The Utility of God
July 19, 2019 started out with the cat, who was most definitely no longer a kitten, waking me up with her meowling at 5:35 a.m. Only today was different, since her voice was extra-loud. Needless to say it was shaping up to be a very long day.
I arrived at the local coffee shop in a heavy state of funky fog, one that my half-decaf, half-regular cup of coffee didn't have a prayer of clearing. As I popped onto the Facebook I noticed a message from a friend, phrased in a simple question:
Michael, do you believe in God?
I immediately perked up. Even though the cat and the coffee had failed to wake me up, this seemingly simple question provided me with just the jolt I needed. Most importantly, this message was from a trusted friend who valued my honest opinion.
I quickly replied that, "Yes, I do believe in God, however if someone had asked me that question 10 years ago I would have been on the fence." Another one of our heart-felt discussion ensued, a gift of conversation that both of us needed probably needed more than either one of us realized.
The more I reflected upon our conversation, and the previous ten years, the more I realized that there was much more to the story than I had even thought to consider delving into. If I was honest with myself, ten years ago — all the way back in 2009 — I would have had a difficult time saying that I believed in God at all.
It wasn't that I didn't believe in God, I just didn't even know where to begin. Friends of faith would have chalked this up to my engineering background, and an overall lack of faith, but this type of assessment barely scratched the truth. Those of you that know me, would understand that I had no desire to adopt an idea simply because someone said so.
All of this changed after I moved to Boston, where I began delving into the history of science in the Western world. I was amazed to find that the ancient thinkers who laid the foundations of modern science believed in some type of "God", even incorporating this concept into the mathematical frameworks that we use to this day.
As I explored the history of science further, I gradually came to realize that many of the people who created the foundations of science, all the way up through Newton, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Bohr, and Tesla, thought in terms of an overarching Wholeness that was remarkably similar to ancient descriptions of God.
I still didn't "believe in God", but I could no longer discount the idea either. After all, if most of the people behind science believed in God, how could I discount the importance of such a correlation. Perhaps most importantly, their view of "God" was much more closely aligned with the idea of a "Creative Force" in the Universe — an idea that resonated quite strongly with me thanks to my long-time interest in Eastern schools of thought such as Taoism and Zen.
Thanks to these ancient thinkers and the possibility "Utility of God" in their discoveries, I began to delve further into the history of God and the mystic roots of religion.