Sunday, December 7, 2014

Windy Days

(Painting by Josephine Wall, Breath of Gaia)

I love windy days. They remind me to have faith in the beauty of things I can’t see. Though the wind is intangible I can feel it all around me, and though I can’t see it I can see continual evidence of its presence. I believe the same is true of God.

The wind can easily be explained using a basic knowledge of temperature, geography and air pressure, but that wasn’t always the case. There was once a time in history when stories, mythologies and theories arose trying to explain the mystical force of wind. Today, with modern science, the numinous nature of the wind has subsided, but it hasn’t taken away its beauty. Is the wind any more or less real because our understanding of it has changed? Is the wind still not governed by the same laws of physics even though our explanations are more sophisticated?

I don’t think we are much different than our ancestors. We still use mythologies, theories, religion and a narrow understanding of science to explain what we don’t know. We scramble around trying to make sense of our world and quickly come to definitive conclusions based on our imperfect data. Why do we pretend to “know” science or God when our knowledge of both is so incomplete?

Perhaps there will be a time when religion catches up to science, or rather science catches up with God. Maybe there will be a time when we could live in a post-theist and postsecular world, and our understanding of all things mystical, spiritual, secular, and scientific will seamlessly merge into a single comprehensive understanding of our existence.

I don’t “know” when or if that day will occur, but for now, I choose faith—faith in all the things I do not know, but bring joy and beauty to my life. I have faith in science, religion, history, theories, technology, mythology, ideas, the future and God.

I won’t pretend to know what I clearly do not, but I won’t lose faith in what I hope to know either.

*Published at The Transfigurist on Saturday July 11, 2015