Teilhard once wrote “Who, at last, will give us a God for evolution?” Gregory McAllister, in the guest blog below, takes a swing at answering Teilhard’s question in the context of current events.
Lately I find myself thinking about God again.
Maybe it’s because I’ve recently become friends with several Baba Lovers, followers of Meher Baba, and I’ve begun reading some of his writings. He claims that creation is a gradual process of God’s evolving Consciousness, first as inanimate creatures, then as animals, then as humans, and eventually as enlightened beings who remember they’re God.
It reminds me of Teilhard’s notions about everything having consciousness, evolving through the lithosphere, the biosphere, and eventually the noosphere. The Church branded Teilhard a pantheist and silenced him. I remember in the seminary thinking, “Pantheism is condemned because it makes everything God. But if God isn’t everything, then how can God be infinite?”
I brought it up to my confessor, Gene Nicolaus. He looked at me and said, “Greg, the trouble with you monists . . .”
It also reminds me of Alan Watts saying that God got bored one day and decided to play hide-and-seek. Being infinite, God was able to hide so well that we’ve all forgotten we’re God.
The Christian mystics had the same idea. Of course, the seminary faculty always warned us about the mystics. Their orthodoxy was suspect, and the fact that they claimed to experience God instead of just believing in “Him” made them dangerous.
I’m not a mystic, but I think they’re right about God. God is all in all. The part of ourselves that remembers we’re God is our “Christ self.” And maybe the part of ourselves that thinks we’re not God is “the devil,” an illusion that can often appear very real, (but only because it’s God who is actually creating the illusion).
If that’s the case, then sin, or evil, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s more like a mistake (missing the mark). It helps to remember what Thomas Aquinas said: “Man never chooses evil as evil, but always under the guise of good.” So who am I to judge?
I try to keep this perspective as I watch the evening news, but it’s tough.
If God is infinite consciousness, then God is Donald Trump believing a fence will solve the immigration problem; God is Hilary Clinton taking money from Goldman Sachs while pledging to reform the financial markets; God is Bernie Sanders, sincerely believing socialism can bring economic prosperity; God is Ammon Bundy absolutely sure that the federal government has violated the constitution; God is the liberal bird watcher who thinks Ammon Bundy is a dangerous right-wing kook; God is the fundamentalist who is sincerely convinced homosexuality is a sin; God is the doctor who feels called to provide abortions to distraught young women who aren’t ready to have children. God is all of them – all at once.
It used to be a lot easier when I believed in a smaller God, one who only hung out with me and my friends, and whose will was spelled out in a couple of rule books. The news was clearer then, and I could argue about everything much more persuasively.
Why does God have to be so complex – so infinite, yet so trapped in finite beings? It’s a total mystery to me, why God would choose to view the world through my limited perspective, let alone through a Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow, as well as countless tyrants, revolutionaries, bigots, serial killers, and saints.
It puts a whole new spin on the six o-clock news, viewing it as a game of God playing hide-and-seek. I guess I’m It.
Check out Gregory’s book Salvation of a Serial Celibate.