Exploring the nature of God is important because beliefs about this phenomenon vary so widely. Some people understandably struggle with past religious concepts of the Divine.
They wonder why God would let their child die or why any suffering occurs if He is so loving, powerful, and omniscient. They feel angry at God and question whether any soul, God, or afterlife really exist. Those are fair questions that invariably arise from a model of a separate superman deity.
Much collective evidence indicates that God is not a big, bearded man sitting on a throne in the sky somewhere. Humanity’s spiritual growth has been hampered by viewing the Divine in our image, instead of realizing we were made in the image of Spirit.
In theology school, the Supreme was defined as the highest power of which we can conceive. The greatest image of our Source is that of love, peace, justice, energy, beauty, wisdom, power—the Life Force behind all creation.
In An Open Life, Joseph Campbell, the brilliant scholar, author and interpreter of sacred traditions, states: “The divine lives within you… the separateness that is apparent in the phenomenal world is secondary. Beyond, and behind, and within, and supporting that world is an unseen but experienced unity and identity in us all.”
The following description of God is, based on the evidence, quite accurate and comprehensive. In Destiny of Souls, Michael Newton, Ph.D., quotes a female client who was one of the most advanced souls he had ever interviewed during a spiritual regression. She described Oneness, the Presence as: “…massive, but soft… powerful… yet gentle. There is a breath… a whisper… of sound… so pure… the sound creates all… including light and energy… the sound holds this structure… and makes it move… shifting and undulating… creating everything. It is a reverberating bell… then a high-pitched pure humming… like an echo of… A mother… full of love… singing to her child.”
These descriptions of the Source are quite different from those that many of us were taught at an early age. Do the words “wrathful, judging, and fearsome” sound familiar? Some denominations still teach about a God of unfathomable love and then, in the next instant, warn that this same Higher Power will send us to, or allow us to choose, a fiery hell for eternity.
Can you say “schizophrenia?”
Clark H. Pinnock, theology professor at McMaster Divinity College, stated: “How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness” as to inflict “…everlasting torture upon his creatures, however sinful they may have been.”
A God who would do such a thing is “…more nearly like Satan than like God.”
We need to reconsider our notions about Creative Energy, to refute half-truths and mistruths that were taught in the guise of truth.
The collective evidence in Soul Proof refutes any notion of a vengeful God who watches our every step and is ready to smite us at the least transgression. What good parent could pass his child’s finger over a flame, no matter what the transgression? How can any believe that our Heavenly Mother/Father could?
Rediscovering the original meanings of sacred wisdom teachings conveys greatly different views. Aramaic translations, for example, reveal more accurate spiritual understandings from that pivotal time and place that so greatly influenced Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Regarding the primary Aramaic meanings of the word “God,” Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D., stated in our radio interview: “The root words for God are ‘Eloha’ or ‘Alaha’ from the Hebrew ‘Elohim.’ All these words mean unity, sacred unity, or one Beingness. The Jewish or Aramaic notion of the Divine is not a being sitting somewhere, someplace as in a room above us, but a unity of which we are a part, of which our being is a part.
Both Jesus and the Hebrew prophets before him shared this bigger picture of the Divine. That’s quite different from our Western conception. Our problem is that when this conception was squeezed through the Greek language and thinking into Western Christianity, only a very small part of this meaning was carried across the language bridge.”
If you were taught notions about the nature of God that seemed bizarre, realize that the offending information was likely incorrect. Some people are atheists or agnostics because they understandably find the idea of no God an improvement over the strange images we have been led to believe are true about the Divine.
Many people are shocked by denominations that claim their view is the only right one and all others are doomed to hell.
At the “God at 2000 Conference,” professor of religion and author Marcus Borg, Ph.D., said: “I find it literally incredible that the God of the whole universe has chosen to be known by one religious tradition.”
He said all great religions of the world, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, suggest God is an encompassing Spirit that is part of everyday life. He described this not as pantheism but as “panentheism,” which views God as not only transcendent and beyond human experience, but also immanent, or dwelling within all of us.
Rev. Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, founder of Creation Spirituality, and author of over twenty books including Natural Grace.
He rejects “theism,” the concept that “God is way out there someplace, as far away as he can get” and—like Borg—embraces “panentheism,” that “God is life per se life, God is in the midst of everything that’s bubbling, everything that’s vital. And that is panentheism, to see God in all things.”
In Wisdom of the Ages, Wayne Dyer, Ed. D., states, “Imagine being fully aware that you carry God about with you. If God is everywhere, then there is no place that God is not. And this includes you.
Once you connect to this understanding, you regain the power of your very source. Rather than seeing yourself as separate from the miraculous power of God, you claim your divinity and reclaim all the potency that God is… . you are a principal work, a fragment of God Himself.”
Joseph Campbell said that humanity’s search for God is encumbered by conceiving the Absolute as a personality.
One important mystic who broke past this orthodoxy was Meister Eckhart who stated, “The ultimate leave-taking is the leaving of god for God.” Campbell comments, “As soon as you smash the local provincial god-form, God comes back. And that’s what Nietzsche meant when he wrote that God is dead. Nietzsche was himself not an atheist in the crude sense; he was a man of enormous religious spirit and power.
What he meant was that the God who’s fixed and defined in terms appropriate for 2,000 years ago is no longer so today… The divine lives within you… . And what is God? God is a personification of that world-creative energy and mystery which is beyond thinking and beyond naming.”
As discussed by Jeffrey Moses in Great Principles Shared by All Religions, the theme of God within is echoed throughout the world’s religions:
- Hinduism: “God bides hidden in the hearts of all.”
- Shintoism: “Do not search in distant skies for God. In man’s own heart is He found.”
- Sikhism: “Why wilt thou go into the jungles? What do you hope to find there? Even as the scent dwells within the flower, so God within thine own heart ever abides. Seek Him with earnestness and find Him there.”
- Christianity: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, ‘Lo, here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
- Confucianism: “What the undeveloped man seeks is outside; what the advanced man seeks is within himself.”
I hope this discussion of the Divine helps answer your toughest questions that naturally arise when struggling with life’s greatest changes and challenges.
The great news is that we each are part and parcel of the same intelligence and energy that created and sustains the universe.As such, we each have everything we need to survive and thrive through all events.
May you always deeply know who you are, why you’re here, and Who walks beside/ within you always . . . and live accordingly.