The Consciousness—Divinity Thing

Halifax Bar Conversation continues
July, ‘82

“I only know Hegel through Marx,” I said. “Someday I would like to
know more.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t waste my time if I were you. He’s dense,” Bruce
responded. “I was on the debate team in school and my professor was a
religious fanatic. The class spent the whole semester debating the
consciousness—divinity thing. I was on the nay-saying side. Those
guys—Hegel, Whitehead, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—if you ask me, were
up a creek without a paddle. If you want to know about God all you
have to do is look through my camera. That’s reality; it’s also my
bread and butter. It doesn’t get any more real than that. Beauty,
guts, and glory, I capture it all, right here, through this lens.
Believe me, in the end, if it’s not in the picture, it doesn’t exist.
The camera doesn’t lie.”

“That’s one way of looking at it, I guess.”

“That’s the only way,” replied Bruce.

“I beg your pardon, you won’t object if I continue to believe in God
will you?”

“To each his own,” Bruce responded.

“Good—because that’s one thing I can’t do without—even if we don’t
agree,” I said, “even if I’m wrong. I still get to believe whatever I
want. That’s called free will, or don’t you believe in that either?”

“I’ve never seen it in a photograph,” said Bruce.

“Aw, yes you have,” I replied, “its right there in front of you, in
the frame of the photograph. It’s found in the picking and choosing of
the `right’ picture. Photographs tell stories! How could it be
otherwise? Think about it, and then tell me I’m wrong!”

“I never thought about it like that,” Bruce replied. “Maybe I’ll give it some thought?”

“Maybe yes,” I said, “in fact, if I’m wrong than I’m wrong about God
too.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bruce responded.

“It means God is woven into everything, into the smallest detail.
It’s all just a moment for God, a divine moment.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Bruce. “That’s stupid. Haven’t you
heard? Time has taken a hit. After Einstein, it was knocked off its
pedestal. Time is relative now. Your divine moment is meaningful only
as a frame of reference. Is your god a frame of reference? If so, God
is absolutely irrelevant because reference frames change with the
observer, or more specifically, with the observer’s momentum!”

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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