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Henri W. Tartt
Supervising Chemist &
Chief of Microbiology (retired)
City of Cleveland, Ohio

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Where Is God?

Greetings to you, it is good to be with you again. Have you ever gotten down on your knees and prayed for something dear to your heart and heard absolutely nothing in return? Have you ever wondered, *Where Is God?* Do you know, or do you think you know? Our lives are generally so ordered and explainable. But most of us cannot even begin to answer or explain that question. Those that say they know the answer with any certainty usually use religious dogma and one of the Great Religion's Holy Scriptures for defining help. The problem here is if you do not believe in one (or more) of these "Great Religions" there is no convincing answer for you. Of course there are those candidates for the "funny farm" that have a multitude of answers, some of which can make more sense than those of the theologically educated.

Man has wrestled with this question throughout his existence on this earth, and it is the only question that he is no further along on today in finding a *definitive* answer than he was in prehistoric times. How can that be? For one thing man is not as smart as he thinks he is.Most of the reference material for the existence of God cites' the Bible, Torah, Bhagavad Gita, and Qur'an as positive proof that there is indeed a "Living "God. Now for the record, and for the purpose of objectivity, I'm not going to say whether or not I believe or disbelieve in this "Living God". But if these referenced "Holy Books" are accurate, then I must pose this question: Note* (In the interest of time and space I will use The Bible as our "Holy Book" point of reference because of its relationship to both the Torah and the Quran).

"Who told us to read the Bible?" And when did (He/She?) Tell us?" And by what authority did He/She make such a recommendation? This is important because we seem to have numerous "supernatural" biblical statements, beliefs and performances given to us by seemingly "natural" human sources. Scientifically, this simply cannot be. That's tantamount to starting a "fire" with an "ice cube". Unless of course these "supernatural" feats were performed by a being (or beings) that defy our understanding of our *human* limitations. Perhaps...Aliens? This answer has beensought for many decades. Let's take a brief look at this "alien" possibility.

Is it possible that we have been visited by extraterrestrials in possession of a myriad of super powers? Andwas itthese "beings" thatperformed all or most of the supernatural "miracles" attributed to biblical characters? Were/are these beings that we have come to know (or imagine we know) reallyGod(s)? Dr. Frank Drake, an astronomer and Harvard astrophysicist using a series ofphysics equations has attempted to determine the possibility of life on other planets. (And thus visiting us here). His most famous work on the subject appears here:

*Drakes Equation*

N = R* x fs x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x fL or more easily N = N* fp ne fl fi fc fL

Don't worry; I won't bore you by interpreting these equations step by step. For the purpose of this article and brevity suffice it to say this workattempts to show the possibility (however remote) of our having had or are now having "visitors" from other planets. Dr. Drakes (and others) mathematical formulations find that it is empirically possible that upwards ofabout 150 civilizations may exist somewhere inthe galaxy. Dr. Drake further speculates that at least 10,000 civilizations may in fact exist in our Milky Way alone. The late Carl Sagan raised the estimate to one million! However, these and others calculations also show that such civilizations would have more than 2000 light years separating each of them from us (and possibly each other). That's about 12,000 trillion miles. According to experts, from the time we started sending out radio signals to "unknown" destinations in ernestaround 1960and daily "radio leaks" to the atmosphere, it may still take another 1900 years for them to receive our first "We are here" transmission. Another major hurdle alien forms would encounter in our galaxy would be traveling at speeds at or near the speed of light. (In order to cover the vast distances between us and them). Running into particles no larger than a grain of sand at that speed would punch major holes in any spacecraft. And collisions with particles of only a few grams would release enough energy to cause a "nuclear" type of explosion. The Doppler effect of the blue shift of visible light at those speeds would shift the light all the way to gamma and X-ray wavelength's with devastating radiation results on any thinking, breathing, particulatebeings. And a continual lack of gravity would eventually kill all people or people type organisms in less than two years. These are only a few of the many adverse, deadly effects that I could list. But, if some civilization has intellect so superior to ours that they have learned to somehow bypass these laws of physics, chemistry, biology and three dimension perception, all bets are off.

Now don't get me wrong, I know the Bible is full of scripture that can easily be interpreted by some as referring to "alien" life forms, but as a scientist, I look at these interpretations with a "jaundiced eye". When I was a youngster, we had a "Werewolf" scare in our neighborhood. Before long, every kid (and some adults) on the block thought they had seen, heard, or been chased home by the "Werewolf". And we believed he was real. And he was real not only in the imaginations of us kids but alsotothose adult's that were predisposed to believe in such supernatural things. Some of these "believing" grown people have an increased almost "spiritual need" for extra guidance and structure throughout their lives, and continually seek it. Often through religion, friendships, and even marriage. Unfortunately, some of these people are suffering from a form of suggestive "delusions". I've been told by Psychologists that we are not all the intricate, diversified, complicated and intuitive people that we may think we are. I've said before that the late Dr. B.F. Skinner (Psychiatrist) has said that we as Homo Sapiens simply operate our daily lives on a "reward and punishment" system.

The American Psychiatric Association defines this delusionary conditionas a "fixed belief that is false, fanciful, or derived as a result of deception". It further states that thiscan become pathological when the ‘belief" is based on several other factors, one of which is "stupidity". Many fundamentalist Christians (and others)who are inordinately vociferous and unreasonable in their adherence to unusual dangerous beliefs or dogma, (e.g. kissing rattlesnakes, drinking poison etc.) may have this problem.If these types ofindividuals were born into other religions in other parts of the world they would most likely be among the pathological "Suicide Bombers of todayand Kamikaze Pilots of the past".This really isn't rocket science, these people have a psychological problem, but you'll never convince them of that. (Until they've been "bitten" by the snake that is).

So if God isn't an alien, (and that still hasnot been determined) then *Who Is He?* What is He? Is He a Hindu, aJew, a Buddhist, a Christian, aMuslim,or perhaps a Sikh? No!.... Then why are we? And again:"Who told us to read the Bible?" These are perplexing questions. Jesus didn't. He never read the Bible. There is no record in the Bible where any prophet or messenger in scripture tells us that God told him to tell us to read it. There are just individual scriptures that tell us that it offers sound advice and structure to those who read it. If one foundtwo books in the woods and one of them was the Bible and the other was the phone book there is absolutely no mandate to choose one over the other. History tells us that The Church told us to readthe Bible.But the Church is not God.And neither is some overzealous, gyrating, tap dancingpreacher.

The Vatican and many other religious world libraries are filled with writings, histories and testaments designed to help us understand these very questions, but without ever answering them. Why? The truth is they only know parts of what appears to be some kind of great "mystery or puzzle". So why are we continually "praising, singing, ranting, raving, performing various rituals and continually killing each other in His name as though we "know something" we don't? It's this simple:

*The majority of Human Beings Are Afraidto Die!*

Most of those that aren'tare afraid of an "eternal meaninglessdeath"or ofthe unknown.God is the only Being/Spirit/Entity that can somehow either keep this from happening or "make it all better" when it does. Case closed. No one or nothingelse can compete with that promise.God is so ingrained into our psyche that even the atheist when he accidently hurts himselfmay say "Jesus!" or "Oh My God" and often later "hedges his bets" by claiming to be an "agnostic". Death-bed conversions from atheists and agnostics are common and on the rise. It seems that most of us havewhat is called a"Father Complex". That is an innate need to be led, directed, punished and protected from the evils of some unseen enemy. (The Devil?) Non belief is a luxury, usuallyshared by those who are not yet introuble and thisis always subject to change. Also, people who believe in God tend to live a lot longer than those of us who don't. This is another rather "concrete" reason for thebelief system search. Thesix "Great" religions of the world (I have added "Sikhism" because I think it has earned its place among them)all have different or noname for the *One True God*.And since, (if you are a believer) there is only one Godover everyone in the world, let's combine the names and languages that we have for Him. Using the first letter of the name of the God ofthese "Great" religions. Starting with themaccording to the age of the religion and not itspopularity orworld membership numbers: Hinduism: *Brahman*.Judaism: *Yahweh/YHVH*, Buddhism: *-* (No God nameDesignation), Judeo/Christian: *Jehovah/Jesus/Holy Spirit*, Islam: *Allah*. Sikhism: *-* (No God name designation). Subsequently, thiscan be*One* international namefor Godthat wouldgenerate no competitive and opposing feelings. Everyone could usethis namein their own language. This would be especially useful when having inter-faith discussions and relationships.This namewhich gives the utmost respect for all people could be written as*BY-JSA*. Remember, it is the solemn prayerfulresolve and historyofthe followers ofthesesixGreatFaiths that would make allcomponents, all thoughts, and lettersof the name one and the same,totallyequal and *Holy*.(Similar to: *Disambiguation*)

*Religion**Name for God**Language**Age* (Yrs.)

Judeo/ChristianJehovah/Jesus/Spirit (JJS) (Use one "J" for both)Hebrew/English3,500
SikhismNone, Symbol (-)(-)500
Universal Nameof God*BY-JSA*Pronounced: (BYE-JESS-A)All InclusiveEternal

(There are many other notable world religions and many of them "evolved" in some way from these six).

So is this Holy God an Alien? Well, any Being or Force with the unlimited omnipotent powers attributed to Him must be quite different than any of us who "sprang" forth entirely from this planet. Such a Being or Force who is also known to some by hundreds of names including "Lord of The Worlds" (Quran 7:54) And "He will be seen coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:30) must be both from *somewhere else* as well as from here. So the way I see it, that answer must definitely be in the affirmative. Agree?

And so it is, God has always been here to stay for most of us. As long as people have unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. As long as they have husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, lovers, and children. As long as love outlives death and it always will, then Brahman, Yahweh/YHVH, Buddha, Jesus, Allah, and Ik Onkar will live in our hearts not only as our God, but as part of our very soul. And He will always love, protect, and not only save us, but our loved ones as well. He assures many of us through his scriptures that we will see and love our deceased relatives again. Whether you are an atheist, an agnostic, or a believer, love my friend is supernatural in that it has absolutely no boundaries and it always survives physical death. *Where Is God?* In my view, that's a question that no one should be able to answer for anyone else. Once you are comfortable (as much as one can be) with your answer, if you can find an organized religion that best satisfies your needs without causing unmanageable problems then you are miles ahead of the "pack". But this should always be your decision, and not someone else's. If you must grow a beard, cross your eyes, sit on top of a mountain somewhere with a dish rag on your head and freeze, you'd better reconsider your choice. *Where Is God?* Don't be fooled. Other than in our hearts, I don't know, and neither does anyone else. If you are a confirmed atheist then obviously this subject does not apply to you. But if you're not, (like most of us) then no matter who you are, what race, color, or creed, and no matter where you live or what language you speak, *BY-JSA* be with you. Amen. Stay well.

From *Thanatopsis*

"So live, that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan, that moves to the pale realms of shade, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death. Go not as the quarry slave at night scourged to his dungeon. But sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave as one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams".

By William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

All The Best,

- Henri W. Tartt

Henri W. Tartt

Supervising Chemist &

Chief of Microbiology

City of Cleveland, Ohio (Retired)


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