‘G-d-ideas’ originated eons ago at a time when our primitive ancestors groped in the dark trying to cope with the unknown. Like our ancient forebearers, we too search the heavens and earth for answers to confounding questions, questions which persist today for billions of believers and nonbelievers alike.
According to atheists, G-d exists only as an irrational idea created by man. They assure us that G-d is the figment of the imagination, one’s illusory friend or foe. Non-believers blithely suggest religion is a form of superstition, a flight of fantasy, a neurosis, all born of irrationality. According to them, man conjured up ‘god-ideas’ to alleviate fears of the unknown or explain the inexplicable.
Karl Marx declared, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions; it is the opium of the people.” The tranquility of non-believers like Marx is renowned, as they unceremoniously dismiss the existence of G-d. However, this may come as a surprise to atheists and believers as well, but according to science, ‘god-ideas’ are real, not ethereal, they exist in the material world precisely because they are the figment of the imagination. Such an assertion demands an explanation.
Neuroscience maintains that all ideas exist as a form of energy, the product of the brain firing unique synapses. The energy of an idea is like the energy of a light wave or radio wave, none occupies space or has mass, yet they exist. Therefore an individual’s notion of a god existing as energy is as extant as light waves and radio waves. Ideas are as real as you and me.
Because all ideas exist as energy, the genesis of man’s ‘imagined’ gods was born in the same manner as Beethoven’s symphonies, Shakespeare’s sonnets, and Michelangelo’s sculptures; they were all created by an energy-generated-idea, the product of inimitable brain synapses. Although G-d does not compose music, write sonnets, or sculpt sculptures; G-d inspires their creation, just as G-d arouses in us feelings of empathy, kindness and benevolence, none of which fill space or contain mass, yet they too exist.
Naysayers dismiss such an analogy; they point out that we can see light and hear sound, but not so one’s imaginary god. The religionists counter by explaining that the reason our senses and instruments cannot detect G-d is because G-d exists beyond the boundaries of our biological make-up and the limits of the tools we employ to uncover the divine. The god who people conjure up is a god generated by their personal synapse-energies. Like music, poetry and art, man’s idea of a god is the product of an energy-idea, an idea that lies beyond the reach of reason and the reasoning of humankind.
But Judaism does not share science’s idea of G-d as a form of energy. According to our sages, we are unable to define or prove G-d’s existence, not because G-d does not exist, but because everything is of G-d. And we, who are unable to comprehend the incomprehensible, certainly cannot define it. Any effort to do so would be as absurd as a microscope trying to examine itself. No rational argument can prove the existence of G-d because one’s disbelief in the Divine is irrational.
So unless you are me, you are unable to comprehend my belief in G-d any more than you can fathom how the works of Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Michelangelo resonate with me. Although we can hear the stirring strains of music, recognize the rhyme and rhythm of poetry, and discern the shapely forms of sculpture, not so with G-d. Because G-d is not discernable by our human senses, which are comprised of an array of physical effectors and receptors. Only by expunging our hubris, nullifying the self, and subsuming ourselves within the Divine light, can we foster the faith necessary to concede the incomprehensibility of G-d. Once done, it opens the celebratory portals of our lives, which exist within G-d’s ineffable realm.