Have you ever been truely hungry?
Have you ever tried going without food for an extended period?
Several years ago I tried doing a 40 hour famine.
What I noticed most was how quick I was to anger.
I became so irrationally angry at my family and others around me that I stopped well short of the 40 hours.
It became almost impossible for me to think at higher levels of consciousness.
Consider that almost half of the planet are hungry like that for extended periods.
If only a small proportion have the sort of emotional/intellectual response that I experienced, that is a lot of angry and violence prone people.
Consider what drives us as human beings.
Consider how we interpet our experiences.
Some of us, some times, interpet things as if there is a God, and we are in communication. Some of us do not.
Recently I had an experience thinking about the question of God - is there/isn't there, and the possible interpretations of events.
Sometimes I really want to believe there is a God, and sometimes it really does seem like there might be. I had one of those experiences running along The Esplanade on a rainy morning in April 2006.
I was thinking about possible futures and imagining talking to a group of people after the project is complete.
The focus of my thoughts was on my looking good (my hubris), how wise I would seem to others.
Just as I had that thought, I stumbled in the half light, and my glasses flew out from where I had tucked them into the collar of my T shirt. I ended up on my hands and knees groping around in the rain and half light, on the wet grass, trying to find my glasses by touch.
In the instant that I had the thought "now this is a rather stupid look, rather humbling for one with such mighty thoughts a few seconds before" I found the glasses.
It was one of those experiences where one has one of those "internal conversations with God" and the reality around you responds appropriately. I've had a lot of them - some very odd indeed.
I then started thinking about other explanations again. Need it be God, or could it be something else?
As always - there is another possible explanation.
It could just be that my inner mind knows that such hubris is entirely inappropriate, and had caused a stumble and the resulting crawling to bring my conscious mind back to reality, and to the higher purpose that both minds truly aspire to.
Which explanation is real?
Perhaps both, perhaps neither, perhaps one or the other.
I have proved to myself that it is logically impossible to either prove or disprove the existence of God - the starting assumptions one must make to engage in any such sort of conversation determine the outcome.
Does it really matter?
I am coming to the conclusion that it doesn't matter, if (and only if) people are taught to trust their higher inner vision (their conscience, their own conversations with God, or whatever they care to call it) - rather than to rely on anyone else's reported conversations or interpretations of the word of God, or view on how the universe ought to be.
It seems to me that there are several quite different modes (paradigms) of operation that people use.
At the lowest level, people are simply guided by their animal passions - like, dislike, love, hate, hunger, lust, etc...
At the next level people can be told what is Right/Wrong (good/bad), and follow the rules, whether those be rules be legal, religious, social custom or whatever.
In that mode to follow the rule is good, to break the rule is bad. But rules often conflict, and people are left trying to prioritise rules.
Rules don't work in all situations, no matter how great or prescient the rule maker was.
One of the real down sides of this "right/wrong" mode is that anything that is "different" or "unusual" goes into the "wrong/bad" camp, which eventually leads to intolerance, racism, demonisation, conflict, etc...
The third level is that of Possibility/Higher Vision/Conscience.
This is where an individual has learned to respect the rules, but not to obey them without thought (and to disobey when necessary).
The individual is committed to standing for things greater than their own instant gratification, and is committed at some level to harmony with other individuals and the wider environment.
At this level an individual can see many possible paths to any destination. The individual can see chains of consequences attached to every decision (or indecision), to every action (or inaction).
At this level the individual has respect for the wisdom that exists in all great social institutions. The individual can see (at least some of) the wisdom of many great thinkers and teachers through the ages.
At this level the individual realises that the possibilities are far too complex for any human mind to ever be certain of any outcome very far into the future.
The individual knows that creating a possibility for the future is to make a stand, then engage in a dance with the seemingly chaotic consequences of all the other choices/decisions that other people are making around them.
In this mode the simple concepts of right/wrong lose their simple meaning.
The individual can still choose a path of commitment to the greater good, but loses any absolute authority over others, as (s)he must acknowledge that every other individual may (must) see things slightly differently, and so while their actions may differ, their purpose may be no less noble or moral.
It seems odd, but is logically irrefutable, that the process that leads to the greatest outcome, is the one with the least certainty at the level of the individual.
The more certain individuals become about their particular path being the "true path", the greater the probability of conflict.
It is almost like a quantum uncertainty principle burried in the nature of logic itself.
Beyond a certain point lies the infinite unknown, unknowable, uncertainty. That uncertainty appears to be the source of all creativity (whatever we care to call it).
There is a point where we must each follow our own paths, and (if we are wise) do our best (within our own limits) to assist any fellow travellers we meet along their own paths.
I believe this project holds out the greatest probability of assisting the greatest number along their own paths, whatever those paths may be.