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Perception

This post follows on from the previous one. It was, originally, part of the same post, but the link between the two parts wasn’t strong enough to publish them together. But it deals with another of life’s contrasts, in similar vein to the previous one. And, again, it’s about how we see things.

There is something crude and unsophisticated about us humans and our emotions. We have just five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, and we seem to possess similarly simple emotions - joy, sadness, worry, anger... Quite different stimuli can induce the same, or similar, physical and emotional responses in us. I don't know about you, but sometimes, something 'intangible' produces a physical response in me - something I can't touch, taste, smell, see or hear makes me feel in a particular way. Walking through our church when no one else is there for instance; there is a sense of peace and stillness which I feel almost nowhere else, together with a sense of praise, almost of faintly heard singing, feeling almost as if it has been 'layered on' over decade after decade.

Science and Belief

This post and the next were written as one, then I realised that it/they looked better separate… Now that I’ve separated them, I think they relate to each other quite a bit - but putting them back together again seems like too much effort!

I live my life on a sort of tightrope of belief. I believe, with my whole heart, that I am a much-loved child of God. Indeed, it is hardly 'belief' - more a deep certainty. My belief in God is about as certain as my belief in the correctness of, for instance, the Laws of Thermodynamics or the value of Pi. Because, as well as being a Christian, I am, by training and profession, a physicist... Although physicist is not really my identity as such, a lot of my thinking is done in the way a physicist thinks, but I identify far more as a child of God.

I know I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repetition here. In some sense, science is my how, and Christianity my why. Science says nothing about why we're here, but is very good at describing how the world works. In contrast, Christianity doesn't do a particularly good job of explaining how the world works, but is brilliant at giving meaning, a 'why', to life. I need both. I need to know how the world is; I also need to know why the world is.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016