Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Fallible Creature

I hesitate to use the word imperfect when describing the human race because that might imply that there is an example of perfection out there somewhere (i.e. God). Our collective perceptions of God are also susceptible to error because even our mind can make mistakes. So how do we navigate our way through the dark waters of existence? Would following the example of a perfect God help or hinder our progress? Are we even capable of leading ourselves?

[Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice]

If there is anything that I believe 100%, it is that man is a fallible creature. We are capable of making mistakes in everything we do. But we are capable of progress ONCE we learn from these mistakes and choose to never repeat them. Everything that man touches, examines, and ponders can be filled with errors. Errors upon errors within errors. This is why I can not read holy books as the infallible Word(s) of God when they have been memorized, written, edited, and transmitted by fallible creatures. Once we acknowledge that we are capable of mistakes (and that even our perception of a perfect God is possibly erroneous) we are free to explore, seek, and experience life without the chains of guilt, fear, pain, and suffering that we willingly carry.

Acknowledging our erroneous nature (not to confuse that with fallen/sinful nature) stirs up questions of what we once believed were facts written in stone. Could the prophets throughout history been mistaken? Were the authors of the Bible really guided by God's hand? Did the Bible survive it's transmission through history without ANY change at the hands of men? These are but a handful of questions that begin to creep up when we truly understand our fallibility. Choosing to take the leap of faith that "God guided the Bible to it's current state" is perfectly fine to believe in as long as we do not forget our erroneous nature. Taking that leap of faith doesn't cover the Bible's authors and editors with a cloak of infallibility. However, an erroneous Bible DOES NOT mean that it is devoid of universal truths. Billions of people depend on the Bible for daily guidance and should continue to do so, but by allowing ourselves to be guided by the spirit of Love we can navigate past our ancestor's demons into a brighter future for humanity.

Our ancestor's perception of God seems almost alien to that of the modern age. This is especially noticeable within Christianity when comparing the Old Testament and New Testament descriptions of God. How can we even begin to reveal the nature of the Divine by the hands of a fallible creature? Our ancestors had a different perception of the Divine based on where and when they lived. As we learn more about our universe we continue to progress while discarding our outdated perceptions. Through trial and error we slowly begin to reveal the Universal Truths that our ancestors discovered but have been struggling to explain through human words and thought since the dawn of Man.

So where does that leave us? Faith and human reason can collectively take us only so far limited by our fallible nature. We must allow ourselves to be guided by the hand of love found both within ourselves and in the universe around us. If our guide is a perfect and loving God then there is no shame, no folly in following it as long as it guides us to become better people with a brighter future. If it keeps us in the dark scientifically, socially, and ethically then we need to question our guides so that we remain unchained always moving forward, "further up and further in".


Anonymous said...

If we err, let it be on the side of love. Can God our Source fault us for loving too much, caring too much? I think not. Loving was the most significant word (IMO) which we received from Jesus. How can we go wrong?

Don R

Eruesso said...

This is exactly how I felt when I began questioning my old way of thinking. I could not bring myself to condemn those who did not accept Jesus Christ as lord and savior let alone those who never had a chance. But does that mean that I am more loving than God? No, it just means that God is more loving than we have given (or not given) him credit for in the past.

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