So you wanna talk transcendence?

What about the transcendence good ol fundamental science has to offer?

How was it that the Abrahamic Mindset always felt foreign to me, if not plain wrong.

Recently I finally nailed that one too. It goes back to my early childhood, even before starting kindergarten at John J. Audubon Elementary school in Chicago. I’d been playing in the pool of warming sunlight streaming through the window onto our living room carpet, the light was making the dust specks look like stars. I remember focusing on watching them floating around, then see ‘em whooshing after my mom, when she’d pass by. I was already fascinated by the night sky full of sparkling lights and these specks of dust transported me into space surrounded by distant galaxies.

Then I hear myself asking mom: “What is god?"

I like to think it took her a few beats, then she answered: “A speck of dust that wanted to be more” .

I must have been primed because it blew me away in a way that literally permeated by entire being. After the initial shock wore off, it didn’t provide any sort of answers, it was more like a suggestion, a question, even a challenge to do better. God as a speck that simply wanted to be more. It was beautiful, awesome, and this little boy carried that conception right into school and it followed me for the rest of my years.

It’s taken over 60 years for me to fully appreciate how that set me on my singular path.

I believe what happened was that the notion of a little speck of dust wanting to be more, wound up filling and satisfying that little “god” niche’ that resides within our human brain.

When the Abrahamic self-serving egotistical God was presented to me, there was no place for it to take hold in my brain or heart, so I was free of its shackles and free to find my own way through my years.

This sense of self and spiritual solidity emerged out of a lifetime of curiosity and learning about myself, Earth, deep-time, her amazing evolutionary story and the development of life and creatures and ourselves. Appreciating why we can’t understand an organism, without also understanding it’s environment - all of that offers insights we can apply to our day to days.

Especially realizing how the components of my own physical body had their origins eons ago. The visceral awareness that for the most part mammals have the same skeleton and parts I do, of course in different proportions, just the same it’s profound realization that can hint at the deep history within your own body. Even before that, if you consider how Earth herself had to go through intense processing before promising molecular tricks and biological solutions to life’s challenges would have the material resources at hand to allow them to be put to the test and prosper.

It’s a long, amazingly complex story that keeps evolving as more evidence gets collected and processed into shared scientific knowledge. Folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity flowing down the cascade of time. Considering I’ve been paying attention to it since my grade school days, it’s inevitable that I’ve achieved some insights along the way.

In the end, the thought of being an intelligent self-aware element of creation, one who is capable of savoring the pageant of Earth’s amazing Evolution **is more than comforting.

It provides me with a spiritual foundation and solidity in the face of challenges, inevitable failings and my coming death. I possess a transcendent depth of peace and security no Holy Book, or fast-talking pick-pocket preachers can get close to offering. It’s good news worth passing around to the few who are honestly curious about such matters.

And so it is.

It’ll have to do as part of the package of finding meaning in brief meaninglessness. My God is nothing like the inadequate one of the vast majority of Abrahamics.

I do wanna talk about that. My parents were more willing to just let me figure it out. If I had asked more directly, they would have said something like, “well there must be something else.” The problem, or weakness, or I-don’t-know-what, with philosophical naturalism, is; it doesn’t have an obvious avenue to transcendence.

If you interview the right people or read the rare piece on it, those who have no sense of the supernatural will tell you they have the same transcendent experiences as the holiest of the holies. The holy will either say, “see, you experienced my god also” or “nope, you didn’t approach god correctly, that could have been the devil” or whatever. It took me about 3 years after leaving religion to realize I didn’t lose anything, except some bad coffee and pretty decent lemon bars. Once I was freed up, those experiences came a lot easier.

The reactive nature of religion, to challenge anyone who finds a path to a good and happy life, but without their lies and control, is really powerful. You can’t argue from personal experience, because you can’t show that what you had without or with religion, is the same. This is the same problem with racism that @pointpath recently stated; until you show over a generation or so, that we can do better without it, it’s hard to get everyone on board.

1 Like

Lies? What lies? None of my Christian friends and acquaintances are lying more than any secular humanist. Trying to pass on their delusions, fallacies, deception but above all fallacies yes. But lying? No.

Tru dat.
But one can be a witness and perhaps find a few with who these thoughts resonate, who knows what our collective experience could explore. But people need curiosity first and foremost and that seems to be dying in a world where STFU is become shield people are hiding behind.

You hide behind your riddles.
I gotta wonder, what’s going on in that head, are you dismissing this Earth as meaninglessness?
Sure, we are all individual humans, and your short dance is as meaningful, or as meaningless, as yourself choose.

So who’s your god?

So, looking into your newborn’s eyes for the first time and feeling the numinous feelings of transcendence is lies, delusions, fallacies, deception… It is a neurochemical reaction to external stimuli, but yet it is still feelings of transcendence, but it’s not supernatural.


At that moment , you are a God!

1 Like

Not so. It doesn’t follow up to the ellipsis. I have Stendhal’s syndrome in spades and it isn’t a lie. It’s unbidden. I can’t invoke it. Babies are cool. I feel one of those irregular verbs coming on:

You are lying to yourself on endogenous opiates.
I’m having a phenomenologically valid numinous reality.

I hide in plain sight. You answered your first question immediately, so that’s done.

My theoretical, posited God, the one I talk to in the shower most coherently, by way of being accountable to my projected idealized self, the only counsellor I can afford, is the best case one. Zenny but ultimately fully competent.

But it isn’t god you’re talking to. It is yourself. Your brain is a quasi autonomous organ and has a habit of talking to itself. We all do. How do you know your voice is God?
What he is saying to you in your own language, knowing what it is that bothers you?

It is “you” who talks to “you”. It is not complicated.

Correct. Even if God is grounding me.

If you call that conversing with God, then we all are, no. We all talk to ourselves. How can you tell who is speaking to God and who is just speaking to himself?

Everyone is speaking to themselves regardless of whether God is listening.

I agree with that. But does that make a difference?

As a digression from religion lies but we are honest, no and yes.

So, basically it is your brain that is controlling your thoughts and relationship with your environment (reality).

Anil Seth calls this “controlled hallucinations”.

I know it well. . . .

1 Like

Thank you. :slight_smile: But I’m a goddess!


Sounds to me you’re lying to yourself about transcendence. (not about your illness, just transcendence).

It’s a blessing. If I’m lying then so are you; we all are. Not a word I use, even to liars.