This video is the traditional modern Mormon (Christian) interpretation of the nature of God, as presented by the LDS Church:
Below are some of my differences in interpretation of God’s nature from that traditional narrative:
God is not a “He.” God is not exclusively male, but rather includes all genders, and is no particular gender.
God is not necessarily an “existent” being, but rather in existent beings, as the foundation and source of being itself, that which manifests beings, that law which brings beings into being, that force or energy which causes things to be. As Paul, “for in [God] we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
God is not the literal “Father” of all spirits, but rather is the mystical Source of all energy, all matter, all being, the fundamental essence of all people, that which manifests all things, and thus gives “birth” to them metaphorically, symbolically, mystically. God is all Spirit(s).
Our understanding of God should not merely come from scriptural or human authorities, but from first-hand experience of God, direct communion in God, mystical at-one-ment in our own consciousness. As Moses said, “I wish that ALL the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29)
God creating humanity “in his own image” does not literally mean that God is a human being, but rather that God unfolded its Self as human beings, and all other life forms, and things. This is why all things, both humans and all other things in creation, have a divine nature. God put its own Self in them, incarnating the divine Self in them. These are Beloved of God, because they are One in God. God never left them or became separate from them, but is still found in them, as Jesus prayed we would realize (John 17:20-23), and as Paul emphasized (Romans 8:38-39).
God’s “body of flesh and bone” is not a dualistic separate physical body, but rather our own bodies, these bodies of ours. God incarnated its Self as us, and all things.
God’s “voice” is not literally audible sound waves that we hear with our ears, but rather deep insights in consciousness, which arise seemingly outside of our egoic “self.” They are intuitions, direct perceptions, experiential knowings in our mind and heart.
God’s “ears” are not literally two fleshy ears that hear the sound waves that our vocal cords produce, but rather the interplay of the thoughts deep in our minds with that deeper divine consciousness outside of ego. God may also hear us through the loving ears of others who are in-tune with the divine, with the Spirit, and are compelled to act on our behalf.
God’s perfected “body” that will never decay or die is the body of Life itself, that “body” that continually manifests all beings in the cosmos, that “Body of Christ” of which each and every being is a part.
God has “all knowledge and all power,” because God includes all knowledge and all power within its Self. Anything that pertains to truth and reality belongs to God, is part of God, makes up God. But human knowledge is not God’s knowledge, for God’s knowledge is not relative but absolute.
God’s goal is for us to find happiness within ourselves, because God is within us. We find eternal life with God when we find God living in us, as Paul (Acts 17:28; Gal. 2:20). When we discover that eternal element within us, that energy which can never be created or destroyed, that Love that rests deep in our heart, then we have found our eternal Life in God.
God the “Father” is not a separate and distinct being from his son, Jesus (or from us), for as Jesus said, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me” (John 14:11), and he prayed that we would also come to know this (John 17:20-23).
God incarnates its Self as the “Son,” as all material beings. We too can at-one with the “Father” as Jesus did, realizing this at-one-ment in ourselves, and return to the “Father’s” presence in heaven even here and now. We follow Jesus by doing what he did, in sacrificing this egoic “self” to know the One in us and all people. We may know this union too.
The “Holy Ghost” is not a separate and distinct being from the “Father” or the “Son,” but is One in them as well. This is the immaterial energy which flows from the source of the cosmos into materiality and back again, which gives form to all things, which gives life to all creatures, which is that immaterial awareness or consciousness within us all, and that which binds all things together as One undifferentiated Whole.
We do receive a body of flesh and bone in this life, which is the very incarnation of God the “Father,” which manifests its Self as the “Son” in us. Here we are to come to know our true Self, our divine Self in God, in this Ultimate Reality, as One in God/Reality. We may pursue spiritual practices such as contemplative prayer or meditation to eventually come into this awakened realization of our oneness in God/Reality here and now. We don’t “become” like God, but realize God in us, right now, and always. We awaken to our inherent eternal divine nature in Reality.
It’s true we cannot do this on our own, because our finite body-minds are imperfect, are mortal, our egos think they are separate from God, and our egos are quite impotent to realize divine nature. The ego is not God, but rather God in us is God, the original Self prior to ego, which transcends the “self.” When the ego-self falls away from consciousness, God is known as our true Self in an outpouring of undeserved and unearned Grace. The ego doesn’t “do” this, but rather steps out of the way so that it may be done, so that this Light may be known shining in our center.
God provided a “Savior” for us within our own selves, our own true Self, the “Christ” within each and all, the consciousness and life which is the foundation of our own being in the world, as Paul discovered (Gal. 2:20). When we realize this at-one-ment, we too are “resurrected” to the knowledge of our divine eternal nature and being in God. And if we don’t realize it, our ego falls away anyway at death, and we are once again in God.
We “repent” and are forgiven of our “sins” when the ego surrenders itself, and the “self” falls away from consciousness, and the mind is transfigured, as in mystical experience. That is where we realize we are living in the Presence of God, even here and now. This Life is God’s Presence. We are living God’s Life now. This Life is our heavenly home, before our egos were born into our consciousness in childhood.
We realize our immortality and eternal life when we awaken to that which is in us that cannot be created or destroyed, which was never born and thus will never die, and that our true Self is not the ego, and not even the finite body-mind, but God its Self, Reality its Self, Life its Self, Love its Self, which has arisen temporarily in each of our particular body-minds.
What are your thoughts about this reinterpretation? Please share in the comments below or on Facebook.
7 thoughts on “A Mystical Reinterpretation of the Mormon (Christian) view of the Nature of God”
I have wondered if there were mystic Mormons.
I understand this Life as you do…….
There’s an Eastern saying Thou Art That…. that captures the essence of this thinking….
We are The Logos ……Everything proceeds out from us……I’ve linked this to an LDS friend, Treshua Tomeny…..I’m sure he will be contacting you
Hi Ed! Yes, I am a former member of the LDS Church, and am now a universalist, but I still resonate with many of the deeper mystical ideas in Mormonism and Christianity.
I agree, “Thou Art That” (Tat Tvam Asi). We are the Self of the cosmos, of the Source, of the essence which underlies all things, from which all things are created. That is our “true Self.” That is our Divine nature. The Word (Logos) has become flesh, in us all.
Thanks for sharing this with Treyeshua.
My thoughts on your reinterpretation of the LDS view of deity is; to be succinct, brilliant. Again, I want the express how much joy I have found in reading about your experience of distancing yourself from the standard LDS cosmology. Your insights have been guiding my own steps away from my long held beliefs in church doctrine and deeper into my own mystical experience of Oneness and the loosening of my ego’s grip on my perception of a universe of duality. Robb
Hi Robb! Thank you for your kind comments. I am happy it resonates with you. I think we have a lot of work to do in reinterpreting LDS cosmology and divinity in the light of modern mystical experience. I think we will find that this reinterpretation is both new and old; it does not do away with the old views, but sees them in new light. It translates the same ancient perennial wisdom in more modern universalist and interspiritual language, both East and West, and embraces the truth in both.
From my experience, God is a internal atitutude towards life and existance, in accord with Jesus saying that ‘the kingdom of God is withing us’. It is the right side of our being. ‘do not let your left know what your right is doing’. Jesus was assended to the right side of the Father. Or rather, Jesus assended though his right side. I see the Father as the crystallization of the right side (love, compassion, modesty, etc). As Gurdjieff put it, ‘There is a cosmic love which flows through us, which when cristalizzed becomes the most powerful thing in the world.’
It may well be that there is an external God being, that is, a being which found this internal attitude or interior master and cristalized it.
All beings have the same nature, the difference is what each one of us is doing.
Congratulations Bryce. That is an excellent reinterpretation of God, the holy One in All and All in the wholly One. Three quotations of Christian mystics (each considered a heretic during their lives):
“To gauge the soul we must gauge it with God, for the Ground of God and the Ground of the soul are one and the same.” Meister Eckhart
“Eternally, all creatures are God in God. So far as they are in God, they are the same life, same essence, same power, same One, and nothing less.” Henry Suso
“The soul lives by that which it loves rather than in the body which it animates. For it has not its life in the body, but rather gives it to the body and lives in that which it loves.” St. John of the Cross
This is amazing! It’s interesting bc everything you mentioned in the article is what you learn from researching Near Death Experiences,After Death Communications, Pre death visions, and more. I studied this research for several years and actually went back and studied numerous religious texts. I eventually got to a point where I saw the truth in all the faiths that I’ve studied. It all matches the modern day research as well as the various texts. It literally blew my mind!