God is just a metaphor.
Note: This is an excerpt from the book that I am currently reading - The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. This particular chapter entitled “Electrical Storms” really struck me especially when Dr. Enderby (Alex’s neurologist) started talking about God and the human brain’s resemblance to each other. After reading this, I couldn’t agree more to what Dr. Enderby said. His explanation somehow answered my question “Did God created man because He was lonely or was it the other way around?” I don’t know. I am not a religious type of person so maybe I am looking for the answers in the wrong place. Hahaha! Call me blasphemous but this is just me and my insomniac brain talking. :)
Dr. Enderby’s views on God and meditation were definitely linked to his views about the brain. On his office wall, he had a funnyy little plaque with spidery black writing on it - like old, joined-up handwriting. And this is what it said:
The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As Syllable from Sound -
The first time I saw that plaque, I had very little idea what it meant, and absolutely no idea why there were all those dashes and random capital letters scattered all over the place. (Mr. Treadstone, my then future English teacher, would have red-penned each and every one of those.) But I loved the way it sounded nevertheless.
When I eventually got round to asking Dr. Enderby about the plaque, a few years later, he told me that it was the last stanza from a poem by a very old, very dead American poet called Emily Dickinson. When I asked him what it meant, he wouldn’t tell me. Instead he asked what I thought it meant.
'I don’t know,' I said after a fewseconds of scratching my crew-cut. 'I know what the words mean, but I can't make sense of them all together.'
'Hmm,' said Dr. Enderby. Then he scratched his head for a bit. 'Well, what do you think the difference between a syllable and a sound is?'
'There isn’t all that much difference,' I said. 'A sound is a sound, and a syllable's kind of a sound too. A syllable's a chunk of sound in a word. Or sometimes it's the whole word. Like the word “sound” is a sound made of one syllable.'
I wasn’t too satisfied with the way I’d explained this, but Dr. Enderby seemed to understand. ‘So maybe that’s the point,’ he said. ‘Maybe they aren’t all that different. Just like God and the brain aren’t all that different.’
'How can God and the brain not be different?' I asked, frowning.
Dr. Enderby smiled and adjusted his glasses. ‘Well, for each of us the brain creates a whole, unique universe. It contains everything we know. Everything we see or touch. Everything we feel and remember. In a sense, our brains create all of reality for us. Without the brain, there’s nothing. Some people find this idea scary, but I think it’s rather beautiful. That’s the reason I like to keep that plaque on my wall, where I can see it every day.’
I told Dr. Enderby that I was still a little confused at this point – what with him being a Buddhist.
'When I look at that poem, God’s just a metaphor,' Dr. Enderby explained.
'So you don't think that God created the brain?' I asked.
'No, I don’t think that,' Dr. Enderby replied. 'I think that the brain created God. Because the human brain, however wonderful, is still quite fallible – as both you and I know. It's always searching for answers, but even when it’s working as it should, its explanations are rarely perfect – especially when it comes to very big, complicated questions. That's why wehave to nurture it. We have to give it plenty of space to develop.'
That was the gist of what Dr. Enderby told me. His brain had spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about the brain.