A Dialogue On God Part I

vcxa8286The great difficulty with language is that we use it in our attempts to explain things for which no true explanation exists. In the Hermetic writings of the third century it was written, “If you don’t make yourself equal to God you can’t perceive God: for like is known by like.” Anything I say about God is restricted by the limitations of language and my personal experiences. The following is part of an internal dialogue that started in a dream.

“Do you believe in God?” she asked in a soft angelic voice.
She was visible only as ether but the voice was female. My mind wandered back to the day Kathleen died and the transcendent experiences of that evening. Yes, I believe in a power greater than myself of which I am a part but not in the God of Abraham and Isaac. Not the God of Christianity whose leaders send missionaries to convert a world which does not need converting, to rescue the savages who do not need rescuing and who engagd in endless Crusades all in the name of their God. Not the vengeful God who would destroy Solomon and Gomorrah or reduce all of life to what could be carried in an Ark. That God, the one that Jesus called ‘Father’ is not my God.
“If not the God of Abraham, who is your God?”
My God is the timeless point of infinity from which all life springs forth in an ever expanding universe. A God of acceptance and love, not of vengeance. Evil is man’s creation, not God’s. The God of Abraham is a part of Christian Mythology and is a belief system created by man. The God of Abraham is no different from the Gods of Greek Mythology. Is it not strange to you that mankind labels the Greek Gods as Mythology but not the Christian God? We gave these gods human traits and short comings. No omnipotent being would require obedience or worship of any kind.
Mankind has used the name of God to control and to enslave his fellow man. They have made God a point of fear more than a point of love. The name ‘God’ itself is a distortion and carries with it too many dogmas and conditions. The sole purpose of my God is the creation of an ever expanding universe which includes life in all of its many varied forms. I have no god but life.
“You don’t see God as darkness and light, then?”
God is the point in which duality does not exist. God is the central point in which all duality is one. All life is one. The entire solar system is one.
“Do you believe everyone has the same God?”
God is a part of each of us. In an universal sense and in an individual sense. Like the soul. Although there is only one point for the creation of life, God, each of us sees God differently subject to our personal experiences and faith. Man created God. God did not create man. God created life. Man is merely a manifestation in human form of that life energy. He is equal to, but no more important to God than the ant or a solar system. Man is a life form and not the apex of life’s evolution.
“What makes you so sure of this?”

Look at the night sky, the Milky Way. Look at the photographs of the universe sent back by the Hubble telescope. You see millions of stars, planets, moons, galaxies and the possibility of so many life forms like and unlike our own. And yet, we picture God in the image of man. Not only does that fact extort man’s ego, it also demonstrates his stupidity.

“How so?”

We call Him (as if God has a sex) by many names, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, El Shaddai.  “Mohammad encouraged his followers to call upon God by any of His 99 Names. Judaism refers to 72 Divine Names, and the Hindu scripture Mahabharata contains a thousand names of Vishnu. The English word “God” is used by multiple religions as a noun or name to refer to different deities.” (1) And although we call Him by many names, God has no image. For me the name ‘God’ is only a point of reference for us to have a common subject for discussion.

Michelangelo did a great disservice to the world when he gave God a face on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is how modern man sees God. He no longer sees God in everything that exists but rather as a bearded old white man with his finger giving life to Adam. I do not blame him for his depiction. It merely further the belief that man is in the image of God.

To Be Continued…

(1) Andrew Wilson, World scripture: a comparative anthology of sacred texts—p. 596, International Religious Foundation, Paragon House, New York, New York 1991.

Beliefs: Part I

B4C0A454-579E-47EC-B306-E76CD25BDF24In the battle of beliefs. Who wins? Might? Wisdom? Gods? Beliefs are always right of course, at least to those who hold a particular belief. Why would anyone believe something they do not believe is true? We are conditioned to believe what we believe. The course of this planet’s existence following the dawn of humankind has been led by beliefs. We once believed the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that Pluto was a planet. All the major revolutionary events of history were founded on the strength or weakness of a belief: political, social, economic, scientific, or religious. My invisible god is better than your invisible god. My political system provides the greater good for the greatest number. And my favorite, “We will bury you!” The strength of my belief is backed by my military might. What would my life be like if I did not have to believe in anything at all?

A belief is always true to the individual who believes it to be true. A belief takes me outside of myself. A belief can result in an individual sacrificing one’s life to the belief.

As a child, I believed in the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and the boogyman but eventually I out grew those beliefs. That is the thing about any beliefs. They don’t seem to stick around for too long at least not to the philosopher in me but for the poet, it is a different story. The poet believes in beauty, joy, love, the curve of a woman’s body, and the endless possibilities in a child’s eyes. These are beliefs having to do with ascetics of life but very little to do with fanaticism. One could, I imagine be a fanatic in love to the point of narcissism or self sacrifice. This is the closest I have ever come to the experience of fanaticism, but I did not think my action fanatical at the time, more of loss and despair. Despair can be a fanaticism, I suppose, but not one chosen, like a religion or political party.

I have never believed in anything strongly enough to make the ultimate sacrifice of my life. I have experienced moments of euphoria, of ultimate despair, but never have I believed in a cause for which I would sacrifice my life. Life is too important a gift to be taken lightly. I would not fight for my country’s belief and would not have gone to Viet Nam, if drafted. My “number” was never called.

If I have a belief, at this time in my life, it is that the perfect exists in everything. It’s the yin, yang balance of existence. We must experience both in order to see one, for the one would be unknown without the other. We cannot know the experience of light without the experience of darkness. Although this is my belief, I do not know that I would sacrifice my life for it. Perhaps this belief has not been tested to the point of sacrifice. How many lives have been lost since the dawn of humankind because of what someone believed was true?

The central beliefs of the inhabitants of the planet have religious roots, bound with religions dogmas created to serve man, or was man created to serve religion? When did the belief in an invisible god take over our minds? Was there one large event or no event at all which caused us to stop the search of self and replace it with the search for a god? Was it fear that caused us to lose faith in ourselves and place it in an external, invisible being with omnipotent powers? What happens when the belief in an invisible God leads to fanaticism and a breaking of the dogmas upon which the belief was initially established?

In this first part of my writings on Beliefs, I raised a number of questions. In the follow up essay, I hope to answer some of them.

How Does One Know God?

vcxa8286To most Western Civilizations the image of God that comes to mind when one thinks of God is the painted image on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He (God) is the clothed white haired man, supported by a host of angels, reaching out to touch man, who is naked, with the gift of life. Even as a child I always thought it was strange that God would be wearing clothes since shame/sin had not existed before the eating of the apple by Eve in the Story of Creation.

In Eastern Cultures, the image of God takes on many forms, most of which are more mythical than human although most process human features. There are over twenty forms of Kali, the Hindu goddess of dissolution and destruction who is known for destroying ignorance. Kali means The Black One, the color in which all other colors merge and dissolve. Just as black is the absence of all color, all names and gods disappear in Kali. She is the ultimate goddess. Perhaps the female counterpart of the Christian God.

My personal belief around knowing God is just that, “personal.” It is not derived from any religious teachings or prophets, although I have read and studied many, but from a single dream which left me in awe.

The Temple to God

I saw in a dream…

I am attending a meeting of the worlds religious leaders to dedicate a new temple to God. The temple is built in the middle of the desert with no other life within miles. It is made of granite columns extending hundreds of feet into the air where they meets a massive covering made of ornate glasses connected with beams of gold. The floor of the temple is busy with the debates of world religious leaders at one end and an open air market at the other. There are no walls but entrances appear between the arched Greek designed columns.

The market place is filled with the artifacts of all the world’s religions. There is the schrod of Jesus and the wooden bowl of Buddha. The original manuscript of the Koran. The scribe with which Confucius wrote his wisdom for mankind.

I am myself, dressed in today’s fashion but everyone else is dressed in the fashion of the time when their religion was established. One man dressed in the colorful robes of a desert leader is addressing a large contingency. He insists that God’s temple is within and no building no matter how large or beautiful houses God. He is encouraging all the participants to go outside to witness God in his true house but they are reluctant to leave the new monument.

A desert wind suddenly blows through the temple extinguishing all the candles and lights, so the crowd disperses outside to view the temple in the sunset. I go outside but instead of looking at the temple, I notice a small dust twister no more than two inches high carving something in the sand at my feet. The carvings were an ancient alphabet but the translation was this: “You must know God in a way which leaves the greatest impression upon you as an individual.” The twister now flattens out and blows away the message it just created and then itself disappears. I look up to see if anyone else had witnessed this event but everyone’s eyes were focused on the Temple to God.

One Word

FCF38573-2929-4C13-B491-12CD9E788FD0But above all, the poet, is he who names things… And that’s the poet’s mission, profound and sacred communication. And another word for that is love. – Carlos Fuentes

If I could have but one word to describe you,
it would not be a word like “love” or “God,”
for although both of you—are true.
One carries too much baggage,
the other too many expectations.
This word would be a new word.
One created solely to describe you.
A word not encased by the rules of language
nor previously written with the hand of man.
This word would be a simple word, perhaps only
one syllable long, and yet it would embrace all
the known and forgotten languages of life.

A breath whispering in the blackness of space,
not audible to the expanding galaxies,
not conceivable to the floating nebula.
The power of this word lies not upon it’s surface
but in qualities hidden from view, like invisible stars—
It unfolds with knowledge, wisdom, magic and intent.
This word would encompass your radiance,
extol the benevolence of your heart,
be made whole by your acceptance.
Humbled, only from your eyes’ light,
This word would be a new word,
one never spoken or even thought.
This word would be the one word to describe you,
but one in which I will not live, confined.
This word, this one word, will live inside of me.