The Ordinary Supernatural
By definition, ‘Supernatural’ is something that is ‘not natural’ – something that is not a part of nature. When we skeptically think of the supernatural, concepts such as God usually come to mind – things that, if they are to be believed at all, must be taken ‘on faith’ because we cannot test, touch or otherwise empirically ‘prove’ their existence or qualities. And because we by definition cannot empirically prove it, many conclude that the Supernatural does not exist – but is this a premature conclusion? Is it possible to ‘know’ that the Supernatural does indeed exist? Is it possible that the ‘Supernatural’ is right in front of our eyes every day? I believe it is – in fact I believe that all of nature itself is based upon the existence of the Supernatural.
Why? Because everything ‘natural and evidential’ breaks down eventually into something that is not explainable by natural causes. Everything! Let me give you an example. A few years ago I was explaining to my youngest daughter how the light in the living room works. I had watched her grow in her discovery of knowledge, and finally one day on her own she equated the bright light in the middle of the ceiling with a properly positioned switch on the wall. For about a year, that switch was all she needed to ‘know’ about light – this knowledge took care of her need for shedding light in the room and that’s all she needed to know. She clearly had incomplete knowledge – but it was sufficient for her to get about her life everyday.
To the electrician who understands the nature of electricity she must seem youthfully naïve when he hears her confident explanation of the functionality of light. But then even the electrician’s knowledge – which sustains his livelihood with his level of knowledge of electricity, is incomplete when compared to the nuclear power plant engineers and then the quantum physicist. But the quantum physicist lives at the base of electrical knowledge, and even he must admit that he cannot explain fully what or why. For example, in quantum mechanics a photon appears to have properties of both a particle and a wave– but how can that be? He doesn’t know – but he knows enough about the results of what happens to be able to design nuclear power plants and light switches with confidence. We can know what happens, but we don’t know why…
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