[Mid-Month Meditation/De Natura Deorum] “What is a God?” by Jason Silva

Editor’s note: This month, we are combining our De Natura Deorum column with the Mid-Month Meditation. De Natura Deorum is a monthly column where we explore the beliefs of Naturalistic Pagans about the nature of deity. This month, we celebrate of the winter solstice and the return of the Sun from its apparent “descent” toward the southern hemisphere.  In recognition of this astrological events and the symbolism of the winter solstice, HP offers this video by performance philosopher, Jason Silva, which proposes that the Sun is the closest thing we have to a god.

We encourage our readers to use these Mid-Month Meditations as an opportunity to take a short break from everything else. Rather than treating these posts the way you would any other post, set aside 10 minutes someplace quiet and semi-private to have an experience. Take a minute to relax first. After listening to the recording and/or reading the lyrics, take a few minutes to let the experience sink in. If it feels right, leave a comment.

The text can be found below.

What is a god? What is it to think of something sacred and larger than us, and infinite and boundless? Human history seems to be suffused with this inclination towards a sense of the divine. We want to believe that there is something more.

We’ve wanted to connect with this higher power, with this belief that there is something greater than ourselves, something that exceeds our capacities to understand. And we see gods everywhere. Myths and metaphors, old gods, new gods, vengeful gods, they rise and fall with the ebb and flow of all civilization.

For ages, humankind, we’ve wanted to celebrate what brings us life. What is this thing that allowed us to emerge. …

The Sun. The Star.

That right there is the source of all of our myths and allegories and hopes and dreams. It gave life to the world; gave birth to life.

Its core burns at ten million degrees and it consumes millions of tons of matter per second – we ourselves are made of remnants of its fallen siblings.

The preconditions for our humanness, that, certainly, is what god is right? ‘Let there be light!’

It is larger than a million earths, can blind you from millions of miles away, has reigned for billions of years and will thrive for billions more.

… I think that is kind of fascinating.

The Author/Performer

Jason Silva is a television personality, filmmaker, and performance philosopher. He is an active and prolific speaker.  At TEDGlobal in June 2012, SIlva premiered the video “Radical Openness”. In September 2012, he appeared at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, where he presented a speech entitled “We Are The Gods Now.”  In May 2013, Silva started a YouTube channel on the TestTube Network called “Shots of Awe”, wherein he uploads short, inspirational videos that explore topics such as the emergence of life, the evolution of intelligence, and the advancement of technology.  He has been described as a “Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age”.

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