Three Bridges West, a San Francisco film company, recently interviewed me for a movie they are producing on the topic of Consciousness. This week they released a short video featuring my thoughts on the question “What is God?” as well as my reasons for starting Spiral Inquiry earlier this year.
George Gantz Interview by Three Bridges West, posted November 18, 2017.
What is God?
God is – it’s a, it’s a big word. A lot of people are trying to run away from the word but I just don’t think you can escape it, because it captures a lot of the richness and context of our relationship to creation. And particularly, referring to an infinite God, because infinity is an ineffable concept. I mean, mathematicians and physicists think they know what infinity is; they play with it all the time. Georg Cantor was a famous mathematician
In the 19th century, and he proved that there are infinities of different sizes. And these infinities actually have a kind of arithmetic. Well, does that mean we actually grasped what infinity is? No, because… think about it another way – no mathematician and no computer will ever count to infinity, and no physicist will ever see infinity.
As a matter of fact, I feel that one of the things that creates a sense of awe and mystery in human beings is being in a place where you have an immense visual field, like the horizon of an ocean, or mountain-scapes off in the distance, where the visual acuity that you have in your eyeball and your brain is not capable of distinguishing the detail. So you are face to face with infinity. You can’t perceive the detail. It looks infinite and that brings on that sense of awe and sense of wonder. So an infinite God is, in a sense, ineffable, unreachable. But at the same time, it carries with it that sense of awe and beauty and joy and love flowing through the universe giving us the gift of life.
And, here we are. I consider our purpose, the purpose of our being here, is ultimately to gain consciousness and gain wisdom and gain intelligence, and then gain the realization that our purpose is to be able to commune, be in loving communion with, people, with life, with creation and, ultimately, with its creator. And that’s a reciprocal relationship.
What is the Background to Spiral Inquiry?
So, for a number of years I’ve really been fascinated with, and struggling with, this idea of how we integrate our scientific or empirical experience with spiritual experience. And what occurred to me recently was to use the image of a spiral. So I’ve launched a website and a blog called spiral inquiry, at spiralinquiry dot org. The way I’ve characterized this journey that I have been on, and will continue to be on, is this. On the one hand, we have science, which is our empirical knowledge and understanding, and it has delivered fantastic benefits and great progress in terms of bringing human knowledge forward. But it has limits that need to be recognized and acknowledged. There are places it can’t go, and there are the questions that it can’t answer. When you get into the areas of life, and consciousness, and spiritual inspiration, and of meaning and purpose. Now you’re in the realm of the human endeavor, which I would characterize as the realm of faith. So the important thing about faith is, that science will give you empirical knowledge, but faith has to serve as a compass for the purpose of what that knowledge is for. Faith is something that has to come in to enliven and enrich, and to give purpose and meaning to what you do. So they have to be married together if you’re going to be a whole integrated human being.
How do we do this? Well, I use the word philosophy, because… not in the academic sense, but philosophy as the love of wisdom, and wisdom is the characteristic of knowing how to make good choices to achieve, in the Greek sense, the good life, or the best life, the virtuous life. So my website, and my journey, is trying to look at what we know about science, look at what we can learn about faith, and to bring them together in a philosophical, an open philosophical environment to explore them together and hopefully to become wiser in the process
One of the things I’m trying to do on the website is to offer insights from, for example science. What is the frontier of science saying about things that have implications for the way we view things of the Spirit? And then, also, to bring teachings of the spirit, whether they are revelation or experiences, to inform our view of certain things in science. And to use this as a valuable critiquing process. Because, yes, there are times when our faith may get off-track – things that we believe that aren’t consistent with, you know, living in a loving world, for example. That happens all the time. And there are places in science where some scientists, when they, you might say, go off the reservation into speculative metaphysics where, really, that’s an article of faith rather than a science.
So I try to explore the boundary between those, between those areas and to find a way to bring this alive in valuable ways, to help all of us live better lives. That’s the ultimate goal.
I’d love to have you come to my website, read what I’m exploring, comment on it, add your voice. I’ll respond to any comments. I think we learn together as opposed to one at a time, so I’d love to learn from you. And there’s a place to subscribe to a monthly newsletter. There’s also a Facebook site where the posts will go up if you want to follow it on Facebook instead of through the newsletter. Yes I’d love to have people join me. I’m very excited about this inquiry and have some images of spirals that I use for inspiration.
So please join me, and have fun.