Dear Friends of the Omega Center
I want to extend a deep, heartfelt “thank you” to every person who responded to our June donation drive. Your commitment to the Omega Center through your financial support, whether large or small, speaks to a common desire for a renewed world of life where God is the vital center and dynamic impulse of life. Because of your financial help, our drive was immensely successful, and we surpassed our target for our first June fundraiser. You are the heart of the Omega Center!
Our challenge today is to seek a renewed faith in God, in the world and in one another– and this challenge must be our main concern. The polarization in our political sphere, the breathtaking discoveries in science such as gene editing and neural mapping, the advances in artificial intelligence and robotic life, and the threat of human extinction due to global warming, all demand a new consciousness of religion.
Just recently, I spoke with a young scientist who insisted that we humans are here purely by chance and evolution. We are so intoxicated by our ability to know and discover that we see ourselves as the apogee of creation. I wanted to respond by saying, if we are really here by chance alone, pure materialism, please go to your room and go wild, throwing your books, papers, lamps, pens and pencils, clothes, shoes and whatever is in your room–just throw it wildly all over, then turn on a high-powered fan and leave the room for about a week– see if this stuff can eventually organize into intelligent life.
We need to step back and take a broader look at this process of life. Why should anything exist at all no less seek the fullness of life? The “why” question cannot be addressed by science; it is a search for understanding that eludes the human grasp. I find many atheists and agnostics utterly simplistic, if not outright ignorant, of the meaning of the word “God,” as if the name “God” means a big “guy in the sky” or an objective outside force. For those who deny God as irrelevant or meaningless or simply in the way of good science, theologian Paul Tillich had this to say:
A God whose existence or nonexistence you can argue is a thing beside others within the universe of existing things…. It is regrettable that scientists believe that they have refuted religion when they rightly have shown that there is no evidence whatsoever for the assumption that such a being exists. Actually, they not only have refuted religion, but they have done it a considerable service. They have forced it to reconsider and to restate the meaning of the tremendous word God.
God, according to Tillich, is not open to argumentation because God is not something that can be proved or disproved. God does not merely exist; rather, God is existence.Tillich wrote that God may be thought of as the inexhaustible depth and ground out of which all of our experiences arise. We continually dwell in this depth without focusing on it. God is the milieu rather than the object of our experience; we are like fish swimming in an infinite sea of divinity—but many of us are unaware of this reality. Instead we go around parched and lifeless, as if desperately seeking the water of life.
The brilliant 20th century theologian Karl Rahner spoke of the human person as a question in search of the fullness of truth. We experience ourselves as beings who constantly reach out beyond ourselves toward something ineffable, an intellectual stretch of mind which is at the heart of science and religion. Why do we keep asking questions? Haven’t we discovered enough to satisfy our needs? Rahner says this orientation towards the ineffable is what constitutes us as spiritual subjects. If God exists, it is no accident that we find ourselves open and yearning. He thus relocates the question of God from a Supreme Being ‘out there’ to what supports the dynamic orientation of human nature. We never arrive completely at the future; we long for it. We are driven by hope for an absolute future. The name of the infinite and inexhaustible future is God. Whoever is concerned about the absolute future is concerned about God because God is the ungraspable openness of life: God is the power of the future.
I invite you to take the Omega Challenge, and dig deeper into that reality:
How do you experience God in this moment? What is God for you?
How can you deepen your consciousness of the divine milieu in our complex, fragmented world today, a consciousness that in every encounter, there is an excess of being, an overflow of reality that evades our complete grasp; an excess of being which is God?
Thank you for being part of the Omega Community. Let us work together for a new planet of life where God will no longer be tossed out as an unnecessary hypothesis but realized as the ocean of love in which we live and move and have our being.
Blessings and peace,