We are speaking of critical consciousness as one of the “10 C’s” naming what it is to be human. Being critically minded is being truth-minded. Is the search for truth also a search for the divine? Is Truth another name for God? The pursuit of truth is a godly act; it is a prayer.
Study is a prayer provided that the goal is not ego-enhancement or fame or power but that a pure heart is brought to the project. This means the study of anything—stars or birds, mathematics or engineering, psychology or the origins of life, the mystics or politics—all of it is a journey to the Divine. We all seek truth and we are all capable of finding some.
Our yearning for truth is deeper than ethics, as Rumi observes:
They say you bring the word of God
Yet all I hear is talk of good and bad—
Nothing of love or truth.
And again, “Beyond the teachings of right and wrong there lies a field. I will meet you there.” Maybe there is a field of Truth where we encounter truth and truth encounters us. The Bhagavad Gita declares that a world without truth is a world without God, and in such a world desire alone will rule.
Consciousness is our capacity to think, reflect, ask questions, become aware and more aware, expand awareness, all this is consciousness. Is all this God? Is God our awareness–including our awareness and experience of God? Deepak Chopra says: “God is pure consciousness, the source of all thoughts, feelings, and sensations.” What is consciousness? Chopra writes:
Consciousness is creative and intelligent. It can correlate a quadrillion brain connections or .the fifty processes that a liver cell performs. It can keep track of simultaneous activities at the same time (allowing one to breathe, digest, walk, be pregnant, think about your baby, and feel happy at the same time). You are finding God whenever any of these aspects begins to expand. God enters everyday life this way.
Bentley Hart proposes that maybe “the fullness of being upon which all contingent beings depend is at the same time a limitless act of consciousness.”
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake asks whether we humans are wired “to connect with a mind or consciousness vastly greater than our own,” and whether our minds “are of the same nature as the ultimate consciousness that underlies the universe.”
He is convinced that all religions teach us that we indeed connect to the source of consciousness, the Great Consciousness of the universe. He also believes that this is what most distinguishes the scientific materialist from spiritual seekers: That for the former all consciousness is found exclusively in the human brain—never beyond it and never in other creatures.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God….Including the Unnameable God, pp. 58f., 35f.
Banner Image: “Children learning to sew, Korogocho, Nairobi, Kenya” Photo by Gabriele Stravinskaite on Unsplash
Is it your experience also that study and the search for truth is a prayerful practice? Do you encounter the Divine that way? What follows from that?
Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God
Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
“This book is timely, important and admirably brief; it is also open ended—there are always more names to come, and none can exhaust God’s nature.” -Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, author of Science Set Free and The Presence of the Past