Browsing news this morning via Google News, the title of one particular article caught my eye. Between Godliness and Godlessness seems to be a book promo of “Waking Up” by Sam Harris. It echoes the cry of our culture that says “I want spirituality without religion, without God”.
The question is then asked: Which comes first, the faith or the feeling of transcendence?
While my thoughts are more than likely coming from a place that is immediately discounted as a preconceived ideology that I’ve grown up with and been brainwashed into, it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to bring a bit of reason to the discussion.
The feeling of transcendence comes first.
You probably didn’t see that coming did you?
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. – Romans 1:20
The fact that one can have this feeling that is described as transcendant in the first place, to be beyond oneself, seems to be an argument for God rather than against. While the Bible seems to counter that this is a perception of God’s eternal power and divine nature, Harris would rather you believe that this feeling of “Beyond oneself” actually comes from within and has even titled his book Waking Up as if to suggest that anyone who believes in a divine God is asleep.
To me it seems that the argument echoes something from the Bible.
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:4-5
Culture doesn’t want God, but needs one anyway.
See if this feeling of “beyond oneself” comes from within, then I am not really beyond anything, but more likely beside myself. Yes, there is a huge hunger for this line of thinking. People, given free will, desire freedom of thought albeit rebelling against boundaries only succeed at anarchy of the mind.