The Dumbness of God

'Immortal, invisible, God only wise' said the hymn writer WC Smith. But after a lifetime of reflexion I wonder whether the last epithet is at all correct? Even before studying the Tao te Ching, and its ideas of cosmic flow, I had begun to feel that there is an astonishing paradox between the idea of a guiding intelligence in the universe and its apparent inarticulacy.

I have no doubt that there is a supreme intelligence at work in the universe, but caution against thinking of it in any way relating to human ideas of the characteristics an intelligent or 'smart' consciousness would exhibit. At the present time scientists are being forced to redefine definitions of sentience to include the way in which flora and fauna can select breeding partners for optimal habitat adaptation and indeed the way they can employ non-intellectual thought and memory to develop heuristic strategies.  

The innate problem with the use of any noun to describe such an ultra-creative intelligence is that it tends to become the proprietary brand-name of a particular perception. For me the term the LifeForce is preferable – for this is in effect what whatever-we-call-it is, whether in the Tao or Upanishads or Allah, or as known to the Jews as JHVH (simply, He Is; rendered as The Lord owing to the Hebrew prohibition on invoking the name of God except when spiritually conscious).

Like Orthodox Jews, I’m against giving this LifeForce a name – since what name can you give it that doesn't distort or limit what the phenomenal reality of such an entity must be. Also because all names necessarily encode the human projection that created them.  I personally see this LifeForce as comprehending both the heuristic drive of evolution and the power of love. But, I humbly submit, omniscient it certainly isn’t. And IMHO it doesn't even pretend to be: it's just that humans can't cognise the existence of a kind of intelligence that is so unlike the human conception of intelligence. The popular conception of the word God was of course fashioned by men according to certain masculine characteristics.

Thus I've come to see how this huge energy within the universe actually requires the only species with the power of choice to collaborate with it in order to achieve its ultimate and optimal purposes. Perhaps we can say that the LifeForce itself is a blunt instrument of phenomenal power which requires our (human) attunement to it in order to fine tune it for the world's reception.

For most people, the idea of a creator necessarily involves a controling intelligence, but what if the true nature of the Creator is that of a facilitative intelligence? What if the 'daimonic intelligence' within the universe is in fact 'dumb' or 'blind'?
      (Consider how in the humans sphere people with a hearing or speech disability often have exceptionally acute  compensating faculties.)

The idea of a 'permissive intelligence' facilitating the work of others is not so ridiculous when you think how the whole extraordinary act of imagination which is the WorldWideWeb has transformed both consciousness and communication. And indeed how often some great creative genius has only been able to manifest his (and alas it generally is his) powers because of a partner who nurtures and gives critical feedback.

Also, consider certain human inventions whose ultimate use was substantially different from that envisaged by the discoverer or creator – two examples of which would be wireless telephony and the saxophone. Neither Marconi nor Saxe were in any sense an 'impaired' intelligence ... yet that makes the point.
      While each was the cleverest in their fields, they were 'blind' to how the reiterations and repercussions of their machines would both transform and be transformed by interaction with the collective heuristic of intelligent users. Notwithstanding that these subsequent folk did not, and probably could not have, invented what their technical proficiency enabled them to exploit.
      Yet they took each invention to a totally different level by developing a fundamental concept in ways the creator did not foresee. And the developers achieved ther goals by aligning the product/s with an archetypal human need, ie positioning them as the medium of a new form of communication /expression between people.
      This is just as true of the inventions/discoveries of Babbage and Turing which led to modern computing – where, in artificial intelligence and robotics, each benchmark achievement forms a heuristic platform on which the continuing trajectory of successive generations' endeavours are erected – mimicking the great arc of species evolution itself.

The difference between the power of the LifeForce and that of human beings is that the former is sui generis, expressing the elemental force of a cosmic inchoate unconscious—a willing or yearning incomprehensible in human terms and inexplicable in human language—whereas such power as humans ever acquire is always conditional upon, and/or leveraged by, the willing or yearning of human unconscious finding its collective expression in a certain thought-form or product or work of art that manifests a conscious reality corresponding most closely to the aforesaid inchoate willing or yearning.
      Yet we respond to such power where and how ever we find it: and have given it such enigmatic names as Tao/Dao and Chi/Qi to embody its unknowable unpredictability. (A separate argument is that the word God has lost its power/reality precisely because Christians allowed themselves to suppose they could define it. And thus by fixing its meanings to a certain worldview the more irrelevant those meanings became once that worldview was superseded. Yet there can be few who have not experienced or observed the interplay of transpersonal dynamics in their lives, regardless of whether they choose to assign a vocabulary to this experience.)  

The reason we have a hard time imagining anything like 'dumbness' in relation to our concepts of a creator-spirit is for the same psychological reasons that, as children, most of us (quite literally) could not imagine our parents' limitations – since, by and large we only later come to understand these as we encounter our own painful shortcomings once we become parents ourselves.
      The problem with detecting the presence of a formative mind or generative consciousness within matter is that whatever it might be bears very little relationship to the characteristics of its human equivalent. In fact what the nature of this difference is, or might be, has engaged the finest minds since the dawn of literature - which itself was probably the mystery that gave rise to abstract thought in the first place.

Thus when those who claim insights into the nature of this creator-spirit say that it is 'radically other', surely the characteristics of 'dumbness /inarticulacy' fit that description? Especially when we call 'blind' the heuristic by which we come into being … namely, love itself. "My love must be a kind of blind love: I can't see anyonelse but you." As the songsmiths wrote.
      (The central teaching of all evolved—sky god—faiths is fundamentally that 'God is love’ once the characters and story-lines are stript away, and the cultural (mis/-)understandings about the nature and quality of that love are factored out.)
      In searching for parallels to this it's worth considering the emotional power of music. From which we see that we're regularly exposed to a phenomenon capable of illustrating and/or amplifying certain aspects of the psyche with great emotional clarity – which nonetheless is incapable of delivering detailed 'arguments' without the aid of words.
The unique role humans appear to be assigned in this proposition is that we alone have the cybernetic capacity to comprehend duality and thus to develop sufficient sensitivity to (re-)interpret the nuances we sense as emanating from this LifeForce.
Why should we think that anyone or anything is trying to communicate with us from outside our terrestrial existence? My answer to this that of course we cannot know, but if the majority of the best minds among our predecessors thought it was worth their while to try to figure out this conundrum, then—at a bare minimum—we stand to derive insight and emotional depth from exploring how they cognized this Otherness.
      The sophistication of thought demonstrated at the dawn of human history by a few individuals such as LaoTse or Moses, and the Mohenjo Daro civilisation that gave us Sanskrit, offers us important perceptual tools for examining the nature of the LifeForce, whether we think a personal dimension exists to it or not.

The impulse to write and to compose and to produce interweave within my life, and the differing strands ebb and flow over periods of months without any clear long-term patterns being discernible – at least by me. Like like dreaming or mental openness within meditation I describe what occurs as dependent on 'psychic weather'.
      I view creativity and spirituality within me as what naturalists would term ‘a behaviour’ – it's just what my brain is set up to do, and feels best if/when I allow it to. When I was young I imagined one or other of these activities would have significance for others, but 70 years have disabused me of that illusion. Nevertheless I do what I do because it’s how I witness to being present in my life, which is to say ’that of God within'.

Perhaps there is something about the nature of the insights that occur naturally to me which is at odds with the prevailing perspective of the modern world, and for that reason people collectively cannot hear me - maybe because my work addresses a part of their psyche they're not listening for within themselves? I have no idea. And so on that principle, I keep going because if I’m right then I’m onto something that other people DO need to know—even if they don’t want to—and if I’m wrong then really nothing matters much either way.
      YET this proposition I've articulated is one that can only become true if I act consistently with its being true, and therefore allow it such space as I can command to be true
      For much of my life I thought having been given Faith was a curse that singled me out as some kind of freak; but finally I've come to accept that this is what Faith is for - it is to make things true which are otherwise conditional.
      And it is in (and perhaps is only in) such quiet faithfulness that I or any other individual can attune themselves to the silent voice present in all of us and so articulate to people who are 'hot in the world' those rivers of living water that we ourselves experience internally which seem to flow throu the silence of the unconditional love which is that 'dumbness' that gives all without stint.