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Who Is God?


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This thread stems from a post made in another thread, which got me thinking, "Who is God and what image do we serve?" We have many different images to choose from, but I'm curious what others believe about God. Who is God, what is God like, and what is God's role in our lives?

 

 

I'll start with my own view:

 

 

There is a common thought that something cannot be created from nothing. Nothing means void of anything, so if this is true, then something has always existed as itself. Call that something existence, reality, life, or “God” something has always existed.

 

 

Existence is defined as the totality of existing things. Existence was not created; it has always been and will always be. The universe as we know it (On the other hand) was formed through the many changes taking place within existence itself. Our universe is simply a finite part of an infinite reality, constantly going through changes.

 

 

Everything finite exists as a part of the infinite and are eternal in nature, only the finite parts of existence go through many transformations, changing from one form to another. Our bodies decay and we return to the dust of the earth, yet that transformation does not end there. We also become nourishment for other finite life forms, which in turn become nourishment for other finite life forms, thus the cycle of transformation continues without end.

 

 

In short, I view existence to be God. I am what many call a Panentheist. I believe that God is all in all and all things existing.

 

 

There are rules and regulations existing as a part of our reality that govern everything in life. I think life is a bit mechanical, actually. For instance: As individuals, our brain is the control center that keeps our organs and such in sync with one another, even if we are unaware of the processes taking place.

 

 

If existence is God and if God is conscious as many believe, then God must be looking inward as God would have nothing to look to outside of God’s own being. All the focus must be placed on what's going on within the body of existence.

 

 

This isn't to suggest that every tiny detail is known (Such as each individual’s future actions) but the overall inner workings are governed and managed if only by what we deem to be natural forces existing as a part of the whole.

 

 

God to me is life and we have our life in God. God isn't somewhere up there dishing out reward and punishment for our deeds. I believe that all things were formed from Gods own being. God set the wheels of life in motion and we as humans experience the realities of Gods existence as well as the life we create for ourselves. We experience both the attributes of nature and the nature of man.

 

 

I believe that God is our sustainer, who with his substance gives us all we need to survive, and live, and live abundantly, but it is ultimately up to mankind to embrace life and then do our very best to make life good for all living things. God (Reality) is our supreme authority, whose creative and live giving essence is love.

 

 

Had anyone else ever read the 1st chapter of John in this manner?

 

 

 

In the beginning was love, and love was with God, and love was God. Love was in the beginning with God. All things were made through love, and without love was not any thing made that was made. In love was life, and the life was the light of men.

 

 

This is how I read it every time I view the book of John .......

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just to affirm your thoughts on John 1

 

Ilia Delio in conversation with michael dowd

 

there’s a whole line in the Christian tradition which had another way of thinking about things and that is that Christ was first in God’s intention to love. For the Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus God is love. From all eternity God willed to share that love with another and therefore the Christ was willed to grace and glory prior to any sin. Scotus was basically saying that Christ is first in God’s intention to love and in order for Christ to come, there had to be a creation.

 

and for me this works well with an evolutionary story line. evolving is christ. emerging is christ. christ flaring forth in a supernova

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Thanks for starting this thread – it is certainly thought-provoking.

 

Of course, all this is simply my opinion and I am not even going to quote any great thinkers! :P

 

It is far easier to say what God is not, rather than what God is. God is not a male deity up in heaven who plays favorites, imposing “his” will on us from outside. It is so very difficult to say just “who” or “what” God is because God IS. It would be easy to say God is spirit, but what is spirit? I would say God is the divine consciousness that lives and moves in all that is. God “evolved” from the first explosion of limitless potential through the creation of stars and plants to becoming expressed in humans. It is through us that God, sings, paints, laughs and weeps. But is that what God is? Well, yes, but...

 

I remember a story about a young man who visited a holy man and asked the holy man,”What is God?”. The holy man replied that it is an inappropriate question. He told the young man that the only know to find the answer was to look for God and experience God for himself.

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Who is God?

The question itself in my view could be considered flawed in the asking as "who" denotes a person. While "what" in my view, might be more appropriate, communication in languaging of limited words on such a topic is always less than adequate. And as Yvonne said it may be far easier to say what God is not and leave the answer as in her story to experience.

 

Having said all that, i find myself in general word agreement with the opening post view of James.

 

Joseph

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Thank you for the question. My answer will probably change tomorrow, but today I feel God is everyone and everything so my spiritual practice is to learn to listen to everything and everyone. To do this I need a balance between the abstract and the concrete. When the material, energy God Reality is too much I need to be nurtured in the Pure Consciousness, God abstract Reality so I can return to surf the material wave and not try to hold it back or change it. I guess this is a fluctuation between what God is and what God isn't, God being the creator and the created. Matter being energy and energy being matter just different forms of consciousness.

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Am loving the thinking going on here! To be simply adrift, floating within, the cloud of unknowing....without fear, but utter fascination with and love for, the unknown and unknowable! To be trying to express what is beyond expressing, to convey what is beyond conveying, each in his or her own way, all the while smiling and nodding as we listen, yes, yes, that is God..Sharing...

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Guest billmc

I’ve really enjoyed reading this thread and hope we get lots more point of views! Good stuff!

 

Before I throw in my own 2c, I need to state right up front that my own conceptions of God are very malleable, because they have changed and mostly likely will continue to change over time. So nothing I say is carved in stone, merely how I see and experience God at this point in my life and journey. Secondly, everything I say about God, because I am human (most of the time, anyway), is from a human point-of-view and, therefore, consists of metaphors and similes. Put simply, I believe that God as God knows God’s self to be - objectively - can only be experienced by humans subjectively. This harkens back to the notions that we have that God is transcendent or mystery, notions that I’ve become much more comfortable with in my old age. At the same time, human witness seems to tell us that God is immanent, that God is “with us” or even “in us” and that while we should be humble about how we talk about the Divine, we can indeed say something about the Divine, especially if it is rooted in our experiences.

 

Okay, now that I’ve had my disclaimers and completely confused myself (which didn’t take much), here’s what I think (which really isn’t much different from the other posts in this thread). God is, for me, the Source and Sustainer of ultimate reality. Metaphorically, God is the Poet behind the poem that is our universe, our existence. The poem is not the Poet, but much of the Poet is in the poem. The poem could cease to exist, but the Poet would remain. The Poet has put so much of himself into the poem that the Poet can be known and experienced through the poem and the poem has taken on a life, an awareness, of its own. The poem has been so filled with life that it has given rise to its own poets who, in turn, write their own poems about the universe and even the Poet. This is, IMO, fine and fitting, as it should be.

 

But problems can and do arise when some poets try to tell us that their poems are direct facts from and about the Poet, when they claim to know the Poet objectively, when they claim that only their own poems reflect the Poet and reality. And they often try to canonize their own poems as once-and-for-all revelations from the Poet that apply to all people for all time, as though the Poet has only written one poem in one place and time, as though the Poet plays favorites, as though the poem of life has been totally written.

 

I have no doubt that history has given us (and will continue to give us) those who have special insight into the Poet and the poem. But I don’t see these poets so much as being sent by the Poet as being, perhaps, more sensitive to the Poet and the poem than many of us. It seems to me that these poets, rather than trying to claim to be the Poet himself, admonish the rest of us to look both inside and outside ourselves for better understandings of the Poet and the poem. These poets excel at pulling us up rather than in putting us down. In that way, our own lives reflect our own unity with both the Poet and the poem. We are not, of course, perfect at this. But we are progressing.

 

In closing, because I am a person, I do experience God as a "person" or personally. But I always try to remind myself that my conceptions are, at best, metaphors and that my experiences of both the Poet and the poem come only from my point-of-view. This should encourage me to be humble, more sensitive to the Poet and the poem both from within me and from without me, especially as I encounter the Poet in others and in the poems that their lives have written or are writing. There is, IMO, only one Poet and one Grand Poem of the universe. But we know and experience that Poet and Poem subjectively, through personal experience of the Poet, the Poem and all of the little poems that we encounter in our lives. Thank You, Great Poet, for all your poets and all their poems. Help me to listen better and to write a good poem of my own. :)

Edited by billmc
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Good Morning...

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bill....we share very similar ideas as to our understanding of the Divine Poet. Human religion tends to take on various aspects of idol worship whether that be statues, crosses, or even a meteorite. We can justify this as being just symbols and yet these symbols combine with the worship of other humans whose wisdom and writings pointed to a higher way of being. Jesus, Buddah, and Muhammad were humansthat have been given a divine status and who actually block the way to God by having the focus of our seeking placed on them. This continuous focus on the external as a path to God via human religions has created gateways and levels (salvation, true belief, one true path to God) administered by other humans (priests, theologians, cults, etc.) that actually distort our understanding of God. Religions have created competing images of God that are simply human constructions propped up by intermediaries to define and control the path to understanding. If we scrap these images and dogmas we can turn the question of God as being external up-side-down to one of God being internal. Panentheism can be taken further to a spirtual understanding that the Spirit of God not only surrounds all and passes through all, but is within all. Let's stop and think about this. The Spirit of God is within all? Even us? This transformative understanding leads us to view that all humans are 'of God' possesing, as Quakers say, a certain measure of God within. Suddenly war and violence against one another becomes war and violence against God. Suddenly greed, selfishness, prejudice, and caste systems are degrading actions taken against God. By meditating upon that certain measure of God Within, we can then discover not only the Spiritual connectedness that defines all humans as Brothers and Sisters, but our own true Spriritual Selves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I HAVE THE ANSWER!!!!

 

Who is God? God is each one of our personal points of contact and relationship with all else, with the very ground of being!

 

Jenell :D

Edited by JenellYB
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Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I HAVE THE ANSWER!!!!

 

Who is God? God is each one of our personal points of contact and relationship with all else, with the very ground of being!

 

Jenell :D

 

Jenell,

 

Minutes after reading your post I read this:

 

In the end Jung did claim to be a truly religious man. "Jung’s last years were spent almost entirely in exploring the relationship between individual man and the pattern of God in the human spirit. He was convinced that our spent selves and worn-out societies could not renew themselves without renewing their concept of God and so their whole relationship in the soul" (Van Der Post, 1975, pg. 217).

 

Myron

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It is far easier to say what God is not, rather than what God is. God is not a male deity up in heaven who plays favorites, imposing “his” will on us from outside.

 

I like this approach best so i will add a few "nots" of my own and hope others will join in.

To me,

God is not vulnerable to threat or emotional upset.

God is not prone to revenge, jealousy, hatred or violence.

God has no need for praise or compliments and any benefit in doing so is to the worshipper not God.

God is not a man or woman.

 

Joseph

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wrote the following description of God several days ago: "I call the ultimate good, the seat of compassion in our universe, the height of wisdom, the depth of consciousness and the supernatural mystery of the ages 'God'."

 

I do think of God as a supernatural presence, but I no longer think of God in anthropomorphic terms. I also don't believe that any one religion has a corner on the truth about whoever or whatever God is. I do believe that God is somehow active in our world, and I believe it's possible to experience the Divine.

 

(For the record, it felt odd to even write out such a description. It seems that in defining God, we negate God's transcendence. However, I've loved reading the responses to this topic.)

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Crystal,

 

Welcome to the forum and thanks so much for your thoughtful input. I agree that definitions are a bit awkward concerning God but how else would we have anything to read concerning the question? :) Would love to hear a little about your journey to this point if you don't mind sharing in the Introductions section a little about your self so we can give you a proper welcome.

 

Joseph

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I like this approach best so i will add a few "nots" of my own and hope others will join in.

To me,

God is not vulnerable to threat or emotional upset.

God is not prone to revenge, jealousy, hatred or violence.

God has no need for praise or compliments and any benefit in doing so is to the worshipper not God.

God is not a man or woman.

 

Joseph

 

I liken this to the Michelangelo approach. When asked how he managed to carve such a beautiful statue, Michelangelo replied "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

 

Perhaps by carving away all the stuff that is not God, we can be left with what is God.

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Soma wrote: I like Jung's thought on synchronization where we synchronize in a mystical unity. Jesus said, "I and the Father are One." I view this as perfect synchronization or God.

 

An incident today that surely would have been amazing to most people, but which was actually rather "unremarkable" for mydaughter and myself reminded me how some of us have truly integrates"faith" in this greater unseen consciouusness we are all a part of. This was one of those "ask and ye shall recieve" kind of synchonicities, which I actually experience rather often. Having spent yesterday and overnight at my daughter's home, and she was driving me home this afternoon. I had just commented I had put out the last of the hay for my horse before I left yesterday, she was going to have to settle for just pellets this evening. I won't be able to get hay until tomorrow. We topped an overpass on the highway, up ahead at near to bottom of the incline, there lay a nice bale of fresh cut hay (rare and valuable in our drought!!) that had aparantly just fallen from a trailer load somewhere up ahead. With little to-do about it, she pulled over, hopped out and tossed it into the back of the pickup and went on our merry way. We thanked God for the hay, and for having made sure it didn't even break open when it had fallen, which they usually do.

 

I've found a few older threads here about synchoniicity in the forums, but even here where everyone tends to be much more polite and accepting of others' accounts of "odd experiences", things like this are honestly hard for anyone, I think, to believe, perhaps the better term would be "real-ize" something like sychronicity. Some years ago, as I've mentioned here, I had a several years long period of "psychological upheaval", which included some pretty wild stuff. It was VERY hard to talk to others and at the time I'd never heard of any such things, nor had peopleI had been around. I was often hurt when others, expecially that KNEW me, didn't beleive me, or thought I was "mentally ill." i'm better now at being able to talk about it in an emotionally neutral state, as well as having come to accept others simply cannot comprehend if they haven't experienced such things.

 

Sychronicity was one element of that experience that was literally thrust into my awareness so strongly and frequently I could never explain it away or convince myself it was my imagination or merely "creating my own meaning" out of meaningless random events. I experienced some other "odd things", of the kind that aren't supposed to be "real" in common consensus reality, to such an extent I came to think and feel then, and still do, that it was a time in which "something" or "someone" had decided to DEMAND my attention to it, me beleif, my total acceptance of its reality. "Where" this "what/whomever" came from, or is, I do not know. In my attempts since then to try to understand, my present thought is that this "personal being" or "force" was/is my Self, and I mean that in the Jungian sense, not the common myself, my own imaginings and mental creations. My present theory is that the Self IS our "Father in Heaven", through which there is contact and access to a greater consciousness, intelligence, within which Self exists.

 

I cannot accept those things, synchonicity, pre-cognitions of events (sometimes things people were going to say before they said them), "knowings" of things outside the range of my natural physical senses....originate entirely within my physical or mental sphere. It has been too often that just wasn't possible.

 

Yet, neither is it something I feel I have real control over..i still have to buy hay regularly, it doesn't always just appear on the road when I need it. There are times whenn I feel very close, very connected, very in touch, with this "what/whomever ever", other times I don't. I don't always understand why it is different at different times. And I don't understand why it might "give" me a bale of hay I need today, and not something else I feeI need even more in some other case. Maybe it depends on having other people in this "connection state" for it to happen...the guy that loaded the hay and missed a loop with the strap when he tied it down, the driver pulling the load to choose just that exact time to drive that stretch of road so the hay could fall off at the right time and place...fir sure, it hadn't lay there long, or someone else would have already done the same thing we did.

 

I have wondered, being in that "connection state",perhaps what Paul meant by "praying unceasing"..if when we are in that "connected state", we don't even know when it is ourself that is doing seemingly everyday randome things that are responsing to yet another's "request" or need, such as that person that failed to secure that baleof hay properly.

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if humanity were awakening to this connection, more and more of us awakening, until a time came, we are all in that state of connection? And Heaven were really come down upon the earth?

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Jennell, I think when one is lucky enough to be there, he/she sees every one there. In that state everyone is a Buddha or a Christ looking in a mirror that is 360 degrees. One sees themselves in all that exist. Merry Christmas as Christ is born again and again and again.

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