Assuming GOD as an abstraction, how do we define ‘abstract’?
Abstract is something to be felt, to be perceived by mind’s eyes, to be acknowledged by intuition, and not a thing to be explained; be it the concept of God, or an abstract work of art, because if it can be explained, then it stops being abstract. Let’s see how a dictionary defines abstract.
None of the existing languages known to mankind are able to give us the words, the vocabulary, which can enable us to talk about GOD. For instance, if we start to define God as “…a thing…” then controversy arises at the point that ‘a thing‘ denotes some concrete object and God is not concrete, is not a physical existence.
I can not even say that though I do not believe in a physical God, I do believe in an existence which I call God. Here, the problem lies with the word ‘existence‘ as it implies ‘presence‘ be it in the form of air or stone or an atom. But we can argue this point by saying logically that vacuum is an emptiness where not even air exists in it yet, vacuum exists, therefore God exists.a non-negative number. It can only be defined by the characteristics it does not possess.
Then again, we might say that vacuum is an existent non-entity, the existence of which can be explained only because of the absence of matter in it. In simple terms we can know of its existence as a void where nothing exists, just like we know of the existence of a black hole because of the way its surrounding matter get affected by it. Only by knowing the conditions which cannot be called vacuum/black hole, are we able to know the conditions which are vacuum/black hole.
Similarly we may want to define GOD as an ‘existent non-entity‘ or ‘non-existence entity‘ just like Zero (0) in rational numbers. Zero can not be called either having negative characteristics (-1, -2, -3…) or positive characteristics (1, 2, 3…) and is called a non-negative number. It can only be defined by the characteristics it does not possess.
To me, this ‘zero‘, this ‘shunya‘ is GOD. To want to define it is a foolish attempt, like wanting to count till infinity; to believe in its ‘absoluteness‘ is enough.
A Sanskrit shloka puts it beautifully
Om poornamadah, poornamidam, poornat poornamudachyate;
poornasya poornamadaya, poornamevavasheshyate!
THAT is absolute, THIS is also absolute, from that absolute came forth this absolute.
From THAT absolute THIS absolute is taken out completely, yet THAT still remains complete.
In simpler terms, existence is an undivided whole and everything that we see in existence is complete/whole in itself. And even though this existence (material) came out of (was born of) its source existence, the source is still a complete existence in its own. Zero is always in the centre of all the material numbers that exist. All the numbers exists because of it and fold back into it, yet zero never loses its own completeness no matter which side of the integer scale we move on in.
Such, is also the attribute of GOD. Define it if you will.
Written sometime in 1989.
- conceived apart from any concrete realities, specific object or actual instance
- an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object
- without reference to practical considerations or applications
- something that exists only as an idea.
Dialogues with myself
The above thoughts, or 'Dialogues with Myself', were a big part of my adolescent years, where not content with the way society and religion spoke about God and many other things and expected us kids to accept everything without questioning, since they knew better, I tried to debate against their beliefs using my own beliefs reached at by my logical understanding on the subject.
I was unwilling to accept their answers at face value and thus many questions arose in my heart, my mind, my soul for which I sought for the answers within. This gave rise to further questions that seemingly were posed by my own conditioning, the value system given by my family, related and unrelated elders, my education and the society, and I tried to find answers to these as well.
There will be more such posts of 'Dialogues with Myself' where I am questioning the existing norms and wisdoms of the society. Some of my thoughts and answers I reached back then in my high school and early college days are still relevant to me, some I have outgrown and yet some others I have built upon later as my thoughts and understanding matured and life experiences taught me more about others and myself.