Can't Say I Duck The Big Questions (part 3)

By: Brian Robertson

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

There are two big problems at the heart of Christianity, the religion, and both of them contribute to the reluctance and even inability to come to see the kinds of things I mentioned in Pt. 1 (and thanks for the continuing comments and email!).

These two things are related and if you keep them in mind as a kind of compass to get your bearings you’ll go a long way toward unraveling the problems I’ve alluded to.

First, much of Christianity is based on people’s perceptions of the Universe as held at the time of Christianity’s formative years. Without going into too much detail, the situation is this — much of what followed in Christian Theology assumed the world was a Mechanistic Universe — a machine. God sat at the controls because, well, He build the machine. If one pressed these buttons — the right belief, the correct creed, the winning view of Jesus — then after a great deal of grinding and whirring, out would come the ticket to Heaven.  As an aside, most of this took place in a kind of three-tiered universe that consisted of Heaven above, Hell below, and this veil of tears stuck in the middle.

But the Universe was not universally thought of as being something that could be delivered from a Sears and Roebuck catalog. The idea that you had to buy into the concept of the Universe as a Machine also limited God to a certain time and place with God’s role being the foreman of the plant. Such a view was, to put it mildly a rather peculiar bent in the greater Eastern world.

The Universe, said others with a bit more experience in such things, is not mechanical but, rather, organic. The Universe is alive and intertwining, not dead and segmented, and that which is alive is the very Consciousness I spoke of in my last blog entry. By that I mean that God is a living process — verb, not noun — but I do not mean to even suggest that it is an impersonal process as in a machine, for that takes us back to the mechanistic view of things. Ultimate Consciousness is a process at the depths of which we can find the qualities associated with God — Compassion, Love, Intelligence and Divine Presence.

Think about it — unlike the passionate history of mystics both in and out of Christianity, nobody commits their love, their adoration and their fascination t0 a mere machine. There are relatively few hymns written to a machine or an impersonal, cold and orderly process. Throughout history and culture, participation in the process of Consciousness, however, is something altogether different. That is because our hearts are made to vibrate at the same frequency, as it were, with God, and in those moments of being struck by the absolute beauty of a sunset, the Presence of God in early morning hours before the world’s layer of activity and distraction are piled on, the look of your loved one, the glance at a child’s play and countless other opportunities that you yourself recognize as being “in the flow” or having direct access to the spiritual touchstone for your soul.

But, again, when one looks at Christianity’s history (and much of it as an organized religion is not pretty) ask yourself — is this seeing God as mechanistic or organic? What implications does it have to see it one or the other? Which one matches your own experiences?

At the beginning, I said there were two things, mechanistic vs. organic being the first.  I’ll get to the other in my next entry as I wasn’t expecting to prattle on this long!





[Very nice site, I used to visit it 3 years or so ago and have just re-discovered it. Thanks.

I don’t know if I agree that the ‘mechanistic’ picture of the universe dates back to the 1st century. In fact I would have placed this view at the beginning of modernity (say 16th C – ). I had thought that up until the end of the medieval period, the picture of the universe held by anyone educated enough to contemplate such an idea was ptolmaic and aristotlean – the superlunary realm was literary heaven and incorruptible and changeless, and the sublunary realm home to ghosts, spirits and changing phenomena. That is about my understanding of it. How could 1st century society form a mechanistic view when in fact there were very few machines?]


[Good idea, Franklin. Let me address that in a full post, if that’s ok? I’ve got one more to do tomorrow (or the next day) and then I’ll give it a shot. Others reading these comments might have far wiser things to say, so I hope your request brings their input as well!



[Could you include a few words on God is Spirit, and God is consciousness.]