Thursday, February 4, 2010
I do not believe in the God presented in the Bible. However, I also do not claim that He cannot or does not exist. My understanding of God - obviously - is not relevant to anyone but me, and certainly not to the existence of said Deity.
The God of the Bible never really appealed to me, even as a practicing Christian and pastor. In these years of my life, I find myself drawn to a more deity-less spirituality that is akin to Buddhism. I acknowledge mystery and otherness. I do not know if that mystery is personal, or material, or energy, or consciousness. It is just mystery. But it is worth exploring to me, because it helps me make sense of my world and my life. Exploring otherness helps me to live in the current...and that is a good thing. I think I was born a mystic, because even as a small child I was enchanted by mystery and attracted to a notion of God that was, well, mystical.
I do find connection to some aspects of the biblical God - or the religion that the bible gives shape to. I am attracted to the notions of Incarnation and Grace. Incarnation - god fully enters humanity as a human, and uses his power to make himself powerless as a god. Wow. What an amazing concept. And Grace - that our experience of and relationship to God is not dependent on our performance of religious actions or compliance to religious doctrine. Any person can experience and relate to God (as an Other, if he is) because God has chosen it to be that way.
Hinduism, taoism, buddhism all appeal to me spiritually. They inform my ideas of God somewhat - hinduism the idea that god may be an amalgam of all the forces and powers of reality, everything from weather to nature to human nature. There are nine billion names of god in hinduism - nine billion being a symbolic number to indicate that there are mulitiple understandings and faces of God for every human who has been, is or will be. Taosim, the idea that there are patterns in nature, in the cosmos that reveal the divine essence, that give meaning to what we are, and as we pay attention to those we can understand our place in the cosmos. Buddhism - well, there is a lot there - but primarily that divinity is within us, that we are sacred, and that impermanence and emptiness are the underlying realities of the cosmos.
But I also embrace other spiritual paths - shamanism, and its deep sacred connectedness to nature. And altered states. New age mysticism, for its challenging populist spirituality. Quantum mysticism, which defines spirituality as a scientific value that we just have not figured out yet.
A songwriter that serves as my spiritual guru wrote these words..."god's too big to put in a book, but nothing's too big to fit in my heart." well said - god is ineffable. There are not words that can describe god...god is beyond anything humanity can construct...especially a book and a religion. but the human heart is another thing - god can fit in the human heart, because the human heart can become (and already is) god-shaped and god-sized.
Posted by Don Martin at 1:05 PM