Divinity – a definition
Is there something beyond the physical universe? Something we cannot “see”? It seems even science must reach past the seen to the unseen, to explain what exists. Dark matter, and Dark energy, and black holes are all examples of this “reaching beyond” the seen for explanations…..
In religion, this is represented by “divinity”….. that there is some form of “deity” that is making all this “stuff”…. but the forms which this spiritual search have taken in the past, are not really answering the questions which our modern scientific minds have.
The days of Zeus and Odin, Dionysus and Thor being the causes of the world we see around us have past. Likewise, the deification of great teachers like Buddha and Jesus also do not fit with what we know of the universe…. so there is a real struggle between the scientific way of seeing “everything that is”, and the religious way of seeing “creation”.
But on the other hand, humanity from the earliest times, has had almost an instinctual sense that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Some recent thinkers are using the word “divinity” as a general term for whatever this creator or the base of the universe is…….
Perhaps it is time to look at that term…. and to ask the question “What is divinity?”
For the moment, lets call it “that which is unseen, but seems to have an influence on that which is seen”……
Divinity as a totally separate entity from the physical world
When i use the term “chasm theology”, it is the viewpoint that there is divinity, and then there is the physical or temporal world. One is “supernatural” and one is “natural”, and they are divided by one being the “creator” and one being the “created” as in a potter and a pot… i.e. not made of the same substance.
Humans see things in terms of “things and their opposites”, so this chasm theology in a sense, grows out of our understanding of the physical world, where there needs to be two sides to everything.
Another seeming reason for this Chasm Theology, is that humans have had a sense of sacredness and fear, for the “Creator of all things”, and they have seen that creator to be outside the phsycail realm….. and so they have placed that deity on a pedestal, and made themselves to be mortal, while the deity is immortal.
But what we are in possession of, in our human toolkit, is science and logic and 5 senses, with an added “instinct” that there is something beyond what we see…. and we have been operating on this premise, whether we like it or not, since we became self-aware.
In searching for this “something beyond what we can see”, my search has led me to not see life in the fragmented “chasm theology” way. i have come to see divinity as a “deep nature”…. the background of nature, from which the temporal or physical world is breathed….. in and out…..
Deep Nature as a description for Divinity
This is a concept which both science and religion could dig into, if they were to be willing to step back from their dogmatic position even minimally.
When humans sense a deep connection with “that which is not seen”,we often compare it to a parent….. but when we put human traits onto that divinity, that is to anthropomorphize it…. perhaps because humans feel we are the highest form of consciousness…. so we attribute our “type” to the highest form we cannot see…..
Whereas “pure awareness” might be a better way of looking at divinity….. i am partial to the term “deep nature”……. this brings our biology into the mix, rather than making us out to be some sort of spiritual being that is “encased” in DNA…… two worlds struggling against each other.
Our human senses are all “temporal”….. our “knowledge” is totally related to comparisons between this and that…..”things”…. so our imagination runs in these circles……
But humans (and animals etc too, but we can’t “talk” to them about it) have a sense of deep fundamental connection to something unseen…. this is shown, in my mind, by all humanities urge towards some sort of sacred or divinity….. and i think humans have been trying to put a name and traits on this since we became self-aware…….
If we try to stay (for the moment) within the realm of science, deep nature can fit that unseen “background” that we sense we are a part of…… and we ARE a part of the universe, and of nature….. i think everyone can agree on that.
It seems primitive man was attributing the “unseen” to “the seen”…… the sun was responsible for their food…. and rain…. and so they “prayed” and made sacrifices to them……. it seems the american indigenous peoples is almost the only living group that has direct roots back to this way of seeing divinity in nature……
So, if this were the case, all matter is “divinity particles” (so to speak)
And to continue the “logic”, if divinity were “pure awareness”, then rocks and carrots and stars and animals are all participants in this divinity…. (so being temporarily located in the lock of space and time, we are “located temporal particles of divinity” in an ocean of divinity.)….. and it would seem that it requires some form of awakening for humans to “experience” this as part of their reality…. because it requires us to move beyond our 5 senses and incorporate this “extra sense” into our life.
In that way, awakening is to bring a new stream into our physical life experience.
Whereas with the “chasm theology” form, folks are drawn away form their physical reality to some “after this life” experience….. which for myself, totally misses the whole point……