Is God Personal? A Mystical View

Many think God is a personal God, even a person. I suggest there is truth in that, but perhaps not as we usually think.

I first posted this on Facebook, and several people said they really liked it, so I thought it would also be good to post here. You may follow me on Facebook for more daily thoughts and discussion.

I think many religious people, especially Christians, want God to be a personal God, someone in human form, who they could talk to, shake hands with, hug, relate to, who could relate to them, etc. There is a deep desire for God to be generally the same as we are, so that God could succor us, comfort us, answer our prayers, give us meaning.

The bad news is that I don’t think God is ultimately a being in human form. God’s essence transcends all such forms, humans included. The highest or deepest reality of God is beyond all form, matter, even spacetime, that’s why we say God is “eternal,” timeless, unconditional. It is fundamentally formless, because every form is impermanent and changing. God is unchanging.

The good news πŸ˜‰ is that God is also That which incarnates its Self into each and every form, including humans. God is the ground of being itself, including all beings. God is like the ocean, and we are the waves. We are made up of God. God forms itself into every finite thing, temporarily, including spacetime.

How does the formless become all form? Perhaps the same way all massless entities become all things which have mass. What we call “mass” is not solidity, it is resistance to acceleration. It is a kind of illusion, a mirage in the desert. All things with form seem solid, substantial, self-existent, but they are like waves in the ocean, temporary forms, eddies in the stream, leaves on the tree, taking on the appearance of form, exerting a resistant force when you try to accelerate them (change their direction or speed). But it is all God at bottom, the ocean taking on form as each and every wave.

So is God personal? Well, it depends. While God is not ultimately a person or human, God incarnates as each and every person. Every person you’ve ever met, who has ever lived, was God in human form. Now, they might not know that (most don’t), but that’s what they ultimately are. They may act contrary to their own true nature. They are like a wave that doesn’t know it is made up of ocean. Would it make sense for one wave to attack another wave? No, that would be silly. It would just be the ocean attacking itself. But this is our human nature, our ignorance, our hate, our ego, and it is the veil. Our knowledge of our true deep Self is limited, and is thus a veil.

Occasionally that veil is pierced and we see clearly our true nature, that we are ocean, that we are in all things, that we are That which has become all things and beings, the Source, the Essence, the Ground, the Eternal, the One. We are God. We are not a temporary form, but That which has become ALL forms in all times and places. We are every human, every person, every being, every form. And this radically changes our identity in the world, transfiguring our life and behavior. It’s happened to many people, such as Jesus.

Yes, we each still act from a particular skin-bound body, with particular thoughts and abilities, but in our deepest nature we know what we are. Every person is another incarnation or manifestation of our Divine Self, our true Self, and so we Love them as our Self, as other aspects of our very same Being. Inasmuch as it is done unto the least of these, it is done unto Me. We are the wave that has recognized that it is ocean that makes up my waveform and every other waveform, and that ocean is what we really all are, and so it makes no sense to harm another. We Love our neighbor literally as our Self. And even when the waves crash on the shore, the ocean continues, continually reincarnating or resurrecting its Self into endless forms most beautiful.

So if you want to shake hands with God, hug God, relate to God, like a person, all we need to do is find the nearest person, and go do so. It’s that simple, and it is that beautiful. Really. And the wonder of it is, when we do so, we are also being God to them, comforting them even as we are comforted, mourning with them even as we mourn, loving them even as we are loved. It is God on both ends of the handshake or the hug. Sometimes we call these “angels,” emissaries from God, being God to others, being the ocean to the wave that is crashing.

As a famous poem reads, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Yours. God has incarnated its Self as you and me today, the Word has become our flesh. We are the living Christ. It’s you and me, and even more so when we recognize it, and embody our true nature and identity. It is no “other,” but all others. It is our Self, our true Self, our eternal Self. Pinch yourself and you pinch the flesh of God. God has become us, here and now. Will we awaken to our Christ Self as Jesus did, as Paul did, and countless others did? Will Christ awake and arise, today? Christ already did or you wouldn’t be reading this. Do you know your Self, Christ?

I bow to the Christ in you. Yes, you! πŸ™πŸ»

I live in a gift economy, so I give all of my writing freely to you. I depend on your good will and generosity so that my family and I may live, and so that I may continue to write, share insights, and build community. If you were inspired by this, I invite you to also give, to participate in "the Gift". It only takes a moment. I express my deepest gratitude to you for your Gift! (Transactions are securely processed through Stripe.)
You may also participate in this community and give in other ways: comment on posts, subscribe to email updates, like the Facebook page, follow my personal Facebook profile, ask to join the community's Facebook group, ask me a question, submit a scripture for me to translate, submit a "First Vision" experience, or contact me to talk about something else, or to offer your gifts in another way. I look forward to getting to know you!

6 thoughts on “Is God Personal? A Mystical View

  1. β€œSo if you want to shake hands with God, hug God, relate to God, like a person, all we need to do is find the nearest person, and go do so. It’s that simple, and it is that beautiful. Really.” We are God in human form. It is that simple. So beautifully written, Bryce. Thank you! πŸ™

  2. Thank you Amy..Thank you Bryce…Teilhard de Chardin said: We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience.

    We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.

  3. I mean…. wow! You articulated the question that I guess I hadn’t yet raised to my full consciousness. We speak of God as being “everwhere”, etc. I believe it was CS Lewis who said that God is “supra-personal”. He was talking about the Trinity. At the time, that convinced me that “the Trinity must be true” because God is indeed “a mystery”, and how else can God be both, “personal” and “transcendent”. But what you discuss here, with the ocean metaphor takes the Trinity to the nth power! Rather than oneness in three, you’re talking about oneness in all of creation. And why not? I suppose religionists steer clear of this explanation for fear of us mere mortals letting our egos run away from us and thinking that this means each of us as an individual is a god, which is not at all what you’re saying. Just like no single wave “is” the ocean. So I’m left with the following question: why am I so attached to the idea of God being personal (aka “like me”)? What do I lose if I don’t relate to God “person to person”? What do I gain? I’ll take these thoughts to prayer, thank you!

    1. Hi Karolina! Thanks for your comments. I think we are attached to the idea of God being personal (“like me”) because I think God has incarnated as us, the Word made flesh, just like the ocean forms itself into every wave. While no wave is the ocean, each wave is a manifestation of ocean, a temporal localized form of the ocean. Likewise, we are each and all temporal localized forms of God, and we may relate to each other as simply different appearances of God. Jesus really meant it when he said, “Love your neighbor as your Self.”

Add your thoughts, comments, & questions below