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Your Definition Of God


Mike
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I thought it might be interesting to see how everyone would define God if asked to do so. So, that's what I'm doing. Now, I realize it may not be easy or even doable to circumscribe the ultimate reality with one or two meager paragraphs. I feel that the question of God is an eternally open-ended one, a mystery that is in principle beyond all knowing and language. But why not try, and see what happens? Perhaps in our words we may be able to glimpse a reflection of the living reality of God.

I suppose I'll have to go first since I started it. :unsure: Feel free to agree or disagree:

 

I tend to see God as existing or being encountered in a living, “sacred dimension” of reality.* For me, God is at the heart of reality and is the sacred, ineffable, living Presence that pulses through all life and that may be experienced as such. God for me is found in and perhaps defined by this act of encounter, whose ultimate ontological status is robed in secrecy; it is a mystery in the eastern sense, not as something that can in principle be solved but one that is by nature unsearchable. Whether God is personal or impersonal, or both, or neither, I cannot say. But I feel close to God in the act of dialogue/prayer.

 

* I want to clarify in what sense I use the term "dimension". The scientific method, as I understand it, deals with measurement, quantification, and mathematical relationships. But I believe that that is just one dimension of reality. Reality obviously has a qualitative, experiential side too, as verified by the facts of conscious awareness, sensations, colors, etc. Mathematics and measurements have no power to penetrate into this other side of reality or convey its meaning; in other words, the quantitative and qualitative dimensions are complementary. It is in this sense of "dimension" - as an approach or way of relating to reality - that I say "sacred dimension." Therefore, God here is kind of synonymous with reality on the grounds that reality possesses that sacredness and is infused with the character of living presence.

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I think I have a process theology which I am learning to articulate. Here goes.

 

Jakob Boehme, in an epiphany when a ray of sun struck a piece of pewter, understood that the relationship between God and creation was essential to understanding God. God, in stasis, complete, perfect, yearned to know herself. Since we can only know our selves by being in relationship, God is creating creation as other than God so that she can see the face of God. So that God could know herself.

In this evolving universe God immanently is relating to creation drawing creation past into herself and using the past moments to create new moments. Think of the many stars that had to die to produce all the elements of our periodic tables. In this continuous creating God's relationship with creation is changing.

 

As Ross says in chapter 12 of Common Sense Christianity, God uses "the soft but persistent pull toward love." I have the image of curling - God brushing the ice drawing the stone forward minutely to the left or right. The most important space and time is the eternity between now and the next moment where our visions, dreams, intuitions, ideas, plans can join with God and bring heaven to earth. That, for me, is the Apocalyptic moment. God and we are made complete. God is made complete by our actions and we are made complete by Gods' action.

 

 

The rest of Jakob Boehme's work very influenced by his time and culture and obtuse to some modern readers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_B%C3%B6hme

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Mike,

 

You ask a very difficult personal question. It seems to me it is easier to speak what God is not than what God is and to me God is beyond all of my concepts, thoughts and definitions but a personal subjective glimpse and experiential knowledge brings up such pointer words as... Close, inseparable, present everywhere now, without location, profound peace, full of mercy, unconditional all encompassing love, All that is, beyond time, without beginning or end, all knowing, limitless, stillness, complete without parts or desire, without vanity or egotism and an absence of the emotions of revenge, anger, judgement, hatred, jealousy and a host of other projections of men. To me, God is the substrate of all existence and the light by which all things are seen and come into being. Unshakable awareness, all-powerful solid as a rock yet flowing as water completely devoid of ripples. What more can be said to speak the unspeakable? Perhaps there is more but it is beyond my language. This is my own personal understanding/view derived from my own experience and is not meant to either agree or disagree with any Biblical records or the view of others.

 

Joseph

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I describe God as "coming into being." for me, God is still pretty much below the radar, but growing in power and influence. If God is omni-anything it is omnibenevolent, or capable of infinite love. I think that God's power increases through interactions with sentient creatures. Maybe in a million years ofr so God will be what people seem to think that God already is. I think there are a lot of ways for people to get glimpses of God's nature. For me, coming to understand what Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to be about works better than anything else I have found so far. But as I commented somewhere else, what I learn from Jesus seems to generally conform to my own lefty political agenda.

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My definition of God? Well for one thing, it sure is hard to describe God as any one thing, person or idea but i'll do my best. You just can't describe what God is because he is. He is, in the sense that, I feel him eveywhere. A presense that touches and coats evrything; extremely pesonal. He's just..... there. An unseeable, untouchable, unsearchable presense that goes everywhere, inhabits everything. I feel his presense like I breathe air, I can't get away from it. The question of "What/Who is God?" holds so much mystery it's incredible! It's exilerating to finally find a mystery I can't solve! Not like these mystery novles you find at the library or the book store. They're already solved and the ending told. The mystery of God will never be solved, the ending never told; God will never stop being. He is, he was, and will forever be. I love looking into the mystery of God because there's something new every time I look. It's like looking around in a store full of 3D paintings, that gets restocked every day with different pantings, and seeing a new one whenever you walk in, a new image behind a new painting. I feel like a little kid in a candy store who can have what ever he wants. Too many discriptions? I think I'm having just a bit too much fun here, but it's so hard to define or describe God and there are so many ways to try and it's so much fun! It's like... Ok ok i'll stop. I'm having too much fun with God. I'll be back later.

 

Kyler.

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The paradox of my definition of God is that I cannot define God. God is that which can only be imagined as being beyond imagination or perception. The nature of God is beyond my ability for description, and even the name of God is beyond the capacity of human language. My own faith is a paradox. I continually doubt the existence of God, so I am continually searching for God with the faith that I will find some understanding, and when I find some sense of understanding the nature of God it is time to remind myself that God is beyond my understanding, and the search begins all over. I can claim an understanding of Jesus Christ because he was a human, and the agent of God's will for man. I can claim an understanding of the Holy Spirit as the breath of God, and the tie that binds all creation, but God will forever be that illusive "other" from which all Being flows. God is forever beyond the beam of my headlights, but always present in my awareness, just past the limits of my perception.

I believe that creation is a process, and in process, and we are all "becoming". This may gel with the process theology concept that God created creation to develop an understanding of God's self. That is a concept I am just beginning to think on and definitely requires more study on my part.I do not see creation as a finite act, but an ongoing development. Thanks for the question, Mike. Now I have so much more to think on, including my inability to answer your question.

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On the mountain peak of the soul one can see a new horizon in the clear, upper, rarefied air of pure consciousness where one is able to guide the mind’s activities in a new direction that one has never before known. In my view it is Godthat gives the spiritual mind new instincts to prepare it to move in a new spiritual consciousness.

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I've been enjoying thinking about the responses here. It is obvious that God is interpreted or defined partially according to our own sense of need, what we are looking for in him, and partially in line with our theological concerns and assumptions. But in spite of the differences there are reoccurring themes, certain invariants that persist throughout all the transformations. That God is found in relationship, in encounter, in mystery, in being and becoming, and in love and compassion, seem to be common threads running through all our different thoughts and experiences.

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I should have noted too that our commonalities as such do not negate the significance and meaningfulness of the differences that each our unique perspectives bear on the matter.

Edited by Mike
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Back again.

I still can't give a direct description of God, but I can give several smaller pictures that might one day turn into a bigger one.

As I've described in other posts, I've seen God different ways. The first, when I rediscovered him, was an imense presense that filled the room and gradually calmed down into a condensed presense that sits in the upper left hand corner of my vsion; going with me everywhere. The second was at the square with my niece when he sat down next to me on a bench.* The third, again, at the square with my niece, we were running around the fountain and he was standing inside it, beconing me to play.* Usually though, I feel him as a small 8-year-old boy, (as I've probably mentioned) peaking over my shoulder wondering what I'm doing, and being interested in me just for me. Now though, he seems to be coming out of the upper left corner and coming down into the shape of a small boy, maybe 4-5 years old, and squeezing my hand once in a while.

To me, God seems to change his shape to fit your need for the moment, or to inspire you into thinking, but he is still the same God behind each shape. His personallity doesn't change. I still feel that he loves me and is watching out for me, being there incase I fall.

God seems like a giant puzzle that will never be put together, because it is so complex yet so simple. The pieces fit together but the image is so comlex that it changs with each piece you find. Yet the image that changes, stays simple. Like one of those cards that, when tuned different ways, changes the picture. The image is still the same, just different.

A puzzle like this cannot be described, written down, drawn or put together because of the everlasting chage that occurs. God is a mystey with so many complex clues that are just simple pictures.

We'll never see all of God in this life, but perhaps in the after life we'll see Gods true face; the one we can't see here. Who knows?

 

Kyler.

 

*More details in "My Thought On God".

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Kyler,

In the TV series God showed up as a little girl, a janitor, a cop, a bus driver, and more - so many ways to experience the Holy presence. Like the time Jesus asked me, while I was on a ladder painting, to take the first step which resulted our adoption of Annie.

 

Dutch

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  • 2 months later...

This has been a fun thread to read. Here's my two cents.

 

God is...

...the life-giving Source of creativity

...the loving Way of interpenetration

...and the abysmally absolute Other

 

Or, I might say instead that God is an invigorating Mystery of an other-centered, justice-oriented, self-giving Love.

 

You can take your pick for my answer, or do what I do and flip a coin.

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