Supernatural or Natural?

We are often taught that there is a division of realities, especially when we speak of the context of God versus our reality. We hear the terms super-natural and the natural referring to two different worlds that sometimes collide. That God in God’s super-natural world invades our natural world when and if it pleases God to do so. This version of reality puts God in the state of being removed from our reality and un-involved. It puts us as being left alone and separate from God, set adrift on a tiny speck of dust in a vast universe to fend for ourselves. It is no wonder people see any relevance in or about the concept of God as the Christian church. They are already involved in a society that they feel alienated from. Why then sign on to something that has as its leader someone who is far removed from the daily life of its followers?

The analogy that can easily be made about God at this point looks like a spoiled child with a magnifying glass while the ants below scurry about their business. The child for its own warped sense of fun focuses the magnifying glass to burn the next ant victim who is powerless to do anything to influence the behavior of the child. The only interaction that a child has with an ant is either curiosity of what the ant is up to, to study it, or to torture it. Every once in a while the child may take pity on the colony and aid it but outside of that there is nothing except alienation. This is the Greek and Roman god concept. It is a god based upon humanity – a god made in the image and likeness of us. Not only are these gods abusive but they do not care for or about humanity. Humanity is there for their amusement – a play toy. It is an us versus them mentality.

This division of the natural and supernatural is the root cause of this attitude. The Greeks thought the natural world was inferior to the world of the gods. They divided reality into two parts to reflect that thought – the inferior natural world and the supernatural world. The word super already gives a sense of superiority that we cannot obtain. Super is exceptionally large and powerful and greater than what is normal. So supernatural is beyond the natural and cannot by definition be obtained by those who are part of the natural. When you are speaking of God you are in fact speaking about one who is above the abilities of that which was created. However that is where super should stop in connection or comparison with other beings and/or things. God is part of one reality, one universe, and one existence. You cannot find two realities biblically. This is all part of one reality and not a division of realities. There is only one reality that God has created and that is the natural reality. It is what is supposed to be normally. God and creation together are natural.

What I propose is there is in fact an un-natural separation that we have perpetuated. We have intellectually and artificially separated ourselves from the entirety of creation and God. We see ourselves in opposition to the world around us, the cosmos as a whole, and God. We have placed God in an artificial environment where we believe God is above it all and chooses not to interact with anything outside of God.

We have separated ourselves from the cosmic order, purpose and function of things and existence which has made our understanding of the natural order, purpose and function of things un-natural and totally artificial. This artificial reality has caused pain, suffering, disease, war, lack and pestilence. It is only when we replace ourselves into the natural order, purpose and function that things begin to work as they were intended to. We do not enter into the super-natural but align and enter into the natural which is relational to all things inclusive of God.

We are the cause of things not being as they should through misguided observation of the order, purpose and function of all things in reality. We create through observation, thought and speech how reality is seen. This is even backed upon in the strange new world of quantum physics where everything exists as waves until we try to observe them. It is at that point that we observe them as particles and when we stop – they go back to being what they truly are, waves.

We now know that light and sound are waves and occupy the same areas of existence (what scientists would call spectrum) until we sense them and separate them out. This hints at a reality that we create by our observation and the unity of all things. If we propose a negative reality then a negative reality is what we get. If we then propose a positive reality then that is what we get. This may be overly simplistic as an example but it gets to the basis of how we see things and how we perceive them. It also points to the reality that it takes all of us through interaction to create a positive reality. It is not up to one but up to us all. We are interdependent. There are other factors that play into the scenario but it is our attitude towards reality that is critically important. Circumstances can be overcome.

A universe without God or in which God is far removed is harsh, bitter, animalistic, chaotic and raw. In this un-natural universe the cause of all things then is sheer happenstance, luck, and accident without any clear definable purpose, order or function. Chaos is the order and randomness is the law. This view even flies in the face of science in that science sees a set of intertwining laws that give the entirety of the universe an order, purpose and function. So conceptually science and religion start with the same premise. That premise is that the cosmic structure of all things starts with a particular order, purpose and function so that it fully functions. Do we completely understand what that order, purpose and function is? It is a resounding no in all cases. Religion does not get it right in as much as science doesn’t get it all right but each deals with the absolute order, purpose and function of the entire structure of existence. This is why the two have difficulty dealing with each other. Not that they do see the same things but that they see the same things from a different vantage point and see themselves as separate and at odds. What we have to remember is that the things of God are a continual revelation that comes about in relationship not separation. All things are relational and require relationship.

God is at the source of order, purpose and function and as such must be intimately involved with the entirety of the universe. The other part of the equation is that all must perform its order, purpose and function so that it all works. Even when it does not – it still behaves according to the consequences of that basic law. It is a relational and co-operative existence of one natural reality. It is interdependency on a universal proportion. We having been given a choice in the matter must also co-operate with the order purpose and function of the entirety of the universal order. If we remove ourselves from the natural, we cause the un-natural to occur, not God.

I had come across a bumper sticker from a group who belonged to various nature religions who had formed a society for their mutual benefit and protection. They were tired of being run over by various other religions that saw them in the context of being false religions, people who sacrificed animals, or other such horrible acts. They saw the hypocrisy of a god that was separated from the world around them and the lives of those who that god (or in some cases gods in which they believed) created. They especially had issues with a god that was supposedly loving and accepting but yet was completely harsh, vindictive, and ready to punish everything and everyone. The bumper sticker simply stated “May you have exactly the god you deserve.” What it was pointing out was that the god that most major religions accept is a god that is exclusive rather than inclusive. It pointed out the followers of those gods were the direct image of that god and deserved the repercussions of what that god was. It denied the interdependency of all things created upon each other and ultimately upon the one that created it all – God.

Again all of these things point to a perception and/or observation of a very limited god, whether it is scientifically observed or religiously perceived. God is a reality that humanity gets wrong. That is because we have the tendency to create gods in our own image and likeness. Since we have created an un-natural world order, purpose, and function, we have created a god who is far removed from our everyday lives, who is judgmental, harsh, uncaring, and un-involved with the lives and things that it supposedly has created. This god lives removed from the un-natural environment, in a separate creative reality that only occasionally and rarely crashes into this world when and if that god sees it as being to its benefit.

God is involved in everything that goes on in that God has created it all and given it permission to exist in a particular order, purpose and function. In order for it to exist it has boundaries in which it behaves. If that object, thing, animal, vegetable, mineral or individual chooses to violate that boundary of behavior, there are natural consequences that occur because it has chosen to do so not that God has willed it to be so. However those consequences can be overcome or as is pointed out biblically in that those things that were meant for harm can become good as God would have it, intended it, ordered it, purposed it, and had it created to function as.

What this indicates is our responsibility to choose to do the right and proper order, purpose and function in interacting with all things. This then highlights the fact that we are the ones who have chosen to separate ourselves and our relationships with others and God into boxes that have separate rules of engagement, order, purpose and function. That is why we act differently at work, then we do at home, then we do in social settings, politically, or anything else we are involved in. We do not love others as we love ourselves nor do we love God with similar gratitude and affection. We view ourselves as islands far removed from anything and anyone. Separated and alone choosing to interact with things only when it suits our limited, greedy, and selfish reasons. Therefore we created a god who looks and acts exactly the same as we are. God is so much more than our human limitations!

It is time to drop this separation and finally admit the interconnectivity of it all into one continuous reality. It is time for us to admit that we have created the un-natural and we need to step into the natural. We need to stop the separation of all things and understand the unity of all things under one natural and whole reality. Then and only then will we see the continual revelation of the full kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

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