Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NOT ALL THERE

I turned to speak to God
About the world’s despair;
But to make bad matters worse
I found God wasn’t there.
God turned to speak to me
(Don’t anybody laugh);
God found I wasn’t there—
At least not over half.

The poet, in the first four lines above, expresses the overwhelming despair of the Ultimate Despair: What if God isn’t there?
Then, in a perfect 180-degree change of perspective and feeling in the last four lines he expresses his feeling of foolishness for doubting, as well as immense relief that God IS there!
I thought of this Robert Frost poem last Saturday as I read a newspaper article about British physicist Stephen Hawking and a Wall Street Journal article he co-wrote titled, “Why God Did Not Create the Universe.”

This article (based on his new book, The Grand Design) is a symbol of Hawking proudly, perhaps defiantly, turning his back on God, and bowing down to the god of science.

There was a time when Hawking gave God at least a respectful nod, such as when he said that if a complete theory of physics were discovered, then “we would know the mind of God.”
It is not uncommon for individuals with severe physical afflictions, such as Hawking has, to “charge God foolishly” (unlike Job in the Old Testament).  Or in other words to ask, “If there is a God, why would He do this to me or let this happen to me?”

Such individuals may emotionally reject God because they feel forgotten or rejected by God. Of course, living a lifetime feeling rejected by God Himself is untenable. It is easier to pretend God isn’t there; to mentally and emotionally erase Him from existence.

Atheists claim that they feel free and powerful once they embrace atheism. Indeed, psychologically they feel that they are even more powerful than God and smarter than God, because they have “killed” God.

This phenomenon can be seen in the story of Korihor who taught “There is no God” because it was “pleasing to the carnal mind.” (Alma 30:53). Hawking is, I believe, an example of this psychological coping mechanism.
With this insight, I felt tender compassion for Stephen Hawking.
I also felt humbly grateful that I regularly experience the “peace that passeth understanding” simply knowing God IS there.  
Not all scientists are atheists. My physics professor, Kent Harrison, is an example of a man with a brilliant mind that can grasp the intricacies of unproven “string theory” and “M-theory” (ideas that Hawking finds attractive), yet he does not reject God. Indeed, he is a humble, gentle man full of faith. Harrison, in a letter to the editor about the Hawking article, said:
“Claims that science explains everything are simply incorrect. Many scientists believe in God. Many observations about the universe they see support that belief. We are not in a position to claim final knowledge. Thus, ultimately, it is a matter of faith.”
The poet was accurate on another level. When we go about our lives neglecting or ignoring the spiritual aspect, we ARE only “half there.” We see only half of what is really going on. And we are only half as successful as we might be. …If that.


5 comments:

Zaphod said...

Above and beyond all of this are the whisperings of the Holy Ghost which testify to all that is good and right in the universe. This is not, as Korihor tried to persuade the Nephites, a product of frenzied minds, but it is the result of having been touched by the finger of God, by coming in contact with absolute and complete truth.

I have been scientifically oriented my entire life and I am painfully aware of the limitations of the scientific method. The Aristotilian method is inherently flawed, inasmuch as it purposefully blinds the eye of faith, that which would have given a searcher for truth "depth perception". Therefore, Stephan Hawking and his ilk are one-eyed men who urge humanity that there are only two demensions because that is all they see.

shydandelion said...

Even if there was any doubt in my mind about there being a God (and there isn't), I think that I would still hold to the idea of there being one, despite everything. Life would have little purpose or meaning if there was nothing higher to strive for. Furthermore, there is just too much order in this world for it all just to be an accident. A messy room doesn't clean itself, no matter how many times you roll the house around. The Great Engineer has everything in hand. :)

Jen said...

Boy - wouldn't it be weird if some wacko found your blog and posted some crazy noncoherent stuff on there, tooting his own horn about some dumb article he wrote - missing the whole point of your blog. Whew. I'm glad THAT didn't happen. . . It would really bother me. . .

EXESI - name of the guy who posted weird crap on your blog.

Trillium said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Rebecca said...

I'm with Dara. I can't imagine living this life without the knowledge that God exists.

It makes me sad that there are individuals who do not see this truth.