Rev. Leland’s Weekly Message for Nov. 22, 2019

Alike Unto God and “Aliken” to God 

When certain religious people say ‘alike unto God’ they mean God sees us all as alike, essentially equal. I have a different idea for the use of that phrase, and it comes out as Aliken to God. Apparently ‘aliken’ is not an accepted word by the lexicologists. I am going to use it anyway, at the end of this Message.

It is my belief that the creation of the universe was unconscious, at first and for a very long time. Those titanic forces of matter and gravity and light and speed have their own existence, but they are not aware of themselves. All of Earth was unconscious in most ways, until recently, when some of the ‘higher’ creatures began to think beyond survival and bodily functions. But it was not deep thinking. My late spinal surgeon uncle-in-law, Lee Wiltse, MD, would say that cows are pretty smart compared to most of the rest of life, but you can’t teach them arithmetic.

It’s one of the miracles of life on Earth that consciousness arose unconsciously. You would expect anything that amazing would have to be done by a Supremely powerful and conscious Being. However, try all you want, you won’t find evidence of a thoughtful Creator. All of Creation, according to the evidence, was created unconsciously. Until now. We humans are dabbling in divine power. Our geologic Era is being called the Anthropocene, in respect to our power to change the planet.

So what is Evolution showing us about the meaning and purpose of life? Or, if you prefer, what is evolved and evolving consciousness doing with its consciousness? It is my belief that we humans (possibly surpassed in some far-off future, as homo sapiens replaced the Neanderthals and other hominids) will take the powers that we are unlocking and continue to do stuff. History shows us that we humans are both brutish and refined. That our best self is alike an angel and our worst is alike a demon. This is where our imaginations, observing our behaviors, created and populated heaven and hell. But again, there is no evidence of heaven or hell. So where are we going?

I don’t know what the meaning of my life or any human life is. It seems like it’s whatever meaning we want to give it. But the purpose of life seems to me quite a bit clearer. The purpose of life is, I think, to continue to evolve until humankind is powerful enough and wise enough and loving enough to become, as a species, the omnipotent and omniscient God of our forebears’ imagining. Or, rather–of course–as close to omniscient and omnipotent as creatures without supernatural powers can come. I believe our mission on Earth is to become alike to a God that we wish existed but doesn’t seem to. We are calling the god of our imagining into being, in our beings. Who else is going to do anything about the unfairness and pain? Kurt Vonnegut created The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent. And yes, Creation is cold and unfeeling. Except for dogs, and ourselves. 

It is human beings who care and can do something about it. So let us become demigods, for practice.