“God’s Grand Game: Divine Sovereignty and The Cosmic Playground.” – A Review

Author: Steven Colborne

Preamble

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review I would like to thank Steven Colborne from Perfect Chaos for the opportunity to review his book. Though he and I have different perspectives on the nature of God, our philosophical interests are parallel. My background is in anthropology whose parent discipline is philosophy. Therefore I am no stranger to God and his prevalence throughout human culture.

I need to state firmly my own views on the matter. I believe the God that Colborne knows, is one that billions of humans have known, albeit by different names and experience. However, I do not believe God to be a singular being. This is where Colborne and I diverge.

Do not fret however, this will not affect either my ability to see from his perspective or the anthesis.

*I will refer to God through Male pronouns throughout as so intended in Colborne’s book*

 

The Review

For work such as this, there is no need for worries of spoilers, as rather it is less a narrative and more philosophical. However, I implore you to read the work in-depth as my musings on the subject may be contrary to the views of others. Even that of Colborne himself. However, as he says in his work, this is how God wanted it. Some knowing of his existence, and those of us waiting in the wing for divine interaction.

So Colborne introduces himself first and his story was not an easy one to read. In his contemporary life, he has discovered a type of stasis, however, with illnesses inherent to him, he proclaims this may be taken away at any time. Such is the will of God.

It is also important to me that you do not mistake Steven for a man of blind faith, who have never known anything else. From reading his blog alone you would know this, and in his introduction, he explains his deep interest with all things spiritual since his teens.

In Part 1 we are introduced to the nature of God. Which can be summoned up by His omnipresence. He states his case quite clearly through the lens of scientific endeavours:

“Even scientists, who are very successful in describing how things happen, generally agree that they cannot say why things happen.”

The argument here for Colborne is linked with the philosophical paradigm of determinism. God is all there is, we are a part of God, however, he exists outside of us. Therefore he is all-powerful and knows how our lives will play out.

In Part 2 we are guided through the human experience, in which Colborne is certain is curated by God. Why he is certain of this is simple. We are used to experiencing things in a certain way, through a certain set of laws.

When something outside of these perceptions happened, rather than chalking them down to anomalies or mistakes, Colborne assures the reader that this is through the desire of God. It is because God is a higher being, that we cannot experience everything he does. In certain cases, he allows us a small window into his nature. Colborne asks that rather than dismiss these anomalous experiences we should accept them as God’s outer life.

Scientist have grappled for centuries with the concept of ‘thought’. Where does ‘thought’ come from? How does it arise? Now with modern science researchers have pinpointed the moment the brain sends the signals to, for example, move an arm. They have not, however, pinpointed the decision or the why.

Colborne makes it quite simple, this is God’s will. He is managing our every movement.

“If we consider the nature of God, particularly His attribute of omnipresence, it makes sense that He is controlling our conscious experiences because His being permeates every atom in existence and every cell of our bodies.”

For someone who has studied anthropology and humankind so closely, I cannot help but agree with Colborne to an extent. Although humans have spread ourselves across the planet, we have things that are so unique to us as a species that it appears wherever we are. The concept of God is universal and in favour of Colborne’s argument, this may be God’s own way of showing himself to us.

In our modern world, the war between science and religion has gotten us nowhere. I have often been an advocate for the inter-disciplinary cooperation of scientists and theologians. For many centuries now, scientists have been doing the work philosophers in ancient Greece once had the pleasure of.

Now more than ever we need to listen to, and read about experiences had by human beings such as Steven Colborne. In my opinion, his belief in God is not a dirty secret or an unfortunate quirk. There are many people I love who both believe in God and many who do not. With all the varieties in between.

Steven Colborne
Steven Colborne

There is no denying that Colborne has done his homework, and he entertains the philosophies of those who would be considered his opposite. In Part 4 he discusses the American Philosopher Sam Harris, who is a prominent figure surrounding materialism and free will. Harris believes that all we are is physical, and this matter is calling the shots. Whereas of course, Colborne argues this is nonsensical. How can inanimate matter create the diverse realms of thought that humans enjoy?

 

“How something that is purely material could create awareness of the kind that human beings experience is an area of ceaseless confusion for neuroscientists.”

There is also the espousal of the major world religions, (not discounting the thousands of others he would not have had time to mention). Colborne is not dismissing your version of God. His simple truth is this. God is omnipresent and God is our creator (at birth and each and every moment of our lives).

Colborne wants what I think is lacking in the Christian faiths (among others) of the day. A modern church were a scientific debate is not only welcomed but part of the general practice of religion. A church of God which has thrown off the shackles of the cruelness of human doctrines, and allow only love to flow. An inter-faith dialogue, a safe place for everyone, in which to look at God from all unique perspectives and experiences of the human condition.

There is room for everyone in the debate so I would ask for the comments to be respectful, and I implore you to read this book. There is more benefit here than you realise.

Conclusions & Further readings

For my own piece of mind I would like to point out that while Colborne believes that God creates all human art, I feel that our crazy, beautiful, individual minds produce these things. Also my disposition is to always push back against determinism, however, God may have made me that way.

For those of you who are intensely religious, I mean neither disrespect or dismissal. If there is kindness in your intent, there is room for you in this debate. In reading Colborne’s book I experienced nothing but due considerations for all faiths.

Finally, I deeply respect Steven Colborne, for all he’s achieved even through pain and adversity. Although we don’t always agree, I cannot dispute that his arguments are not only well thought out, but well researched.

As I mentioned in the preamble my anthropology background implores me to mention Sir James Fraser’s, “The Golden Bough.

Available from Amazon.

Also reading Steven Colborne’s other books wouldn’t go amiss seeing as they will give you more to the story that is his spiritual path.

Also available from Amazon.

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Indie Sundays: N.F Mirza’s “Swinging Sanity.”

Preamble

Welcome to Thinking Moon’s new category, Indie Sundays. I have pledged to read more indie books this year. I would like to discover and promote indie creators. They who are the next big thing, waiting in the wings of art to be propelled into the spotlight, and who am I to deny them their break? So please enjoy this new, albeit sporadic category. Filled with authors, movie-makers, poets, artists, and just the general misc of cool people the world would be grey without.

N.F Mirza

Speaking of grey without, our inaugural Indie Sunday extraordinary brings such colour to my life. N. F Mirza is the blogger Stoner On A Rollercoaster, and I have been following her for around two years now. They blog about their journey through depression and anxiety which I sadly empathise with. They create beautiful works of art, and I have been a fan of their aptly touching prose and gentle craft since I discovered them. When I heard that they had a book of poetry in the pipeline I immediately pre-ordered it.

Today I will be reviewing their debut poetry collection “Swinging Sanity,” which I devoured this weekend, over cups of coffee. Here is that review in all its finery, and can I say, dear Mirza, it gave me life.

20170411_151904

Swinging Sanity – Review

Indie Sundays - Swinging Sanity
Indie Sundays – Swinging Sanity

As far as debuts go, this is up there with the greats for me. I am a poetry fanatic, and very sensitive about its conjuncture. This wonderfully cathartic, yet tragic piece of work filled the gaps of my broken heart, as she waxed about pain, love, life, and the pursuit of elusive joy.

The work is divided into five parts, each a protective canopy over its subject matter. Beginning with “Screaming Numbness” we are treated to exquisitely painful lyrics about suffering and mental illness.

“I am numb, I miss pain, Oh Pain!” – Just Like  A Drop Of Water

“Then I hold the little spear, like a plume in the hands of a poet.” – Celebrating The Curse

“That horrid vortex finally spat me out I am stunned to be alive.” – Anything But Sane

We press on into the pages of “Love & Loss”  as she tells her tales from the world of love. As humans, we are never free from pain. We are allowed moments of beauty as a reprieve between the senseless chaos of the universe.

“My ebony hair free from confines, as you like it, now don’t rush, watch how the end unfolds.” – A Poem I Can’t Name

“I saw a glimpse of excruciating agony.” – “A Dying Heart

“And I saw your last breath, Ascend to the sky, flying away, with a piece of me.” – When You Slept

“Where Earth would cradle my soul, to the rhythm of screaming water.” – This Is How I Want To Sleep

img_20180725_224130_3848531090622410540743
Indie Sundays – Swinging Sanity

When the flushes of pain and joy are over we are treated to poems about the “Day and Night“. Her suffering mind remembers these times so vividly, and her fascination of the night sky appeals to fellow insomniac in me.

“The sun tirelessly shone all day, Still failed, To Ease this murky dark abyss, That’s made my mind it’s home.” – A Long Wordless Day

“I Remember those tiny fireflies, chasing each other into the darkness.” “When time wouldn’t fly, and the clocks were noiseless.” – Those Enchanting Nights

“Squalling for mercy.” – Nightmare Again.

Life is a dazzling series of confusion and clarity. Mirza’s section, “C’est La Vie” has some hard truths about the world we try to live in. When I read these lines they ignite in me my own fears, wonders, and imagination.

“My smouldering blistering tears…were ignored and denied, now sear my skin, in the dead dark cave of my anonymity.” – Cave Of My Anonymity

“They didn’t tell me, This demonic ritual, will slowly morph me, Into another fierce royal blue dragon.” – Fierce Royal Blue Dragon

“My nails look dirty too, Like I dug my way, Out of a grave.” “But I look great, prettier, happier than I ever looked, just like the rest of the crowd.” – Carnival

Indie Sundays - Swinging Sanity
Indie Sundays – Swinging Sanity

The final section “Random Thoughts,” is just that, and we see the author grappling with the suffering of now, hopefully, one day leading to the freedom of tomorrow. Out of struggle, so will the time of quiet victory, and self-assurance be born. Where those of us with kindness, walk alongside those of difficult persuasions. She closes the collection strong leaving us both elated with hope, and sturdy with solidarity. Please buy this poetry collection, it is too exquisite to remain unread.

“And one day, we will wake up, From this grim nightmare…Embellished with grime…But Hearts, Clear as glass.” – One Day

“Fueling my soul, I wait for my turn, I don’t waste tears.” – Waiting For My Turn

“Or to be, Like Ocean, Deep and blue, Holding a chunk of universe, In its womb.” – Blue

“And I see you…High on ignorance.” – A Million Dead Stars

“I pull out the last scroll, And scribble few enduring syllables…” – Last Poem Of October

Swinging Sanity on Amazon

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑