Philosophy at its Philosophiest

Found via Feedly on Above Top Secret:

“So then…Who is God?”

Why, you might reasonably ask, would I be following the omnicredulous conspiracists on Above Top Secret on Feedly?  Simply because, while many of their contributors and commenters are, well, conspiracists, they do come up with some interesting topics from time to time – even if the interest is only in picking the sillier theories apart.

But this thread, thrown in apropos of apparently nothing, about the nature of God, caught my interest for two reasons.  First, because my immediate reaction was to be disparaging and pompous about the banality of it; and secondly, because my follow-up reaction was a realisation that, whether deliberately or not, the contributors were probably closer to my point of view than I’d assumed.

A poster called TheDualityExperience started the ball rolling with this:

“Well would you believe he is a ‘bum’ lol.
Low ambition, lazy sometimes and well, a bit of an underachiever in other peoples ‘eyes’.
I have ‘met’ the guy. It was a guy for me but it is androgynous in nature but likely because it cant be both genders at the same time without causing unnecessary confusion, I see what I am. 

Not many can stand the presence of ‘God’ because for some reason it brings fear right to the surface, fear I had created in my case.
Anyway you can bet your left kidney that he/she is walking the earth right now in the flesh and bringing that good ol life sauce with them lol”

lol indeed.

I have no idea whatsoever what any of that was supposed to mean.  God is a ‘bum’, lol, doesn’t achieve much, is androgynous (because apparently it can’t be both genders at the same time), brings fear to the surface and is walking the Earth, in flesh, bringing life sauce.  lol.

My rational brain-chunk wants to poke so many holes in these statements it’s untrue.  Describing God as an underachiever smacks mightily of wanting God to reflect our own ambition in life.  If God’s an underachieving bum, then by being an underachieving bum ourselves, we’re actually being holy.  Like a desert ascetic living on top of a pole, only in an armchair.  With beer.  Don’t criticise, man, it’s, like, religion.

TheDualityExperience has met God, and found that he/she/it was a guy, but was actually androgynous because it can’t be both genders at once.  Except that ‘androgynous’, from the Greek ‘andros’, meaning man, and ‘gynos’, meaning ‘woman’, means more or less “both genders at once” – or at least having the appearance of both at once.

Also, we live in the twenty-first century when – unlike in Ancient Greece – it’s recognised that ‘gender’ is largely a social and psychological construct distinct from physical sex characteristics.  There are more than two genders; and sex is a complex set of conditions that don’t necessarily fall neatly into two groups, either.

“Not many can stand the presence of ‘God'” – but I presume we’re to accept that TheDualityExperience is one of those hardy few.  And God brings ‘life sauce’, about which I simply dread to think.

The first reply is from one Bone75, who sorts the whole question with an easy, Abramic handwave:

“God is the Creator of the Universe, who dwells in your conscience as the Holy Spirit, and points you to the Redeemer Jesus Christ. Its pretty simple really.”

There y’are, then.  Religion: sorted.  but TheDualityExperience doesn’t agree:

“It is so simple.
Too simple maybe. Do you know what happens once it is realized without doubt?
I will give you a clue. It is all about “doubt” and what God has going for them is that they know who they are, the trinity.
So imagine a mind that has the unlimited potential for influence over everything ‘under’ the observer/awareness potential.
Space is irrelevant. Time is irrelevant, well to a point anyway, change is not ‘instantaneous’ here.
Its more like what is god?
Thats probably more accurate. Then the answer would be explained through paradoxal analogies.
God is a formless timeless expression that is unexplainable and unimaginable. Nothing and everything and anything all at the same time.”

I don’t pretend to be able to make much sense of this, if I’m honest.  That’s why I initially dismissed it as faux-enigmatic ramblings of a wannabe mystic.  Although I do agree that Bone75’s trinitarian summary is ‘too simple’.  But picking up on certain phrases amongst the above scramble of words:

“It is all about ‘doubt’ … a mind that has the unlimited potential for influence … Space is irrelevant. Time is irrelevant … explained through paradoxal analogies …”


“God is a formless timeless expression that is unexplainable and unimaginable. Nothing and everything and anything all at the same time.”

In cannabe veritas, as they say.  Or so it sounds.  But I can’t very well disparage Duality’s ideas as the drivelling of a self-absorbed stoner if they parallel my ideas and I know I’m not a stoner (I’d deny that I’m self-absorbed, but this post pretty much damns me on that score).

I’m increasingly of the view that the Taoists are on to something; something that conventional western religion has missed.  Which isn’t to say that I’m going off on a campaign of cultural appropriation (again); but one of the central principles of Taoism is that you can’t define or describe the central universal… erm… whatever it is that you’re talking about when you explain how you can’t describe the thing you can’t describe.  See?

That said, Duality does lose me slightly when he continues:

“It will most likely be perceived as a who and what at the same time. Get your head around that.”

Not because I can’t get at what he’s getting at, but because I think he’s trying a bit too hard by this point.  Still, it’s only a matter of time before the…  I’m going to have to think of a word to describe the desperately self-satisfied anti-religious Dawkins-wannabes that crop up all over the Internet any time someone mentions religion.  Anyway, one of them was bound to crop up:

“Really indeed, as it’s even more simple than that – god is a placebo until one wakes up and comes to terms with real life.

Unfortunately, quite a few never figure that out.”

BOOM!  Whoosh!  Take that, religious fools, as facelift drops the bomb and moves along, never to be heard from again in a four-page thread.  Because once you’ve won that hard, what more is there to say?


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