God Once Again (And not likely not the last)

There is one God the good, all power—omnipotence, everywhere present—omnipresence, and all knowing—omniscience. This is the first of the five basic principles of Unity, from which the others flow. And this declaration is also the basic apparent contradiction that makes most people, believers and not, doubt. For if all is God, and God is Good, we have to stretch our reasoning into variations of a pretzel to explain all the pain, suffering and evil in the world.

I cannot enumerate let alone explain all the rationalizations that folks come up with to work around this issue. The main one usually comes down to there being a force for Bad that somehow exists in opposition to the Good, even though the Good still is all powerful. Frankly, while I am glad that some find comfort in such reasoning, I do not.

Unity Metaphysics, as I understand it, primarily views bible passages as metaphors for states of mind and spirit. Whether or not people believe in the Bible (the Christian Bible inclusive of the Hebrew Bible) in a more literal sense, the Fillmores (Unity’s founders) used the passages to better understand how we develop our awareness of God and Being and Self, a more practical approach to spirituality. Their teaching and healing practices incorporated much from there.

So how do I believe in God if I see the reasoning for God as mostly rationalization? I do so because I have sensed God all my life, at various times, in various ways that have little to do with either mental reasoning or physical perceptions. In practicing Buddhist meditation, I was able to sidestep the question of God while learning to experience life more directly. In exploring Unity and it’s teachings, I finally was able to accept God as I experienced It, rather than through others definitions.

Religious writings and teachings describe God and It’s teachings based on other people’s understanding carried forward over centuries. The writers built upon what was written before. To see and call such works the literal word of God is idolatry at core. Good teachers and teachings can help you find God, but you yourself have to experience the Divine or at best, all you have is an idea of God.

As for the conflict between God being all Good, and the suffering and evil in the world, that is the core ongoing struggle. We all need to own both the goodness and badness or confusion within us if we are to have a chance in understanding the bigger picture. Societies also need to do so if we are ever to have real peace.

I get glimpses of a deeper answer at times. It reassures me. The more I choose to find ways to turn myself and others away from acting on fear and doing harm—regardless of reasoning—the more God becomes real in my life. Choosing to be compassionate and loving, respecting others’ struggles while not doing harm, nor abetting harm done by others is the best I have come up with so far.

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This entry was posted in Buddhism, Compassion, God, Love, Religion, Spirituality, suffering, Uncategorized, Unity. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to God Once Again (And not likely not the last)

  1. S.C. Tanner says:

    Experience is a very personal thing in matters of Spirit. It is not as easy to share as doctrine; the two are very different. I really like what you wrote here, Dave.

  2. Jim Gordon says:

    To me, God is conciousness, both changing (as the universe) and unchanging (as the blissful ground of all being). There is no possibility of “evil” in the unchanging, blissful essence of God; what we call “evil” is simply impermanence, the aspect of God that is constantly changing, like waves on the surface of an ocean that is calm in its depths. ” Spirituality” is accessing the unchanging, blissful essence of God, and finding how the changing aspect depends eternally upon God’s unchanging essence.

  3. Jim Gordon says:

    Dave,
    If “evil” is impermanence, that should resolve your dilemma about why an omnipotent God would create “evil.” Anything God could create would have to involve change and impermanence,
    otherwise God would be creating a changeless clone of Him/Herself!

    • Dave Cooperberg says:

      Obviously different people define “evil” somewhat differently. Not so sure I would define “evil” as impermanence. Actually I think of “evil” as involving intentional doing of harm, enjoying and expanding the suffering of others. Impermanence is. Simple as that, at least in the relative world.

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