Thursday, April 9, 2009

70/99 Part 2 -- As if You Trust Your God

OK, I'm finally caught up.  The meditation for day 99 is on advice Gates received from one of his deeply spiritual friends:  "Act as if you trust your God."  This advice has very deep meaning for Gates, and somehow, I think that the examples he gives don't begin to comprehend the depth of the meaning he sees in it.

And for me, its like he's talking another language.  "God" here is standing in as a shorthand for something, and its on exactly this point where I think Gates sees a huge landscape packed with meaning, and where I simply draw a blank.

For Gates, this means not only asking for comfort, but also taking responsibility for making others comfortable.  And that's fine, though I don't really see how he gets there.  I can imagine other people talking about having trust in God. or the Lord, or Allah, or whatever, and coming to very different conclusions about where that trust leads.  I don't understand these lines of thinking, because I simple don't understand the starting point. 

In this case, I don't disagree with the conclusions Gates draws.  And I don't doubt his sincerity or his depth of belief in the starting point.  It's just one of those things that doesn't get me anywhere.  I remember how relieved I was when he said "if you don't know who or what you are praying to, don't worry, because no-one else does either."   Here I'm having trouble seeing how this meditation squares with that one.

Let me put it another way.  This meditation, to me at least, sees to veer toward defining God.  As I understand it, defining God means trying to put some limits around the idea.  (That's what definition is:  it makes things finite and thus understandable.)  I want to say that that can't be done.  God can't be defined, and that's why all talk about Ged ends up being nonsense -- quite literally -- it doesn't make sense, because it can't.  I would love to hear a convincing or persuasive explanation of why I'm wrong on this.

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