Tara Hawkins

When I Say, “God”

By Tara L. Hawkins

When I think about God, I consider how small things can get; that we are made up of bits of energy and information so small that it is impossible to imagine them in our minds. Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who” is a delightful example: the Who’s whole world fits on a speck in Horton’s world. Obviously, the Who’s world is made up of even tinier bits, and so on to abstraction.

In this view, I am a colossus, a queen, a goddess.

Then I think about how big things get; planets, solar systems, galaxies… bigger and bigger until I am much smaller than a Who by comparison.

In this view, I am an atom, a photon: a miniscule, insignificant thing.

My importance (or lack thereof) depends on how I focus my perspective. As I consider my own worth, I also consider how big God must be in comparison to all this. The idea that God could be considered as finite as a man is laughable. The belief that God could be imagined at all in its vastness is ridiculous. The force that created all that is – what I call “God” – is much too large to be comprehended; just as we are too big for our electrons have a meaningful conversation with us.

Is God too vast to care or too small too count? Are we really as insignificant as we appear from such a distance? Are our lives as meaningless as if they had never been?

God permeates all things; from those too infinitesimal to be thought of by our minds as creations, to those too gigantic for us to fathom. God isn’t just in me – God is me. Me, you, your worst enemy, your darkest dream, your pets, your plants, your furniture, Mars, amoebas, radio waves, electricity, fire, rain, the nothingness that pervades everything. God isn’t on a starship circling the Moon. God is in every bit of energy and information that ever existed. God is a constant of chaos: birth and death and destruction and creation.

In this way, we are God, too.  We create, we destroy, we give birth and serve out death. We make casual choices that affect the world. If I purchase a cup of coffee, someone thousands miles away must grow and pick the beans, they must be packaged and transported unpackaged and ground and put into a coffee maker and poured into a cup that has been molded from clay, fired, packaged and sold and unpackaged and cleaned. If I want milk in my coffee, then a cow must be born and raised and impregnated and milked. The milk must be transported, packaged, refrigerated, pasteurized, and placed in a thermos. I also like sugar in my coffee. For that, someone must grow, harvest, and process sugar cane. They have to separate it into paper packages (made by yet another person or group), transport it to the coffee house and put it out in a little basket. I also take a napkin and a stir stick. The mind boggles when I consider all the people and plants and animals and machines involved in pouring me a cuppa.

In this way we are a beautiful, synchronistic, dance; each one of us blithely playing out our part, unaware of, yet dependent upon, each other in complex and unknowable ways. The butterfly effect, only not merely one butterfly flapping it’s wings, but all of us affecting the world in subtle and profound ways.

Every breath I take affects the planet as a whole; how could I not be God? You have the same immense power; therefore, you must be God.  Everything that is, was, or will be affects everything that is, was, or will be; so everything is God. But if everything is God, does that diminish how special, how precious, how incredibly perfect God is?

No. Every particle is unique and has a unique destiny. Each bit of energy and information has a specific, singular fate. We move with intention. Our purpose, as God, is to experience all things.

Even though we have a fate, a destiny, we have total freedom in how we live our lives because at some point we will have made every choice possible.

Then, I believe, we will collapse into dense matter and ponder what we have learned, felt, tasted about our infinitely varied experience. I believe that while we each have our own soul, we also share a soul, a divine consciousness.

This divine consciousness, or over-soul, is the connection we have to one another. As we speak to each other, gaze into one another’s eyes, even if we don’t get close enough to touch or inhale another’s scent, we still feel a connection. There is a recognition: we are of the same kind.

This is a deep realization. It comes from that space where our differences blur and disintegrate; that space where we acknowledge that we are made from the same stuff. A place of unconditional love.

When we feel this connection, our differences are put into perspective. We are individually different so that we as a group, as a singularity, can experience everything. We must walk down many roads.

My own journey has been varied and strange. I have traveled from Hawaii to Italy, touching on many points in between. As I look into the eyes of my fellow humans, I see my own soul. I see the God in everything, from a bouquet of plastic flowers to the sunrise over the mountains to nuclear waste to torturers to dolphins to grumpy cat.

I see God in this room, in these chairs, in the artwork on the wall, in the microphone and speakers, in each of you. I see us separate and come together to achieve our own goals and ambitions. I see us helping each other realize our dreams. I watch as we learn and grow and connect.

Each of us is important. Our lives have meaning and impact beyond anything we can imagine.

A child raises sheep. Each year the sheep are shorn.  The wool is carded and spun into yarn. The yarn is dyed and wrapped with a label that tells which dye lot it is from. It is boxed and shipped to a store. A worker opens the box and puts the yarn in a bin on display.

A woman works in a laboratory running experiments each day. Every month, her paycheck is deposited into her checking account. She pays her bills online. She budgets for groceries and gas. There is enough money to buy yarn and a pattern for a sweater.

She rides her bike to the store. She searches through the patterns until finds one that matches her style and ability. She determines how much yarn she will need. She looks around the store for colors she likes. She finds the perfect yarn in a bin and checks the dye lot. She purchases the yarn on her debit card.

In the evenings after work, the woman listens to the radio while she knits. The pattern is difficult, and it takes a long time to finish a cardigan.

The woman wraps the cardigan in tissue paper,  then Christmas wrap. She puts it in a box, tapes the box, and writes her mother’s name and address on it.

She drives the box to the post office on a Saturday and waits in a long line. Many people have boxes that they are mailing around the world.

The box stamped and sorted and put in a bin on a truck. It is transported to a hub where it is sorted again, put on another truck, and delivered the woman’s mother, who places it under her Christmas tree.

On Christmas day, the box is opened and the sweater is tried on. The mother doesn’t like how it looks. She places it in her donation bag. Once the bag is full, she donates the contents to a local charity.

The charity gathers clothing into huge bundles and ships it to Zaire.

An elderly gentleman in Zaire puts the sweater on and wears it every day until he dies and is buried in it.

The man and the sweater disintegrate into dirt. Grass grows over them. A child raises a few sheep.

We are all one, and our oneness and our distinct paths where we crash into one another in every action make us God.

We are what God dreamed we would be: a never ending chaotic, perfectly synchronized, beautiful, dreadful, all encompassing, experiential divine consciousness.