After a reasonable period of deliberation, we have reached the confidant decision, that the printed evidence appearing on the yearly calendar, outweighs in probative value, the recent testimony of media weather forecasters, and that therefore, it is now adjudged to be Spring. At such time of year, our thoughts naturally gravitate to gardening and verdant subjects. These perennially include the amazing phenomenon of what appear to be, drab and inconspicuous tiny seeds, and their innate potential for truly magical performance. These small, unassuming power houses, when natural conditions are favorable, (temperature, moisture, oxygen and darkness) are switched to “on” and prodded into action.
Much life on Earth, whether fauna and flora, owe its germination and existence to one kind of seed or another, activated by some mysterious force (which we choose to call the “spark”) and develops to its destined maturity. We are absolutely in awe, truly mystified and immensely respectful, of this eternal dynamic. But what is the origin and nature of this mysterious and essential spark that precipitates earthly life, governs and abides its existence, and at some point, sputters out, causing life to end? Devotees of Deistic religions have opted for an easy way out. A Deity of some denomination or another, omniscient and omnipresent, is their recognized origin, curator and source of life, as well as the referee as to longevity. There are, comfortably, for such believers, no such unanswered, agonizing questions to ponder, as there is for the agnostic.
For some perspective on the longevity of such Deist belief, we would refer to the many ancient religions in Europe, and elsewhere, who worshipped the Sun God. At certain times of the year, it was universally believed that the Deity was sick and dying; the presenting symptoms being, declining vegetation and trees, cold wind and snow, and the scarcity of animals. The sole exception were the wondrous evergreen trees, which magically continued to flourish. Societal rituals, involving evergreen trees, were religiously and faithfully enacted, and consistently resulted in the gradual, healthful recovery of the Deity; as evidenced by the appearance of new green plants, leafy trees, the thawing of frozen streams and the re-emergence of bunny rabbits and other woodland animals. It has been theorized by academics, that such early religious belief and rituals provided the foundation for those later faiths which chose to incorporate the “miracle” of “death and resurrection” in their belief and liturgy.
Comfort and satisfaction is derived from traditional religious explanations for the existential dilemmas and profound questions which eternally befuddle the agnostic. Yet, the latter, it seems, systemically, cannot ascribe to non- empirical explanations for earthly phenomena, such as the performance of seed, the laws of gravity and electricity, and, indeed, the earth’s origins. They would, defensively, stress that the word, “faith,” in the expression, “religious faith,” is distinguishable from the word, “knowledge,” in that the word “faith,” affords the permissible choice, to be a “believer” or not. Thus, believers have an obligation to not consider agnostics,” lost souls” or outcasts, and agnostics have a like obligation not to consider religionists, superstitious or schizophrenic.
We would surmise that it is doubtful that the underlying genesis of that “spark,” that impels a little seed to beautiful mature growth, will be empirically discovered; nevertheless, its scientific pursuit is most appropriate, as part of man’s natural and continuing aspiration to discover knowledge, and understanding. In any event, people of disparate opinion and belief, should respect mankind’s mutual limitations, and on principle, religious, or secular, entertain respect for each other, and practice reverential care for the Planet, its natural environment, and for all living things.