the entire cosmos are one: “us,” the alpha and the omega, the creator and the created, the macrocosm and microcosm, the parts of the whole as well as the whole of the parts, the holon and the hologram, no distinction or separation.

This “us” is bigger than the entire universe, is within and without, above, below, behind and beyond time and space. It is everyone and no one, everything and nothing, the stardust from an exploding supernova that gave matter flesh, the incarnation of the human race as well as the rest of creation. They say even the earth is alive, a Gaia, a self-regulating entity where the organic collaborates with the inorganic for their mutual sustenance.

Call it God if you will, but this time, just let god be god.

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Carmelita Roxas Natividad describes herself as a retired mother and active grandmother who likes to write, garden and bake, in that order.

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TAGS: Carmeltia Roxas Natividad, creation, God, Inquirer Commentary, origin of the universe, theory of evolution
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