Written by Susan Stedman
Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis and a famous Austrian neurologist. He regarded God as an illusion and believed that religion should be set aside in favor of reason and science. He noted the likeness between faith and neurotic obsession and called the belief in God a “collective neurosis”.
Most people will look at you in a weird way if you even mention hearing voices because in our society today, that is taken as a sure sign of mental illness. Imagine Paul telling his therapist, “And I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth!’” Would anyone have taken him seriously in our culture? I have seen street preachers doing the same kind of thing. Do you ever wonder if we’ve missed something important because of the jaded way we think of experiences like this?
Many civilizations – past and present – especially the less civilized ones - consider these people holy, not crazy. They were viewed as more aware, closer to the divine, or even touched by the gods. The Lakota Sioux have a word for that kind of holy contrary – heyoka. Their role is to make people see things differently, challenging the norms.
It always made me wonder, do these people live in delusional states or could they be experiencing things that are beyond the capacity of normal people? Think about people born with Down’s Syndrome. They are almost always the happiest, most loving, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet. They treat everyone equally with kindness and never think badly about anyone they know. They exude enthusiasm and always trust in the best. Isn’t this the way God has called us all to be? He also says we must be as little children to enter the kingdom. So, does that make them closer to Him?
Their obvious difference from us lies in their brains. Because of diminished cerebral functions, they don’t notice all the distractions around them the way we do. They don’t get stuck on “what if’s” because all they perceive is what’s happening “now”. They don’t focus on themselves or their feelings which means they don’t remember wrongs done to them or hold grudges. They don’t ascribe malicious motives to people whom we “normal” people can clearly see as malicious. They show love to all. This is something we could learn lessons from…it’s the epitome of “The Love Chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13.
Researchers who look at how our brains process religious beliefs fall into one of two categories. They either hope their findings will help convince people of the validity of their faith, or they are trying to explain away what they call “an embarrassing relic of our past.”
Many of the most well-known scientists believed in God, or at least in an intelligent design. In 1956, Albert Einstein stated, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
In 1979, Freeman Dyson, the English American theoretical physicist said, “I believe in the ancient covenant. It is true that we emerged in the universe by chance, but the idea of chance is itself only a cover for our ignorance. I do not feel like an alien in this universe. The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe, in some sense, must have known that we were coming.”
Werner Heisenberg, who is considered the father of Quantum Physics, said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting for you.”
Isaac Newton had no doubts. “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.” At one time, he believed that gravity was caused by the will and spirit of God, not by any material cause.
There is one modern physicist who has made a bold statement, standing out from his peers. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and string theory pioneer, is quoted as, “I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20)
But we are safe. Psalm 25:1 tells us plainly, "No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame."
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
Our writers group meets every 4th Tuesday Night at 7PM in person and/or via zoom. Let us know if you would like to join us.