About ten years ago my father-in-law, in that time a seventy years old man with basic level of studies, ask a question to me, not an usual question, but a deep one:
"I was educated under Catholicism thinking, the religion teachers said us: God is omnipotent and omnipresent, He is in all the things, animated and inanimate ones, around you and within you, and He is in all places at the same time. But, when I see the iniquities of the life, as starving children, young people dying due to cancer and so, this teaching becomes too hard to believe for me, because how a omnipotent and omnipresent being can let this evil events be? If this being really exists, then He must be evil too, for to allow this bad way be, or, otherwise, He can't be so omnipotent and omnipresent. What do you think about?".
In that time I can’t answer anything, although my first thought was “the question is raised in so simple terms, too simple in fact, I think the reality must be more complicated, but I don’t know enough about it for answer this direct and simple question”.
Well, I don’t forget the question, and now I wish to share here a possible answer; unfortunately my father-in-law can’t to know it because now he has a mental disease due to age. My answer have made combining modern physics science and mysticism. Maybe the reader think that is a strange combination, even a incoherent one; in such case, I must say that is a topic already covered, see for example The Tao of Physics. But here I will not follow any book. I must say now that I don’t pretend at all to give here some kind of “demonstration” about God existence, my aim is only to show that, it He exists, His omnipresence, omnipotence and goodness is compatible with all the disasters, evil events, etc. of our life. And I will not use any religion or faith, but science and some old mystic claims.
Now there are two points for explain: the first we must consider is our object-oriented mind, and the oneness of the reality. The second, the oneness of the self.
Our object-oriented mind
The mind always works with stuff, tags and properties. Thus, for example, it divides humanity into countries, religions, races, political systems, etc. It also divide existence into past, present and future. This approach is necessary for the mind to analyze the differences, identify concepts, related things, etc. So, for the mind, all are objects, classes of objects and properties.
Non-fragmented physic reality
Both the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics work with a treatment of reality as an indivisible whole, although the two theories make it in different and incompatible ways, but both indicate that physic reality is an indivisible whole. And more importantly, this “everything” encompasses our mind! The observer and the observed are not independent, are part of a single whole. Currently this is not philosophy, it’s science.
So, the object-oriented mind can not understand this oneness physical reality: it crashes trying to understand the concepts of non-separability and non-absolute time. Perhaps science have reached the limit beyond which the object-oriented mind, so well that we have been given so far, is proving to be insufficient to understand reality. And here we have the first important concept about our question: if a being like God exists, He must be beyond our object-oriented and limited mind, indeed, He must be as physic reality is: non-fragmented, oneness with the Universe. So indeed, He must be omnipresent, because the reality is.
Oneness of the self
“Everything you consider as being me, you, him, her, and that, everything is One”
Advaita Vedanta (XIX century)
“My nature is harmonized with that of Buddha. There is no duality, but unity and harmony: Satori”.
Yoka Daishi: The singing immediately Satori (Zen Buddhism)
“Do not ask if the Principle is in this or that, it is in all beings.”
Chuang Tzu, between the fourth and third centuries before J. C.
“My Self is God, not another I recognize that my God Himself.”
St. Catherine of Genoa
In the mystical experiences of peoples, cultures and different eras we find a similarity in the description of a mystical state in which one experiences the “identity” of all minds together and with the “supreme mind “. Also religions like Zen , Sufism , Taoism , Tantrism , Christian mystics , etc. . have similarities in this regard.
This similarity between people of different races and religions , separated by centuries and even millennium and far distances, and with little or no relation to each other or know each other, is really striking. In fact, the finding of this regularity is itself a scientific fact.
So let me assume that all these mystics was right, and there exist such consciousness state in which we live the unity. As we show before, such state can not be related with our normal mental state, which is fragmented by his own nature. Is more reliable to relate it with some “universal consciousness”, a state of connection with the whole, without fragmentation, as physic reality indeed is.
So, at this time, we claim:
- The reality is all-in-one, without fragmentation; that reality includes our minds, of course.
- There are many persons that have experienced mystic states of oneness with all, like the reality is, beyond the normal states of the mind
Thus our question can be answered in this terms: it is wrong to consider there are, in one side, a God, and in the other side, there are humans beings that suffer without any help of the supreme being, because from the “point of view” of God, all is one, that is, we and Him and the whole creation are one. Is our object-oriented mind that fragments the reality and drives us to such wrong concept.
For to show better the relation between us and the whole that I imagine, let me show a metaphoric similarity, using a well-known physical object: the light.
Nature of light
Physics science shows us that light expands from its source, like a balloon that inflates, filling all the space; the spherical waves are continuous, so with enough time each point of space is filled with light. In fact, light is an electromagnetic field; here, “field” means space, indeed, all the space without exception. Light is in all the points of the space. We can not talk about “this portion of light that is here or there”, but light is filling in all the space. That’s similar to our image of the reality beyond the ordinary mind, not fragmented.(Image from http://www.ualberta.ca)
But when light reaches matter, it can happens that light becomes trapped for matter, but not all the light, only part of it. In such cases, light becomes fragmented in units named photons. Every photon is pure light, its nature is the same as the whole, but becomes trapped for the matter.
The metaphor is: our normal consciousness works fragmented, as photons, but its true nature is as light, filling all the space. Moreover, mystics says that the nearest image that we can have of God is … pure light! So we can go more far with this metaphor thinking that God (or Self, or reality, or others names the reader prefers) is like the pure light, and our little individuals consciousness are like the photons: temporarily trapped into the matter, ignorant about its true nature.