Tag Archives: god

In(ternet) We Trust!

Friends,
Yesterday a cousin of mine messaged me and asked me my thoughts on God.  This was a difficult question for me to answer with any kind of brevity.  Rather than tell you how long-winded I was in my answer I will just post the transcript (with some edits for clarification) of  my verbosity:

Interesting question. I certainly don’t think there is an anthropomorphic (human-shaped) God in any sense, but at the same time the smug assurance of the atheist movement troubles me too.

I think the answer for me would be consciousness, which is, according to the learning I have done, omnipresent in the universe. Rather than individual generators of consciousness, we (all life) are receivers, kind of like satellite dishes, though not all life is capable of conscious thought obviously.

What I like about this explanation is that it doesn’t run into the quantitative problems of assuming every creature has a separate and distinct immortal soul (i.e. if everyone has a soul where do the souls go at death, if the population is growing is it new souls or reincarnated souls, etc).  Also, if we are all connected to the same thing, it is a beautiful expression of our unity and sameness.

More importantly, it appears to be scientifically defensible (though not without a great deal of conjecture from mainstream science) The problem with our scientific method is that it mandates all experiments must be provable by anyone anywhere at any time provided the apparatus and procedure are the same and all mechanical aspects of the experiment are repeated exactly. However, the disposition of the experimenter is an integral part of experiments that have to do with spirituality/consciousness and our scientific method is inadequate in that it does not allow for that. Things like projection of consciousness and meditation are very personal and have to be experienced by the individual and not a third party observer, but the individual has to go in there with an air of openness and no expectation. This is the real divide between spirituality and science if you ask me.

So to answer your question, if you want to call consciousness “God” in that it is omnipresent and in every living thing, then yes I believe in God.

But then I don’t really “believe” in it because I have thought it through and I try to have less of a devotional acceptance and more of a cognitive or ideally, an ‘experiential’ acceptance.

Furthermore, I don’t think there is any magic or hocus pocus to it. I think that everything to do with spirituality can eventually be understood and explained by science when our science matures and develops.

Does that answer your question? lol

What do you think?

So the answer to Do I believe in God? amounts to little more than, “It’s Complicated.”

images

So why do I bring this up and what does it have to do with the internet which I allude to in the title of this post?  Well after writing this little response I dicked around on my laptop a while longer before being called back to set.  But even as I walked back to set sans a laptop I took some solace in the fact that I had my phone, and thus some internets in my pocket

int

Why did I take solace?  Well, I love the internet.  Love it.  It’s my favourite non-essential renewable resource and although I’ve been all over the world, its still my favourite place.    And while thinking about my phone in my pocket (just minutes after thinking about myself as a receptor for consciousness) I made a connection and started to think of my phone as a metaphor for me and the internet as a metaphor for consciousness.

Then those metaphors became a simile: Iphone 4S is to internet as Andre is to universal consciousness.

Then that simile became a metaphysical conceit, which is just a fancy way of saying a complex, sustained metaphor.  Seriously though, I started to think about how some people, let’s say those who meditate more and think about more transcendental issues than their next drink or paycheck might be considered 2G or 3G, while sadly, most of the unwashed masses would still be languishing with the consciousness equivalent of a 56K modem.  For the sake of comparison, your 4Gs or higher would be your Buddhas, Gandhis and other enlightened types.
Taking this conceit further I started thinking about how the Earth, literally blanketed by electromagnetic signals from satellites with geo-synchronous orbits, could be considered a metaphor for the universe, which is pervaded by the consciousness signal rather than the wi-fi one.  Then I thought how there are still dead zones on the Earth and began to wonder what the equivalent to a dead zone with no reception might be in the universe.  Similarly, we often build structures which block cellular and data signals; what structures (possibly physical, but more likely conceptual or metaphysical) do we build up that block our connection the rest of the universe?

More importantly, what is the ultimate purpose of the internet?  I don’t know!  But if I had to hazard a guess I would say it is to bring people together and close the gaps between us.  In that regard it is very similar to universal consciousness except it only operates at a planetary level and unfortunately, only for those with the means to pay for it.  Similarly, those without the means of survival often are too busy worrying about their day-to-day survival to indulge in the exploration of consciousness and their relation to the rest of the universe.  It seems that in both scenarios you gotta pay to play.
On a related note: is the internet under assault?  Absolutely.  Fear is fomented and channeled into initiatives which seek t block the free passage of information or set up regulations on how it may be used.
Have we seen a similar fear-based backlash against consciousness?  I’m not sure.  But I feel there has been because there are so many important transcendental concepts I was never exposed to until I bothered to look for myself.  There is a way in which we have been miseducated and through nuance and artful shaming have been taught to deny our direct (as in not mediated by a priest or church) connection to something greater.

I suppose I could take this conceit a whole lot further and make it really complex but I think you get my point.  The internet is a great thing, but its not the greatest, and it’s larger value is that it serves as a more tangible model of a larger communication infrastructure which has sadly fallen into disuse.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

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My Favourite Religion … inb4 Islam

My Friends,
   Inspired by my sister’s boyfriend Brian and his documentary club, I devoted Sunday afternoon to watching whatever documentaries I could watch for free on youtube.  First I watched a doc about “The Amen Break”.

Watch and you’ll understand

Then I watched part of a documentary of the tinfoil hat variety regarding the illuminati.

More than just a clever album title…

From there I watched “Sean”,

“Fuck the Police!” (Paraphrase)

which is essentially a 15 minute interview with a 4 and half year old San Francisco boy from 1970.  Finally, as I now write this I have a documentary about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology playing in a separate window.

Nothing to do with Scientology, I just like me some volleyball ass

   This reminded me of something I have had on my mind for a while which I will now share:  Back in 1994, before I had ever heard of Scientology or Dianetics, I used to frequent the Orangeville public library.

Coming here after-school kept me off the drugs
…and a virgin ’til I was 18

I was attracted to the adult fiction section, and even though I didn’t feel ambitious enough to tackle some of the larger volumes I enjoyed looking at the covers.  Some of the most memorable covers were from L. Ron Hubbard’s “Mission Earth” series, A ten volume series, or dekalogy as he called it.  I was most intimidated by the first volume, The Invader’s Plan.

It was 600 pages and I was only in grade 5, but at length I withdrew it and finished it in a month.  I enjoyed it well enough I suppose but was more stoked to crush, what was at the time, the longest book I had ever read.  Never got through the rest of the series though.
   Fast forward to autumn 2008.  While serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan I happened to find the same volume in the Camp Nathan Smith library.  I set about reading it a second time and enjoyed it more this time due to the fact that I understood more of what was going on.
   What I found most interesting this second time around however was the introduction written by the author sometime in the 1980s.  As he explained it, the series marked his return to writing fiction after a prolonged hiatus (presumably administering his new-found religion).  He thanked his loyal readership and proceeded to explain his thoughts about satire and why it was an important genre to him.
   Although I didn’t think much of it at the time, these words came back to me sometime after during a conversation about religion.  It became clear to me what L. Ron Hubbard had been up to the whole time.

U mad, bro?

Scientology is a satire of religion in the grand tradition of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Too harsh of a criticism to levy at the great and true religion of Xenu you say?  I disagree.  Any theist who would dare poke fun at scientology or doubt its sacred origins would have to take a serious look at their own faith and the “facts” it was rooted in.  And what is satire if not something to make you re-evaluate your own position?  Also, as well as professing a love for satire in his other works, he foreshadowed the genesis of scientology years earlier:
“You don’t get rich writing science fiction.  If you want to get rich you start a religion.”
-L. Ron, trolling hard circa. 1948

   Don’t take this the wrong way; this is not intended as a negative allegation.  Instead I laud L. Ron for not only creating a masterful piece of satire, but for getting dollardollarbillsy’all.  That said, I don’t wish for scientology to be propagated beyond a certain point.  Satire or not, it is still a religion and has loyal adherents who, by virtue of believing in something are inclined to think less of and marginalize non-believers.  And when one group of believers gains enough clout, suddenly that “strictly metaphorical” commandment within their holy book, you know the one that says to smite non-believers, becomes a very literal instruction.  This is how atrocities happen.  
Not with a bang, but with litigation and star power

   So I think it is high time that we stop the disproportionate vilification of Scientology.  The notion that some religions are worse than others is erroneous; some are simply newer and therefore more radical, or older and more institutionalized.  Yes, there are well-documented cases of brain-washing, violence and criminal neglect associated with Scientology, but no more than any other religion throughout history.  For the time being I say we keep a watchful eye on it like we would any other religion.
And if it gets out of hand there’s always this guy

Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo







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