It Is What It Is

Apparently the Mongolian word “Tengri”, so often translated as “God”, actually means “Things as they are”. I am also told that the Chinese word “ziran” does not mean nature in our sentimental Western sense but something more like “Just as it is”. “The world is everything that is the case”, as Wittgenstein put it.

And yet most Westerners conceive of a God who is very much not the same as “things as they are”. Except in Spinoza, he stands apart from things as they are and often passionately wants them to be different. That things are not what God wants them to be is generally our fault.

Perhaps, therefore, we are all really Zoroastrians, or else dualistic Gnostics, at heart, backing a deity who wins some and loses some.

Sometimes this “personal” Occidental god, standing in opposition to nature, even appears to stand for “things as we would like them to be, so as greatly to inconvenience everybody unlike ourselves”.

Posted on August 6, 2011 at 20:40 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Longest Con, Miscellaneous

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