Spiritual Pomp and Bluster

National Museum Prague - PantheonToday we turn our attention to pomp and bluster—pomp and bluster of the spiritual sort. There is little doubt but what most, if not all, of you have encountered that person who knows everything there is to know about how one can be saved. They possess the exclusive truth and if you will but follow their guidance, you too can be saved. Perhaps if you’re at all like me, you have thought something like, “If it’s so easy, why isn’t your life perfect or why haven’t you ascended?”

Logical Errors
There is however, another sort of bluster that is even more pernicious in my mind—more pernicious in that it sneaks up on you. It begins with premises that sound oh so good because they make sense and pass the initial truth test. One such argument begins by suggesting that in the beginning there was God, the Creator, or in Aristotle’s words, the Unmoved Mover, and the Creator divided itself and created all things.

Now this sounds just as logical as the proposition in physics that says, “In the beginning there was singularity, and the big bang divided this singularity into all things.” In other words, some how singularity divided itself since there was only singularity in the beginning.

Now the flow to this premise goes like this. Since in the beginning there was only God and God divided himself creating all things, then God resides both within and without. This premise naturally and logically follows the first premise.

Ye Are Gods
Therefore, some have argued, the obvious conclusion is that you are Gods—all of you. And in today’s parlance that translates to you are entitled! After all, as a god, you should have everything. You deserve it because of your birthright—born as a god. All good things should just flow to you because the gravity of your godly being is such that it literally pulls the benefits of life right out of the fabric of the universe and directs it to you—if you but accept the glory of who you really are.

So let’s think a minute about a god, let’s say a god that we would choose to emulate, to worship. Is this god selfish? Is this god intent on getting everything possible, making every fantasy, wish or desire come true? I mean—maybe this god would like all of us to play some role, like actors in a Shakespearian play. In this scenario the world is predetermined and some of us get goodies while others get feces. There is no free will. This god has already chosen who our leaders will be, what our lives will be like, etc., etc. Now is this a god we want to emulate?

Perhaps our god is a good god, who like a good parent, knows what’s best for us so we’re provided for accordingly. Is that your idea of god? I think not.

What Kind of Gods?
Let’s return to our syllogism—it’s premises and conclusion. Assume that in the beginning there is only the Creator and the act of dividing itself creates everything, including you and me, the atoms, quarks, neutrinos, and more. Then the squirrel, the frog, the snake, the pig, the cow, the celery, the tomato, and so one—everything is god. When you breathe in the air around you, you are breathing god. If the criterion applies that we are therefore all gods and deserve—what exactly is it we deserve? Does the chicken deserve to be farmed and slaughtered as it is, does the dog deserve to be fattened and eaten—indeed, does anything in our world deserve to be treated the way human’s treat it?

It would seem to me that if we are gods, we should behave as though we are gods worthy of the title. I for one do not find comfort or peace in the idea of a self-centered selfish god, anymore than I find reassuring the notion of a completely permissive parent. I would challenge you to think about what sort of god you are choosing to be, and then compare that to the god you find worthy of worship.

Thanks for the read and as always, I truly appreciate your comments and feedback.

Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor
Provocative Enlightenment
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions