The word “God” can be off-putting to many today.
It seems to be laden with baggage of what many throughout history thought was God but what we have discovered is not probable. The idea of a supernatural deity, often a man with a long white beard, living out in the cosmos somewhere, is simply not possible to many modern minds, with our scientific understandings and knowledge.
And so many have given up on the idea altogether, thinking those who knew God anciently were simply deluded, or crazy, or attributing things beyond human understanding to a supernatural being who must have been their cause. God was a “catch-all” for human ignorance.
But I do think that God and the Divine exists, and is very real. I’ve had experiences of incredible clarity, deeply powerful experiences which I can only describe as Divine. But they have pointed me to God as being something far more than an all-powerful man up in the clouds somewhere.
For me God has become synonymous with Love, Life, Consciousness, Truth, Reality, Cosmos, Heart, Being, Spirit, Light, Energy, Oneness, Non-duality, Nature, Eternal Law, the Absolute, the Ultimate, the Infinite, the Transcendent, the Highest, Existence, the One, the Singularity.
It is not that these qualities emanate from God, but they somehow are God. When the New Testament says that “God is love,” I think it is not talking abstractly about something that God does, that comes from God, or that is a secondary quality of God. It seems to me that fundamentally God is what we experience as love, in ourselves. God is as inextricably identified with love as anything can possibly be. When love is present, there is God. When Love is fully present, God is fully present. The same can be said of all of these words, they are all pointing to what God is, but not one of them fully encapsulates it in our human intellect. It can only be known through direct experience.
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So how did we get the symbol and image of a personal God, a God that speaks, that talks to us, that cares for us, that answers prayers, that is in human form? I think it is because when these qualities manifest themselves in us, in humans, in life, then we know God as being in ourselves. When we fall deeply into love, into a deep love of life, of being, of giving ourselves to others, in being creators in the world, we see God working through us. We can come to perceive God directly within us, in our human hands, in the Life that is being expressed in and through our life.
I think that the great prophets, mystics, and sages of times past came to perceive God in and through themselves, in their consciousness, in the purity of their being, in their own grounded and lived experience of “I AM.” God became known as being human-like because God was perceived within humans, as the purest and most exalted manifestation of what a human is. Human beings were and are the dwelling place of God. Humans were and are the expression of God. God lived in and through humans, and all living beings, and creation itself. People experienced this directly. Those that experienced it and expressed it most fully were anointed as “Gods.”
I have also experienced this. I have perceived this Divinity within, and within all human beings, and all of Life. It is the pure, holy, sacred, real, truest, and most fundamental element of what we are as Life, as Being, as Love. We are the Incarnation of God. God is the Truth of our most basic, simple, pure being and consciousness. God is not so much “out there,” as “in here.” When we see God, it is not as a separate object out there somewhere, but it is God seeing God within ourselves, which also sees God reflected in the Light of all others. We know as we are known, and see as we are seen. God wakes up, and we realize we are God. God sees and knows God through us, through our eyes, through our minds and consciousness. We are the portal through which God manifests and is made known.
What does it mean that God is omnipresent? Perhaps because God is in and through all things, all beings, all of life, including you and me. Omniscient? Perhaps because God knows reality as it is because God is in all things, in all beings, and is the foundation of those beings, including you and me. Omnipotent? God is the creative force of the universe, the energy which brings things together in an infinite and diverse array of forms as we can see all around us, and we are part of that process of bringing things together, in building, in creating, in securing, in joining, in making, in knowing, in loving.
I don’t know if “God” is the best word for this highest expression of humanity, of Life, but I’m unsure what word would be better. All words are mere symbols, pointing to realities. This one points directly to what we most fundamentally are, and when this is perceived directly and embodied it is life-transforming.