Discussions with a couple of friends have inspired me to write this post.
The question of God seems to bring about a lot of controversy these days. People who strongly believe in God are dubbed conservatives, and in some cases, prudes. Others proudly proclaim that they do not believe in God as "the concept is not based on logic and requires blind faith". Then there is the question of religion, with every person claiming that his religion is the only "true" religion (eastern religions are an exception here).
When we speak of God, the image created in most people's minds is of some wise person who sits outside this entire universe and controls it, right from creation to destruction. This, however, is not the way God is described in all religions. The above concept of God certainly seems contradictory to logic, and with every passing day, science is a step closer to actually proving that such a God cannot exist. The proponents of this image of God would have us believe that science is a creation of the devil to lead us astray. I will not argue with them on their beliefs. My purpose in this post is to present an image of God that is in tune with the beliefs of eastern religions. An image that will appeal to logic.
Now, I claim that I am a Hindu and I feel strongly about it. So if you feel any bias in this post, it is probably true.
Hinduism claims that this universe is a hologram (hence the name of this blog). A hologram is something that has a unique property. Each and every part of the hologram contains the same information as the entire hologram itself. If you break a hologram into a thousand pieces, each piece has the same information as the whole. Quantum mechanics, as a result of Bell's theorem, confirms the fact that the universe is a hologram. What this means is that every point in this universe is the same as every other point. Now, this in itself is an astonishing property. What is more so, is that Hinduism, which is over thousands of years old, claims the same thing.
Thus, clearly, there is some form of consciousness that is present all over the universe. This is the only thing that exists throughout the universe. This consciousness is what Hinduism calls God. God is present in everything, and we are all one. (This is not quite the same thing as saying that I am God!)
The question arises - if everything is the same as everything else, why do we see the universe as a collection of different objects? The answer to that is that we see the universe in only three dimensions. The actual universe is present in a much higher dimension (11, 24 or infinite, according to various theories), and we only see a projection in lower dimensions. This is something like a picture, which is a projection of the 3D world into a 2D image. It is in the higher dimensional universe that all points are the same as every other. It is the projection that makes us see the universe as different.
Further, Hinduism claims that the entire universe is only an illusion that has been created by your mind (Hinduism is not alone in this, Buddhism claims the same thing). The absolute reality is, in fact, unchanging. This reality is called Brahman. The universe that we see is only a manifestation of Brahman. Brahman (not to be confused with Brahma) is also known as Nirguna Brahman - without any personal attributes - and is without beginning or end. It is indescribable, omniscient, transcendent, incorporeal and the absolute infinite existance. In other words, it is absolute "nothingness". Imagine that the universe did not exist. Imagine that nothing exists at all. This state is called Brahman, and this is the God that Hinduism worships.
The different Gods that we see in Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are just symbolic representations to present God in a more tangible form. All the Gods that are described are just aspects of a single God, Shiva-Shakti, which is the Saguna Brahman, or God with personal attributes.
Now these are extremely deep (and fascinating!) philosophical ideas. Understanding the concept of Brahman is supposed to be the ultimate aim of a human. It is called attaining Moksha (Nirvana in Buddhism). In Hindu philosphy, the ideas of the universe being a hologram and truth of the unchanging reality are interchangable ideas. Each implies the other. If the unchanging reality is the truth, why would the manifested universe be different at different points? If every point is the same as every other, the single point is everything in the universe, which is the same as saying that it is nothing. I do not pretend that I understand these ideas fully, but I personally think that they are not far from the truth.