Sunday, January 3, 2010

Walking Elephant: Concerning the subject: "God as Metaphor," Alpha Males in Primates, Other Ways of Thinking

To Nontheist Friends {atheist Quakers} {from a recent posting on the nontheist Friends' Google Group},

Concerning the subject: "God as Metaphor":

I'm curious about developments nontheist friends might make on Ganesh, Krishna, the Tao and related implications for the 'natural,' philosophically, and including sexuality, vis-a-vis the curious idea of God/Goddess, perhaps minimizing this idea nontheistically, especially in this new year.

With a fascination with evolution by natural selection and symbolic processes, I'm also a little stymied by the return of the three letter word (God, or what it signifies/connotes, for some) so frequently to Homo sapiens' mouths, at least in a portion of the world (viz. Huston Smith's 'The Religions of Man'). I wonder if this tendency emerges somehow in ancestral environments in relation to some kind of abstracted alpha male experience/thinking as human primates, - in common chimps, and the two species of gorillas, but not, in my reading of the primatological literature, in the two species of orangutans (which, I understand, are solitary in the wild), or in Bonobo chimps, which are peaceful (and with which Bonobo I think it would be fascinating for nontheist friends to engage in conversation for learning, using language, - let's ask Sue Savage-Rumbaugh to translate: I'm inclined to engage the three letter word (God) a lot less than even nontheist friends are doing in this email thread, and to engage in diversity and tolerance of nontheistically friendly ways of thinking about the fabric of life, including the relaxation response, poetry, music, and evolutionarily informed ways of thinking about meaning of life, peace, nonviolence, community and the experience of connectedness, and even making a living.

Ganesh, that happy elephant guy in India and Hinduism, Krishna, that flute-playing incarnation of the divine, the Tao which is about nonaction, and is ineffable and inexpressible, {but which you know when flow is happening} and evolution, with 8-100 million species and a lot of genetic reproduction over 3.5 billion years are fascinating to me, and about which nontheist friends might also share interesting ideas, vis-a-vis metaphor.

With friendly greetings,

( - January 3, 2010)

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