My Interpretations of the Divine that differ from Traditional Judeo-Christianity

My ideas about the Divine have shifted in recent years as my spiritual practice has deepened. Here are some thoughts about how I currently interpret “God.”

Here are some relative truths about the Divine that I have interpreted from my contemplation, which are perhaps somewhat different than the traditional Judeo-Christian (and Mormon) perspective and narrative. These are not absolute statements, but merely my translation of intuitions I’ve had in recent years as I have looked deeply within:

  • God is our Source, but not literally a “Father.” The use of the word “Father” is a metaphor that was used in Judaism to refer to the Divine’s role as a Life-giver, Law-giver, the Transcendent, the source of Love. I perceive that Jesus did not think that God was a literal human-form Father in outer space somewhere.
  • God is not a “He,” or literally a masculine person or human being, and it knows our thoughts and feelings “personally” because it is akin to Consciousness itself in which all thoughts and feelings arise within us, but it is also the impersonal reality of all of nature and the cosmos. This panentheistic view sees God in all beings, and beyond all beings.
  • Jesus was a male human being, a Homo sapiens sapiens, like you and me and is who now found nowhere in existence since he died 2000 years ago, and the atoms that made up his physical body have been scattered throughout the Earth. “Christ” refers to the “anointed” consciousness within each and every person, including Jesus, the term Christians use for this pure being, and knowing this directly in ourselves and others is our “Savior.”
  • God restores the truth about reality through many prophet-mystic-sages throughout history, people who lay down their ego-mind to know their fundamental conscious being as One with all of reality, and then share their interpretations of that One with others, and how they may come to know it too for themselves.
  • No one individual ever exclusively holds the “keys of salvation,” although some may have much deeper spiritual insight than others, and can therefore help guide others into those depths. Religious sacraments, rituals, liturgies, and ordinances are means through which our minds may become attuned to our spiritual depths and true identity, but they are not substitutes for that inner change of mind (or metanoia, “repentance”).
  • We are born into God’s “kingdom” by realizing our essential nature, our deepest consciousness, our original being, by our consciousness being “baptized” or immersed in the name/identity of “Christ, being “endowed” by the power of that divine consciousness within us, and “sealed” in the realization of our eternal oneness in God. Religious performances can help us become aware of this inherent divine nature, and are symbolic of that divinity, but may also become a hindrance to that realization thinking we’ve already found it if we perform the outward ritual actions.
  • There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of spiritual texts that have been written by prophet-mystic-sages throughout time that are the “word of God,” or the “Word” (Logos) as interpreted/translated by human beings who have attuned their consciousness to that mystical state. These are all “testaments” of God or Ultimate Reality, giving us a plurality of perspectives on what humans have considered the Divine. None of them are absolute, each being a pointing finger only. And there are many today throughout the world that are continuing to translate this Divine essence or reality into words. I am doing so now.

I also watched this video of Eboo Patel this morning, which I think is relevant, considering what “comes next” after the “Judeo-Christian” nation for America. And I think he may be right, but this is perhaps very scary for many Christians in our country who are used to Christianity reigning supreme in moral matters. We must transcend and include Christianity in our spirituality.

Partial transcript of video:

What comes next?

What’s the next chapter in the great story of American interfaith cooperation?

I think its called “Interfaith Nation.”

I think it centers the idea of America not as a melting pot, but as a potluck that welcomes the contributions of all communities, our Muslims, our Bahais, our Jains, our Sikhs, our Jews, our Atheists, our Zoroastrians, our Evangelicals.

The only way the nation feasts is if every community contributes.

From a mystical standpoint it is also known as interspirituality, it is the realization that all our spiritual traditions have a similar Source, and that we are not ultimately divided at the foundation of reality, or in our most essential humanity or consciousness. Every major religion is perhaps a different perspective on the Divine, a different lens, that is valuable and can contribute to our understanding of those deepest values of what we are as human beings.

What are your thoughts about the Divine? Please share your interpretations.

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6 thoughts on “My Interpretations of the Divine that differ from Traditional Judeo-Christianity

  1. All beings have the same nature. Some are more evolved, some less. The more evolved you are, the more power you have. The spirit is dual in nature. We make concious and uncouncious decisions. The concious, or good side of the spirit can be called God also. So there is an interior God or master or concious reasoning, which might observed in the bible with the verse ‘the kIngdom of heaven is within you’.

    1. Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting that you say the Spirit is dual in nature, and I would agree in part. I think ultimately the Spirit is nondual, or One, but it expresses itself or manifests itself in reality through dualities, polarities, opposites, a spectrum of being often between two extremes or contrasting ends (such as light and dark). I think this is related to dialectical monism (or perhaps dual-aspect monism).

  2. Your own consciousness and evolution mirrors my own, and those of so many others who have also been doing this work of paying attention and being faithful to the deeper intuitions and murmurings of the what I can only call Spirit as she, as it were, hovers over the waters. People from every religious and spiritual tradition are bending into an awareness of the divine within, with all of the profound implications of that percolating in every area of life. Thanks for your work in all of this, and your fidelity to writing, Bryce.

    1. Thank you, Bill. I am glad to know there are many others out there that are looking deep within and finding these same realities. We may all articulate it somewhat differently, but I think they all point to that “Spirit.” I hope we can bring greater awareness to this, and help others to look to that divine reality within.

  3. Bryce, I agree with you on our evolving concepts of God. I now use ‘divine’ as a superlative adjective for which no noun is sufficient. We can call it God, One, ultimate Reality, or another name, but what ‘is’ is not changed by what it is called.

    1. Ron, yes. No name is “it.” The name is just a word, a pointer, a symbol, an idea, a concept, a linguistic tool, but none of the names we use are sufficient to name it, describe it, define it, communicate it, or know it. We use very finite and limited resources to try and approach the infinite and limitless, which of course never gets us there. Our only recourse seems to be to give up trying to get there, a complete surrender of our egoic will to the infinite, which is what my next post will be about.

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