Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Reflection: On the Notion of God; A Short Note by Payman Akhlaghi (2013)

Reflection: On the Notion of God
(Draft 2)
By Payman Akhlaghi (2013)

First published, November 5th, 2013, at www.Facebook.com/PAComposer, under Reflection: On the Notion of God .

God is a product, a figment, of our imagination; but there's no need to discount our imagination. At its best, the notion of God, as varied as our interpretations and appreciations of it may be, it could mirror ourselves, reflecting our desires, fears, and ideals, even as it becomes -- by the necessity of its nature and function -- detached from us, as if it lives a life of its own, an independent life which we ourselves have afforded it, and yet attribute to itself. Remembering Martin Buber in his masterpiece, "I and Thou", this entity could be a partner in our silent, intimate, internal dialogue, a privy to our innermost secrets.

This de facto reflective dialogue with ourselves is not necessarily a solipsistic monologue in disguise; rather, it could develop and flourish quite genuinely, as we continue to nourish it, to contribute to it, via our creative imagination, with occasional input from the senses. Hence, also the possibility of confusing it with the reality, with the objective world. Authors often speak of their characters "having a life of their own", and even composers have a similar experience in the more abstract world of sounds. Indeed, even Buber discusses the relationship between the artist and the artwork as a case of the dialogue with the Thou. Quite often, admitted works of fiction may help us -- the creator and the audience -- approach the truth quite efficiently. Likewise, we may allow for the case of of God.

Ancient Jews expressed their insight into the evolving identity of such an entity in the way the God of Exodus introduces himself to Moses, "I will be who I will be." I've long found this essentially existential, enigmatic, and tautological response to be the pregnant seed that would eventually grow into the existential philosophy of the 20th century, in its sophistication, and in particular, in its understanding of the Projection of Self into the unknown. It's a liberating concept, that would find its ultimate fulfillment in liberating human from the notion of God.

Altogether, there could be still a place in our time to discuss the many senses of God, under which many names and labels that it might appear, and their possible applications, whether psychological or spiritual, for modern human beings; and that debate can continue its dialectics with the broader question that concerns a portion of humanity, i.e. the question of its existence.

But such sophisticated evolving discourse cannot be conducted honestly, intelligently, and progressively, if it's stifled by dictations from the top, by official if tacit blankets of superstitions spread over the intellectual society, by a widespread confusion of myths with the objective reality and rational collective consensus. For that matter, and more, this topic, and the people involved, would be better served as long as it remains in essence a private affair for interested but non-political individuals or groups.

© 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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