When we speak of God, are we speaking of the same thing? Can there be ‘good’ without God? Is God a manifestation, a projection of the goodness and creativity in our world or the source of it? I do believe in something I call God, and I know (s)he isn’t some old bearded guy in the sky. Yet I still struggle with just what this is, particularly given all the horrid things that happen in the world.
I have not published a blog entry for a while. I have been wondering where this writing is heading. I write about thoughts, feelings, struggles, beliefs and questions. Often when I examine interesting concepts or perspectives I sort of try them on, like a new pair of shoes. How well do they fit? Do they look good? I need to walk for a while in the ones that seem attractive to get a feel for them. Some just don’t fit, some may work out in time, and then there are those that seem to be right from the beginning. So what about God?
As of now, I see three options regarding God:
1) God exists. God is defined as omnipotent, omnipresent, compassionate and good by most, although also judgmental by many. (A god who is indifferent is irrelevant.)
2) God does not exist (Except in our imagination, perhaps as a projected part of ourselves.)
3) God is a work-in-progress. Rather than a fixed existence, even God evolves over time.
The first principal of Unity is “There is only One Presence and One Power active in the universe and in my life: God, the Good, Omnipotent.” * So is God short for good? One can believe in Good without believing in God. A lot can be explored from this presumption, including an inherent right/ belief in prosperity and wholeness.
Yet, as the saying goes, “Shit Happens.” ‘When shit happens, make compost of it’ sounds good. Suffering can lead to learning and growth. But what about the really terrible things? Yes, people can find deepened wisdom from their own and others’ suffering. Yet there are too many examples of extreme suffering, the Holocaust, child abuse, animals tearing apart one another for food or instinct to hunt. It is difficult to imagine these as a manifestation of an omnipotent, omnipresent compassionate God-the-Good.
The existence of such horrors can support the view of no-God, but also God as a work-in-progress. This suggests that God is also developing as we sentient beings develop our own consciousness. Primitive life, which can be vicious as the early gods men worshiped, was the product of early development. It becomes refined as we become more conscious. Yet does this really explain, in this day and age where many are more conscious, that we still have such large scale human on human abuse and destruction?
Seeking the Good and acknowledging it seems to me to be the better, higher path people can take regardless of how one answers questions of God. We act and react in ways that co-create the world we experience. We need the commitment to find the growth, compassion and good that can come out of all life circumstances, especially the more difficult ones. I find that life works and feels better the more I do this.
Seeking the good from bad situations does not justifying the terrible things that happen. It allows us to rise above them, to not to get caught in the dark events, or the thoughts and feelings they generate. It is refusing to be dragged down to the dark side, Darth Vader! I am reminded of the image of religious Jews dancing on their way into being gassed by Hitler’s minions. They were declaring the light in the pit of darkness. And they are not the only ones.
Each of us have day to day opportunities to do likewise, even if not in such extreme circumstances. Einstein is quoted as saying we each have a fundamental choice to make: “Do you live in a friendly or hostile world.” This choice seems to me what makes for a spiritual life or not, more than following any set of religious rules.
So, do I believe in God? The short answer is yes. God does exist for me, something both an essential part of me, and something beyond myself as well. And that is material for future posts.