Maybe my grandchildren will embrace quantum theory, and won’t look for ways to make the irrational rational by hiding behind words like “mystery” in order to sustain their faith in science or God.Or maybe they’ll embrace apophatic theology, the theology of not knowing.But it’s not the easiest thing to do.Our brains are not highly evolved enough to reconcile our hunger for both absolute certainty and transcendent, inexplicable experiences.Nor can I reconcile these ideas:Ugg 2016 “I know that the only thing that exists is this material universe,” and “I know that my redeemer liveth.”
Depending on the day you ask me, both statements seem true. And I don’t think I’m alone in that.We’re all in the closet, so to speak. We barely come out to ourselves and never completely to others. I have met people who claim a label – evangelical or atheist – until you really get to know them.Ugg 2016 Then, things get more complicated.Many of us, even the devout, have many more questions than answers about God and religion.In other words, people just like me: atheists who pray and eloquent preachers who secretly harbor doubts.I believe that we’re all of at least two minds. We play a role and define that role as “me” because labels and membership in a tribe make the world feel a little safer.
When I was raising my children, I pretended to be grownup daddy. But alone with my thoughts, I was still just me.Ugg 2016 I’m older now, and some younger people may think I know something.I do: I know how much I can never know.Many Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians inherited their faith because of where they were born. If you are an atheist, you hold those beliefs because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born.Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.If you want to be sure you have « the truth » about yourself and our universe, then prepare to go mad. Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, whether religious or secular.You will always be more than one person. You will always embody contradiction.You—like some sort of quantum mechanicals physics experiment—will always be in two places at once.