Jul 8 3 Comments

Explaining God and understanding falling in love

I could look at the sunset and marvel at the beauty, or I could just say: There is a chemical reaction in the sky that is causing this to happen.

I could look at the sunset and marvel at the beauty, or I could just say: There is a chemical reaction in the sky that is causing this to happen.

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious, said Albert Einstein. I agree with him. 

Its a little sad that we are able to explain everything, dissect everything, take everything apart until what you are left with is an atom, and even an atom has many parts that we can explain.

Some people try to explain falling in love.

falling in love

Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved when we fall in love; adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. The chemical dopamine triggers an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine. But how sad is it to think that the person whose presence makes your heart beat faster, whose name you like to repeat to yourself over and over, and whose face you see when you close your eyes, is just causing a chemical reaction in your brain? The person you have fallen in love with doesn’t always pop into your head because he is great, no, he pops into your head because of the high levels of serotonin therein. The scientists are probably right, but the mystery of love has been removed, and, like Einstein, I say: If he can no longer feel amazement, he is as good as dead.

Others try to explain religious experiences. The other day Steve and I had a conversation where we tried to understand and explain God. Need I say that we failed?

The Bible is so full of contradictions, and strange stories. Many of the stories cannot be verified. Others can, and they don’t make you proud to be a follower of the God of Israel. The more we understand the world, and everything in it, the less important God seems to become. Thunder is no longer God getting angry, but a loud rumbling or crashing noise heard after a lightning flash due to the expansion of rapidly heated air. The more we analyze history, the less likely some of the stories in the Old Testament are. The better we understand math and baking, the less believable the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand is. If we try really hard, we can explain everything rationally and we will be left with: A cute story book called the Bible. A story book not much more relevant to our lives than One Thousand and One Night.

icecold beauty

I thought about this, and it made me feel small. Who am I, trying to explain and understand God? I can’t even understand how the internet works. Who are we, the world, who are trying to take control of the planet and rule it the way we think is right? The writing is on the wall: We suck at it. Who are we who think we can explain away all mystery and all wonders with formulas, numbers and scientific research? Perhaps we can explain falling in love as a chemical reaction. We can explain the feeling of oneness one can feel with that other person, and the closeness one can feel with a group of people we are totally comfortable with. We can explain the sense of awe when watching a sunset, and why we suddenly are filled with a sense of incredible joy. But, I say, lets keep it a mystery and be better people because of it. When we lose the sense of mystery, says Einstein, we are like a snuffed-out candle.


  • stevegumaer says:

    You are awesome and goodnight.

  • Bill Gray says:

    You really do write well, Oddny! Thank you.
    You and Steve are a clear example of something that cannot by any stretch of the imagination be reduced to biology and chemistry! What you have done, and also Ole Jørgen Edna (Blessed Homes) and Erlend Johannesen (Streetlight), can only be explained by accepting the apparently illogical and seemingly irrational response to what LOVE has done in your hearts. And that is surely what the Bible does show in both the difficult (Old) and easier (New) Testaments! Continue to have a happy and blessed summer as a family, wherever in this wonderful but mixed up and injured world you are!

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Bill. We will continue to show love the way we know how to, just like you and Jean do. Hope to see you soon.