Rational Religion

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There Is Always Still More!


Probably, we should never abandon our search for First Causes and Original Premises; but we should never imagine that we have found them!


It may be a fundamental property of our consciousness that we should seek to understand it, and all the actions and activities that it produces.  But even that is not a True Beginning, because even species-wide consciousness pretty demonstrably began long after the inception of the Universe.


Individually, it is always almost certainly less than about a hundred years old.  This is why most people have to believe in a god which somehow existed before the universe, and to which each of us has an individual connection through some sort of immortal soul.


Together with the rest of the Universe outside our personal awareness, consciousness creates so many intriguing mysteries that our raccoon-like species trait of curiosity and general puddling-about will never be denied plenty of subjects of investigation.


And the elusiveness - even the possible non-existence - of any real First Cause should never discourage us from the search; or from thoroughly investigating what is accessible to us and what we can be pretty sure of.


What the Human Race is, physically or metaphysically, is still open to question; and may be so for a very long time, since we are presumably evolving as we exist.


But, forgetting all the tortuous and paradoxical philosophical questions about the origins and meaning of it all, we can pretty generally agree that we do exist; on some level and in some dimension of reality.


We can then study the similarities that make us what we call a species and investigate the profound dissimilarities that seem to make us all irreproducible individuals.  With enough study and investigation we can begin to formulate some theories about who and what we are; at least in relation to ourselves and that small part of the Universe with which we actively interact.


The temptation, of course, is to give more credence to those theories which flatter us, or which hold together to make a good (easily understandable) story. 


It is a temptation which we must resist.  Human relationships teach us that flattery is unreliable and blinds us to all sorts of perils which may befall us.  The easily graspable story line always leaves out complications and subtleties which may make up reality. 


But in strictly Human terms, which are the only terms upon which we can operate, we do have a place to start; upon which we can base our investigations and in which we can root our assumptions.


Those of us who start with the assumptions, and harden them into convictions, are forever precluded from learning any more than they knew to begin with.


The assumption that the species exists is, therefore, always philosophically open to question.  But we need a starting place - even if it is obviously far removed from any Universal one.   A certain amount of what seems to be physical evidence gives us a great deal to work with in our investigations of the species and of the larger Universe around us.


While it is almost certain (given past experience) that some of this evidence is illusory or profoundly misleading, some of it may be substantial enough to help improve our lives or give us deeper glimpses into some Universal verities.


The imperative is to keep working with what we have; but never to assume that what we have is all there is.


There is always more.