As a rational physicist very much of the persuasion of Einstein, I take the injunction of saying the Name of God seriously so that in Einstein's words Jehovah's only excuse for all the bad in the world is his non-existence. But Einstein said that he had great respect for "The Old One" . . .
So what is the old one? That which gives life, represented by the breath of life, the sound of which unenunciated is described by the name Yahowah, YahWey and thus Jehovah but not said.
The breath of life . . . is a process rather than a name and the Creator might be a process that happens, that we can recognise, that we can emulate, rather than a person.
So where does this leave the Holy Spirit? The idea of God which for many is brought to life in personification and "who" can do things unseen?
Elsewhere I've written about the consciousness of matter, of the interconnexion and consciousness of decisions on a macro scale, and our interaction with them on a personal level leading to a view of a perspective of us visible as boats on an invisible sea, the Sea of Circumstances.
Perhaps whatever we might believe it's merely a different perspective of different descriptions of the same thing in the spirit of Nietzche's observation that "Since all language is figural, it is incapable of expressing literal truth."
So however we might describe the experience of the unseen hand of God, we might all have stories to tell.
In a faithless age and one in which all that anyone cares about is "What's in it for me?" this faith and knowing perhaps is one of the most important drivers of direction in our lives and one in which Churches and organs might be seen to be more important than commonly considered nowadays.
A few weeks ago I went to France on a mission.
My Dad was to go there for a holiday and, he being aged and lonely, I'd organised 6 months ago for a lady I'd met at church in Cannes to take him out on a trip during his stay. I'd been there a number of times since but hadn't met or recognised the lady and I'd lost her contact details. So I really wondered how I was going to tie the purpose of this trip together to succeed in doing things for my Dad. . . .
But I needn't have worried. . . . I went to Church on the Sunday before my Dad arrived . . . and walked into Church after a cycle ride arriving late. And as soon as I opened the door inside . . . at the door to greet me was the lady I needed to see saying "Hello. How's your Dad?"
So all was well, on the basis of my not having seen the lady at all in the visits in previous months, significantly against the tide of probability of this happening as an event at random.
At the end of the trip I arrived at the airport and was irritated and significantly distracted by a fingernail I'd caught on something with a torn section about to tear further into the quick if not cut. Of course travelling with hand luggage I had no scissors. There was no opportunity to cut the offending fragment of nail. I went through security cursing modern times knowing that I wouldn't be able to buy a pair of scissors on airside after security.
So I walked the distance through the airport past shops selling alchohol, expensive cheese and Rolex watches, none being as useful to me as a pair of scissors still cursing modern times, wondering how on earth I was going to manage toleration of this physical irritation and wishing that things were different. I can't say I was praying as I knew that it would be impossible to find a pair of scissors airside and that to pray for it would be too much to ask. And whilst wandering past the duty free shops on one side past the refreshment bars on the other, there before my eyes was a lady having set up a nail bar.
The problem had been solved.
The nail bar has never in my experience passing through the airport many times been there before, nor since.
All of us have such stories to tell.
The consciousness of circumstances, the hand of the unseen, the description of the physical world that we call God that behaves as Our Father . . . the Holy Spirit. What is the spirit? An idea, a description communicated, and yet something more that moves circumstances beyond the possibilities of our imagination.
The perspective offered by the Church is a valid description of the real world without which the real apparent world is incomplete.