Before I get going, I have a confession to make. The problem is not with God at all. I’ve been deliberately provocative in using this title – a writer has to grab your attention somehow, hmmm?
There is actually no problem whatsoever with God.
The problem (& it’s a major one) is with human beings & our conception of God – our misconceptions – & with our reliance on outmoded religions/religious practices. (God did not create religion, in case this not-so-small fact has escaped your notice; human beings did. If you muse on that for a moment or two, you may find what follows a bit easier to digest.)
The problem with God is very simple (although the ramifications are pretty considerable).
Most people think of God (by whichever of Her/His many names you choose) as a force outside themselves.
Increasing numbers of us have come to the strong suspicion that God/the Creator/the Goddess/the Great Spirit/the Divine One is not outside us, but inside.
This makes all the difference.
When we perceive all the power – the goodness – the knowledge – the wisdom – all the compassion & forgiveness & non-judgment to exist in a being outside ourselves, we seem to think it’s perfectly alright, normal, acceptable& reasonable to abdicate responsibility for working miracles in the world ourselves. We leave the miracles up to God/Whomever (&/or to the mere mortals around us who clearly seem to have grasped that miracles are indeed possible for mere mortals. Clearly, we do see around us many individuals who are up to the pretty miraculous rather routinely. We can call them saints or we can think of them as Very Special People & either put them up on lofty pedestals or patronize them for being oddballs – either being our lazy way of allowing Someone Else/Them – to do all the work, while we content ourselves with looking after our own very tiny personal agendas) – or we can stop being obsessed with our own selves, our own problems & our own (mostly self-imposed) limitations – & get crackin’!
Tom Harpur’s impressive book The Pagan Christ - Recovering the Lost Light was quite an eye-opener for me on the subject of Christianity & organized religion & I cannot recommend it highly enough. Very well worth spending some time reading!!
I’ve become utterly convinced that locating all the goodness & power outside ourselves (whether in God, the Buddha, Christ, Allah…our neighbour or Whomever…) merely strips away our own intention & ability & potential to be powerful forces ourselves.(1)
It seems to me (& not just me!) a rather pivotal time in human history (slight understatement here…).
We human beings are wreaking unbelievable havoc on the planet. We are rendering thousands of species extinct (200 species every day)... & we are also clearly placing at risk our very own selves & our own species.
This destruction – this potential human extinction – was not inevitable. The situation we now find ourselves in comes as the result of choices human beings have made.
Surely it is time for us to make different kinds of choices?? Radical ones, even. After all, the situation itself is what can reasonably, fairly & accurately be described as pretty goshdarn radical…
We might start with the conviction that we are, each and every one of us, power-ful – that is, full of power. Because we are.
We can philosophize until the cows come home, if we like, about whether the Goddess/God/Great Spirit/Supreme Being is in-side or out-side – but I’d say this is more a time for concerted action than for time-consuming nitpicking, philosophizing & study (nor is it a time for reliance on some Supreme Being outside ourselves to whoosh in & save our asses. Not going to happen, Gentle Reader…).
The need to turn our heads & minds & actions around is urgent – mindbogglingly urgent, actually.
As a new acquaintance of mine said rather eloquently recently, “We don’t have time for fear.”
Nor excuses, either.
Nor abdication of responsibility – nor weak-kneed excuses for acting as though all that matters are our own puny individual selves & our own selfish personal agendas.
When all we think & care & act about is ourselves, we are puny creatures.
When we act from an inner conviction that what we do matters – that we are indeed each power-ful – we are no longer puny, we are a force!
The voice of the Goddess/God/Allah/the Great Spirit is there inside each one of us. It’s the voice of conscience & conviction & big-ness & … endless potential.
I think we need to get pretty quiet with ourselves on a regular basis, mind you, if we are to discern this voice. The noisy way most of us live these days tends to drown it right out (2)…
Tune in to silence & to nature – & listen to the voice of your conscience, your inner convictions & your decent & generous impulses. Be guided by your indomitable spirit & your amazing inner potential.
And then, take action.
Your divine & power-ful presence (as well as your brains, heart, hands, feet & voice) are desperately needed…
p.s. Under the ‘Recommended’ tab on this blog, you’ll find a couple of lists of recommended reading (& films) that you might enjoy checking out.
p.p.s. The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “The most important meditation is critical thinking – followed by action.” I came across this is in the amazing, inspiring Elisabet Sahtouris DVD “Crisis as Opportunity: Living Better on a Hotter Planet.” Check it out!!
(1) There is a song called “Hands” by Jewel in which she says, right at the end, “We are God’s eyes, God’s hands,” & I think there are worse ways to perceive the purpose of human beings than this. I’d say we are also God’s voice – & I’ve posted another blog item about that; it’s called “Raise your VOICE.”
(2) A parenthetical word here about prayer: some of us may think we get quiet pretty regularly, when we pray. But I think when we pray there is actually a pretty serious lack of silence. Generally, I suspect, we hear our own voice asking, entreating, begging, whatever…. Even if our prayers are for a better world, & even if we are very diligent in praying for all of our loved ones & the starving children, & the decaying planet, & world peace & so on & so on, our prayer is not, I think, a time of silence. We need some true, actual silence in our lives in order to still the constant barrage of noise, & experience the quiet within. There are several ways of finding silence. Solitary walks & communing with Nature is one method. Yoga and/or meditation practice is another. For sure, solitude is essential.