The Study of God: on method

Recently a friend of mine who has very little religious education gained interest in theology, and surprised me with maybe the best question I have been asked in a while: what is the theological method?

If you have ever studied something seriously, academically, critically, you understand his question. Ιt is a question of epistemology: “how do I know?”. In traditional sciences, there is a scientific method: controlled, observable and reproducible experiments lead to conclusions and allow predictions. The experiment is then repeated and reviewed by other scientists who confirm or contest the conclusions, and as that happens the whole community arrives at very probable theories about a subject. History also has its method, since history cannot be repeated or reproduced, neither controlled, so it stands outside the realm of science. Math and logic, along with philosophy, all have their systems of proof testing. So when we speak of the Divine, what is our method to differ between truth and non-truth? How do we know? Continue reading The Study of God: on method

Who Wants To Live Forever?

What is this thing that builds our dreams / Yet slips away from us / Who wants to live forever? / Who wants to live forever? / There’s no chance for us / It’s all decided for us / This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.

Who wants to live forever? / Who dares to love forever, when love must die?

If you know good rock music, then you know Freddie Mercury and his band, Queen. The other day I was listening to their album Live at Wembley ’86, where they performed the song Who Wants To Live Forever (listen to it here). Amazing song, amazing lyrics. Right after, they perform I Want To Break Free (here), and I can’t be sure if they put some deep thought in the order of the songs or not, but these two in sequence surely brought a strong meaning to the performance. It made me think a lot, and this post here is me trying to digest those thoughts. It was so beautifully… human. I guess that is what art is about, right?

I never met Freddie, and all I know of him is from his music, and yet I have the feeling that I know him better than many people I have small talk with everyday. To me that is what makes a great artist: when you can see his soul through his art. Transparency.  Continue reading Who Wants To Live Forever?

An Other Self: Self-Awareness, Nirvana, and the Übermensch.

Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. – Dante Alighieri, 1265 – 1321

Human beings seem to be the most evolved creatures on earth. We have covered the globe with our civilizations, we have built monuments, we have developed science and art and religions, and our scientists are currently tinkering with the very fabric of reality as they experiment with quantum physics. Yet, both religious and unreligious, we seem to all understand that we are not quite there yet. We feel a need to transcend our humanity: the Buddhist seeks for Nirvana, the Existentialist wants to weave his own meaning, the Darwinian waits for the next evolutionary step, the Western Christian walks in sanctification, the Eastern Christian in theosis. Nietzsche said that “What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal”.

It seems to be the most evident truth about humans throughout all philosophies: we are not done yet. We are not, we become. Continue reading An Other Self: Self-Awareness, Nirvana, and the Übermensch.