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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Winds, the Red Sea, Religion, and Science

There have been several stories regarding religion and science lately, from Stephen Hawking's "M-theory" and denial of God, to a study which portends that a high wind could have parted the Red Sea, allowing the Jews to escape Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus. But the thing which sticks-out most in my mind has nothing to do with the how but the why: The Big Bang and high winds may be the mechanics by which these things occurred, but their timing seems pretty spectacular.

Granted, the Jews trekked through the desert for some 40 years, but it was only when they were trapped between the sea and the Pharaoh's advancing forces that a mysterious high wind rose, blowing throughout the night, to part the waters for their escape. Just as ominously, once the Jews had made their way across, the wind died, and the waters rushed in to kill the pursuing army.

I freely accept that this wind has some rational, scientific explanation; what remains mysterious, to me, is its timing. A wind that arises at just the right time, then disappears at an even more propitious one, seems to defy any scientific rationale. The question then, for me, is one of mind over matter vs. an unseen, guiding force: Did Moses' own desire, perhaps augmented by his followers' same desire, call forth this wind, or did a deity(s) provide it in response?

That it was coincidental is idiotic. The idea that, given a long enough timeline, anything is possible is, in this particular case, even more idiotic. I think of these arguments the way skeptics and atheists think of those who insist, "It was God. The end." And though I do see the formers' point, I find it lazy to simply assume it was one or the other, no middle ground allowed.

Most Occult ideology maintains that the actual forces involved are very natural; it is the Occultist's desire, or communication with unseen forces, that are the catalyst. There is no mere "wishing" things into, or out of, existence. In the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, the wind is how the waters were parted, but the wind would never have blown there, at that time, were it not for Moses' desire for it to do so. Let us not forget that in Moses' time, there were magicians who could rival his "miracles."

Many Occultists have long held that the only difference in Occult "magick" and religious "miracles" is the name, itself. And Christians are the ones who created this separation, just as they absorbed many of the world's religions and superstitions while rejecting their related deities. Along the same lines, many "Spiritualists" maintain that the central figure in almost all of the world's major religions are actually the same deity; Allah is God is the Great Spirit, etc.

While these scientific investigations and hypotheses are always interesting and welcome, science and religion are not mutually exclusive -- except to scientists and zealots -- and that bears mentioning once in a while.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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