#Conversations about God #what do we know about God #who is God #
They say that you shouldn’t talk about politics, religion or sex. Well the fact that we don’t talk about such matters is probably the very reason why the world is in such a mess right now. We live in a world where our politicians exhibit serious mental illnesses issues…where we can put a man on the moon but sex is still a misery…and as for religion…well don’t get me started. And all of this… is because we as a people don’t seem to be able to talk about things without getting all steamed up.
But I don’t like to follow the rules and I want to talk about God. I want to go there. It seems to me that we started off on the wrong foot when it comes to understanding what God is about and we haven’t been able to pull it back since then. It all went pear shaped when religion was introduced into the mix. In my head I am sure that the God who made everything was doing fine by ‘himself’ until humans decided that they could define ‘him’ better than ‘he’ could define ‘himself’. The problem is that humans being humans can’t agree on anything for 5 minutes. So each religion has come up with its own rule book and these rules are the focus of attention and the cause of many a fight…not God. Observing a religious debate is like watching a group of individual playing football but not realising that they are supposed to be on the same team.
#Believing in God
There are those who say they don’t believe in God. Are you one of them? I have to ask when you say that you do not believe in God… to which God are you referring. In order to not believe in something you have to have an idea of what it is that you don’t believe in. You cannot not believe in something that is obviously an entity that exist…at least in people’s minds. The fact that we talk about whoever and whatever it is tells us that there is something in this ‘thing’ that we collectively call God. We can no more say that we don’t believe in God than we can say that we don’t believe in the brain. We don’t know how the brain works but we know it works. We do not need to take out our brains to look at it…we accept that is there. Saying I don’t believe in God is like saying I don’t like oysters…the obvious response is have you tried them? Have we given God a chance?
Who is God?
There are those who believe that God is a white guy with a beard who leave in the sky and look like a Hollywood actor. For them God is a paternal figure who protect then and watch over them and delivers them from harm. But when God doesn’t go along with this plan of things they get all pissed off with God.
Back in the day, humans didn’t give God a form. They prayed to the sun the rain or the sea and felt a power work through these elements which they called God or the Creator. It wasn’t until the 17th century when James 1 of King of England had the bible translated from Hebrew into English when the image of the dude in the sky started to formulate. The world has changed out of all proportion since then but a lot of people still think that God is a white guy looking down from on high.
God and the critics
People say… if there is a God then he wouldn’t allow people to suffer. But how do we know that God wouldn’t allow people to suffer. And what is suffering according to God? Do we know? Where is it written that we all were going to have a brilliant time on earth and then leave? Since we don’t know who or what God is… we can hardly criticise the contract that we have been given.
To criticise God by blaming him when things go wrong, is a passive aggressive way of saying we know better than God. We are actually saying in code that if we were God we would do a better job and we could install world peace overnight. What we conveniently forget is that God gave us the planet unconditionally and ‘he’ gave us free will. Whatever is going on in the world is our responsibility. No one else is screwing the planet up…we are screwing the planet up. To expect God to come and clean up our mess every time is a bit much and is probably wearing a bit thin. Could it be that God is just a little bit fed up and is saying “If you guys are so smart and you think you don’t need me then sort your own shit out” If God made everything then swear words are included in that! How do we know that God doesn’t lose it sometimes?
People say that God treats us badly. But what about our treatment of God. We seem to want to blame him for everything when times are bad yet we don’t remember him when times are good. We want everything but what exactly are we giving back?
Who is God…
The brilliant Alan Watts tells an interesting story about an astronaut who had returned from space. The astronaut was asked by a journalist “Did you see God. The astronaut said “Yes” The next question was “What does God look like” to which the astronaut said “God is a black woman”. He continued “You cannot see the stars unless there is the contrast of the black of night. He said that when he was in space and looked back at the beauty of the earth he realised that he was in fact a she. No man could be that beautiful.
Consider this for a moment. God is a black woman. How does that sit with you? How does it feel as you say those words to yourself? does it cause you to meet your own beliefs and your own opinions about God square on. You might say that the comment is blasphemous. Why is it? You might say “No, God is light or energy or whatever”. But that is the point. That is what Alan Watts wanted us to do …question who and what God is to us. God is universal and individual.
The word God is now used in an abbreviated phrase these days. OMG. We all use it or have used the phrase or know someone who uses that phrase. We recognise the phrase when we see it. And we all use it differently for different occasions and different times of the day. When you use that phrase everyone knows what you mean. So maybe without knowing it or realising it God is at the centre of everything after all.