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What is “G~O~D”? May 9, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery, People.

One reason I prefer to speak of Spirit, rather than God, is due to the vastly different interpretations placed on the word G~O~D by different religions and denominations.

To some, the word God conjures up the image of a personified God looking down on us from heaven . . . in flowing robes with a long white beard.

That God is a father figure to pray to and obey . . . a God with a bit too much testosterone for my taste.

God created Man in his own image and Man returned the favor.

For Wiccans, Pagans, Heathens, and Native Americans, God is the Planet Earth, Mother Nature, and all the flora and fauna which surrounds us.  Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

For New Agers, God is the Loving Source of All ~ an energy field far too vast to be encapsulated in a flowing robe . . . or epitomized in a single word.

For followers of the Jewish faith, God (or Yahweh) is the ultimate cause of all existence.  From Wikipedia:

Jewish tradition teaches that the true aspect of God is incomprehensible and unknowable, and that it is only God’s revealed aspect that brought the universe into existence, and interacts with mankind and the world.

I see the God of the Old Testament as a vengeful, vindictive figure . . . waiting to smite us down for Eve’s failure to obey his commandments.

I also see more than a hint of that Old Testament God in the words of the New Testament.  As a child, that caused me to see God as someone to fear ~  a retributive figure waiting to cast me into the fiery furnaces of Hell for all eternity unless I embraced the late J.C. as my lord and savior.

I no longer believe that the personified Christian God (“Our Father Who Art In Heaven”) exists as “he” has been depicted in the Bible ~ Old or New Testament.

What loving “parent” would create us only to condemn us  for being us?

What artist would paint a Daisy then punish it for not being a Rose?  

I no longer pray to the personified Christian God of my youth.

That God (introduced to me in Sunday School before I was old enough to think for myself) seems a bit like  Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny ~ an archaic fable grounded in fiction, not fact, for adults who have not  learned to connect with the Spirit Within.

Instead of praying to the External God of my youth, I look within for guidance and immediately sense a loving Spirit that wants nothing more than for me to be me.

God dwells within me . . . as me. ~ Eat, Pray, Love

God is the breath within the breath. ~ Kabir

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  What do you see or sense when you hear the word God?

A benevolent and loving being?  A vindictive father figure?  Mother Nature?  The Loving Source of All?  A Universal energy field?  A Spiritual Being? A Higher Power? The Spirit Within?  Jesus Christ attired in sandals and flowing robe?

Has your view of God changed over time?  Did God change . . . or did you?

Related posts:  Why I Speak of Spirit, Not GodOur Spiritual Connection * A Beacon in the Dark * Winks, Whispers, and Nudges * Apologize to God or I Quit! * Doesn’t Faith Make Us Susceptible to Delusions



1. Tilly Bud - May 9, 2011

You ask a good question, to which the answers can only be subjective.

My God has always been a loving, generous God. I see how others view Him as something different, but that hasn’t been my personal experience.

Maybe we all project the God we expect.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks, Tilly. I agree. That’s why I chose “What Is Life?” as the song to go with this post.

Life is not susceptible of a single definition. It varies from person to person and even (over time) within the same person. Life is largely what we perceive it to be.

I expect that God/Spirit is the same.

2. carldagostino - May 9, 2011

I agree the God of the OT is quite a nasty fellow. We have personified God by giving him the same negative qualities as well as positive qualities.Instead of man being made in the image of God(which I doubt) we have made God in the image of man. The NT God is quite different. He would not assist His people in the murder of other people as he does for the ancient Hebrews. Almost all ministers and scholars with whom I have discussed this say we cannot simply dismiss the OT but must take the Bible as a whole. The Jews can believe in that God as may Christians. I still want nothing to do with that God. I think we should merely experience God as He reveals Himself and not base the understanding on OT primitive understandings. You are going to be hit hard on this like in that last post so I would suggest debate on your part is an unproductive waste of time. I would merely let commenters express themselves.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks Carl. I agree with you when you say: I think we should merely experience God as He reveals Himself and not base the understanding on OT primitive understandings.

After 25 years as an Atheist, Spirit revealed itself to me through the still, silent voice within. That Spiritual connection has been a part of my daily life since that night.

Maybe “God” knew that I could no longer pray to the personified Christian God of my youth . . . and manifested in a form that suited me better?

carldagostino - May 9, 2011

We do not design God to fit our specifications. That is what you and I will be accused of doing. But he does reveal Himself to different people in different ways and even through other religions.We continue to try to understand and so our perceptions of God are in constant review through our own thinking and through His ongoing revelation.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

That’s the reason that I enjoy throwing these topics out there for discussion.

I’m not interested in persuading everyone to my view of the world ~ that would be both impossible and unproductive. I am trying to clarify my understanding of our spiritual nature by bouncing ideas around with others.

I find the open-minded exchange of ideas and beliefs to be a fascinating and productive use of time . . . no matter what accusations are tossed in my direction. 😉

3. Shannon Sullivan - May 9, 2011

I image God as the Spirit universally flowing through all of us not just here but cosmically as well. We are all connected to one another and how we treat eachother affects all that is around us. Hard to put into words

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

It is hard to put into words but my views are similar to yours, Shannon. “God” is the river of life and we are the droplets of water that make up that river.

We are in God and God is in us ~ connecting all of us through the Spirit flowing within.

What affects one . . . affects all.

4. Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box:

I believe that indeed whatever is the final explanation of the creation of the Universe, be it the essence of Pure Being, or Buddhist Enlightenment,is always already related to the various perspectives and interpretations about what that over-arching Other than ourselves can be. Hopefully, the interpretation of what God is, continues to grow, although I believe that the interpretations, even in the Old Testament can still be with us in our individual and cultural spirit whenever we encounter happenings in the world such as the acts of war that constitute ‘genocide’. Indeed it is visible whenever we cannot truly have compassion for the pain of other humans. But our lack in the concept of what God is becomes visible within each and every one of us when we cannot offer to those individual others within the human race, something equal to the vision of God, not only as Natural or some other form of law, but indeed the Christian concept of Love. Here too, our inevitable lack of understanding in developing an interpretation that would equal the heights of such a concept as God; i.e. as final and first cause or answer to the dilemma that we cannot know everything is lacking; indeed we remain in the state of temporal concept making. This is one of the reasons I study language theories, and their efforts to make communication as well as representation of ‘realities’ through words ever more whole and inclusive. But as far as the distinction between the Spirit within and God, I believe it is an important and substantial one. There are two contradictory explanations of this relationship.
The Pagan one is that man can become God. This was exemplified in such instances as Roman Emperors proclaiming that they were God, to the hebephrenic individual who identifies himself as God, failing in the delusion, to understand that a spirituality exists in every human being. In the Christian tradition, God becomes Man. It is to be treated as a paradigm, and a one only case, as in the instance of Adam, on the philosophy that the race is in the individual and the individual is in the race. Thus, because it would include everyone, we cannot make the assumption that we are God, because we have not the power, or the capacity to ‘directly’ make every other soul in this world into God. That is, (I speculate here) why it is important to understand the concept of God being made man, even if you disagree with the paradigmatic case of Jesus. We can only trust that this highest concept will one day become visible to us all, which I understand is what is meant by the Second Coming, as (my interpretation) demonstrates this thesis as distinct from the pagan one. As far as a personal God is concerned, I accept this as well as the more Scientific conception of an immanent power within nature. But I also hold the personal conception, as an impetus to continue to develop my spirit, and if I have another metaphysical mystical experience, I can only be hopeful that it will bring further enlightenment: as William James pointed out such experiences are subject to individual circumstances, including the inner state of the individual who has such an experience. The Personal God, (write large) will continue to be therefore, a task which will constantly be before me, to know, to love, and to serve. As far as the individual Spirit is concerned, therefore, this can grow or decline, within my understanding. But the Personal within myself, is something that defines me and is something towards which I also much constantly work to understand, and ‘Feel’, but I do agree with you, that that element of myself is unknowable to other human beings, and is even beyond the scope of language. When I had my mystical experience, I intuited what was meant by both Freedom and Immortality, Kant’s concepts, as we are therefore spiritually, I believe, already eternal, or ‘outside’ of space and time. But the direct experience I understood was beyond my ken and capacity, and thus I can only work towards, what is ‘unknown to me’, as the dictate of St. Thomas Acquinas to know, love and serve God, but I understand this to mean, that I don’t necessarily have to hold fast to this dictum when it comes to the expression of the spirit in other individuals.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Time Out Box: Correction, I did not have a direct experience of God, but could only what what that could be. I do abide by the principle that it is good to work to ‘see myself’ as God sees me, another ideal and concept that urges us to constantly strive to build our capacities to do the same.
That we cannot know another’s spirit also, under the aegis that this is the Personal Self,
but can only react to the manifestations of the spirit, within the threefold expressions of thought, word and deed, thus gives me the prerogative, and indeed often times the duty to disagree with another, but only towards breaking down such barriers of communication, as in power structures, a lack of openness within another and therefore unequal exchanges, as well as the normative structures of same, with which I cannot honestly agree, either through lack of knowledge or empathy within the relationship. End of lecture.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: I could qualify the statements made above endlessly, if only to speak better as well as over come the reality and perception of error. I must say though, that in my ‘metaphysical state’, after experiencing an intellectual intuition of freedom and immortality, that I asked ‘What then is God’. At that point I suddenly broke out of my ‘trance’, if I can call it that, and the room in which I was sitting became visible. I took that to indicate that the Spirit of God could be made manifest in the world, a precept that is held not only by Christians, but by Buddhists. But, paradoxically, that began my five year stint studying Buddhism at the Chandrakirti center, after which I thought to return to the existential world – (Bodisatsva! if I could), but I did realize the possibility after studying other religions, that translations between the languages used by various faiths, was indeed possible, and is among certain groups something that is being attempted. By the way, I make the qualification that a religion is something that is held in common by a community, and that Spirit is what is manifest there, as well as in individuals.The Word of God is not the language of words we speak in our communications, but what is made ‘manifest’ through him, with him and in him, or in his Name, is my ‘understanding’.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

I believe that God is made manifest in every one of us, but I don’t assume the encompassment of the entire universe within myself, although this is the question of Buddhist spirituality.
I believe that progress is constantly being made towards the second coming, which I think will be made a ‘reality when God is made ‘manifest’, in every thought word and deed of every individual on this planet. Thus, the necessity to ‘care’ for our Spirit, and to seek always a better understanding of ourselves and others.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

I believe that is much work to be done to over come the cruelty in ourselves and in others. If a concept or image of God, whatever it be, helps people to do that, GOOD. Cruelty is a large word, and covers many different situations and interactions in various disguises that because we are not fully enlightened beings, we often can even fail to recognize. There is more than some truth to us, in this sense, that we are, all of us – still sinners, or in Buddhist terminology on the wheel of suffering, often resulting from the seeds of karma, (sin) within us that we have not yet overcome.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: I just remembered. Cruelty within the human condition is a prime focus of the Philosophy of Richard Rorty, an American. This concept can perhaps throw some light on what Jean Paul Sartre meant when he said that ‘Hell is other people’. As always, words we use are open and subject to our interpretation.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Your response remindes me of a favorite quote:

The more we focus on viewing others with love, kindness, compassion, and acceptance, the more our view and God’s view will merge.


nrhatch - May 9, 2011

LL ~ Your comments also remind me of the article I read recently that reveals that we are hard-wired to be good and empathize with others. Seems that we don’t need God to keep us on the straight and narrow . . . our mirror neurons do that for us (as long as we don’t drown out the good impulses with the ego’s evil monkey chatter in our brains). 😉

Why We Don’t Need God To Be Good:

Thanks to the mirror neurons:

With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why — and how — our species became hard-wired for goodness.

Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other — a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us.

Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other’s pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can’t resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for “contagious yawning” tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

Jimi Hendrix summed it up well: When the power of love overcomes the love of power . . . the world will know peace.

The transformation won’t “happen” all at once . . . but I think it is already “happening.” Fingers crossed. 😉

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: It may then be some sort of looking glass, (grin grin) that is responsible for what pain and suffering and lack of compassion we encounter within the world.
You know I disagree with you on ego, which I associate with the I, or self, which we cannot escape since we are temporal and worldly beings. Thus I prefer to be more specific when we lack the scientific moral neurons.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Maybe it’s poor parenting?

Our essential human nature is “good” . . . but the way we are nurtured leaves something to be desired.

Most young children I’ve seen are delightfully loving and compassionate until they start seeing the world through the eyes of ego ~ by emulating their parents and other adults. 😉

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: The first mention of the mirror image should have read ‘window or glass pane’ (grin grin). I failed in putting across the joke I guess, or just another error.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box. Maybe to set an ideal that why they call God, a parochial ‘father’. At least I can give the personal interpretation to this concept that it would be an ‘other-than-worldly- parenting. But I wouldn’t want to put that responsibiity on parents. I have read one interpretation, for instance, that the snake in the garden of eden was the advent of language. As always, interpretations are endless.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

That’s why I prefer to rely on the divine Spirit within . . . rather than sorting through 4000 years of accumulated interpretation and misinterpreation by others.

Loreen Lee - May 10, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: Thus ‘analogy’ is contrasted with ‘theology’. A-nalogy may be closer to ‘interpretation’; i.e. our inner life world and personal history, and communication generally, i.e. poetic interaction and hermeneutics. The paradox of course, you will see at once, is that theology can also be regarded as interpretative. On this supposition of what constitutes ‘God’ I certainly think there would be room for argument, if only to get at a clearer understanding of what ‘could’ be definitive.

carldagostino - May 9, 2011

Well thought out a reasonable. I think the Second Coming is not an event. It appears again and again and again every time a person chooses to live a Cristian life.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

I would love to have “God” appear in the flesh, on camera, to set the record straight once and for all.

That’s a show I would watch and re-watch until I digested all the truths “God” chose to share with us. 😀

Loreen Lee - May 10, 2011

Excellent point about faith being ‘opinion’, in that it necessarily has a personal, individual element. Therefore I agree that the term should be distinguished from ‘dogma’, which is faith enshrined in a particular ideology, be it state, church, or even some scientific theories. You quotes Corinthians 13 a while back, where Charity is considered to be the greatest of the ‘theological’ virtues, faith hope and charity. Therefore it is possible both that we can lose faith, and that our faith can grow. But I believe that effort (one of the
Buddhist precepts) is necessary in the struggle. Of course we can have blind faith, which Christianity attempts to make more rational and comprehensive through and ‘interconnected dogma’, and a poetic one at that, (i.e. personal) of the constituents of body, mind, and spirit in the hope that we can develop greater unity within our world view. Faith for me has often been the courage and persistence to continue. This could be a prime objection to a generalized conception of the ‘rightness’ of suicide. That is why I think it is helpful to discuss specific applications of a concept – for instance I think it is often regarded as ‘proper’ to discontinue life-support. This, I believe, could be considered to be a ‘type’, ‘kind’ of suicide, as there still remains an other alternative. But as faith is a virtue, lack of faith may be considered a ‘sin’ or ‘failing’ according to Christian doctrine, which according to the Golden Rule held by all religions,(Love your neighbor as yourself for the Love of God (the universal?) is the Christian rendition of this principle) is an obligation on ourselves to continue, and to have faith not only in a better ‘outcome’,in the world, but in others, and in ourselves. Thanks for the response. The dialogue continues. (Theological by the way can be related to the study of ‘the’ or what is definite, (the definite article) as contrasted with the indefinite article – “a”

Loreen Lee - May 10, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: (That’s where this is going!) I admire your courage of ‘being on your own’. I constantly look for ‘support’, from philosophy as well as religion. But as I’m not directly under the jurisdiction of the ‘interpretation’ of specific priests, or in a class of philosophy in which I would be wise to hone my arguments to what might ‘please’ the professor, I will insist with you that interpretation is my responsibility and prerogative.

Loreen Lee - May 9, 2011

Dear Time Out Box: On reading over some of the responses, I really like the idea expressed by carldagostino on what could be meant by the Second Coming. There is so much truth in it. I expressed it not as an event but some kind of accomplishment. Again, our interpretations from everything from scripture to e-mails are necessarily so various that they can be described as endless. But then, this too is but one interpretation. (One of the reasons I have often felt that there are as many interpretations of what/who God could be as there are human beings. But of course this only substantiates the thesis that God is all in all)

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Good points, LL. That’s probably one reason why I’m so “resistant” to organized religion.

Listening to sermons (in or out of church) makes me feel that I am being asked to accept “their” interpretation of God rather than discovering what God means to me.

Faith is nothing more than our opinion. Why should I substitute anyone else’s opinion for my own? 😀

5. Barbara Gunn - May 9, 2011

I believe we are all God, extensions of the creator.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Beautiful way to express it, Barbara. 😀

6. Lisa - May 9, 2011

My image of God has definitely changed over the years to embrace spirit and the feminine divine. But, I have to say that despite being raised a Jew, I never saw that God as truly vengeful. Yes,I guess the stories of the Old Testament show a parent who punishes his children for disobeying him. But ultimately to me, Judaism is about doing mitzvahs or good deeds because they are the right thing to do. There is no heaven or hell really mentioned in that philosophy. So, in that sense, the Christian form of God is just as cruel, if he is so unforgiving as to allow people to go to Hell unless they show complete and other faith in Him. Judaism encourages questioning that faith. Neither of those Gods work for me anymore, especially as I question the writing of those stories. They are stories written by men. I have to laugh a little at the argument that the New Testament God would not ask for the murder of people; but how many people have been murdered in his name, and wars fought in his name? Again I say, the stories are written by Men. God in that form has been created by Men. So now I believe in the energy and spirit that connects all life. Of course, to some that means I am going to Hell, but so be it.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks for that clarification, Lisa. I’ve been friends with many of the Jewish faith but have never studied Judaism in detail.

As you note, the God of the Old Testament is vastly different than the God of the New but still “cruel” . . . at least in my eyes.

If the NT accounts are to be believed, he sent his son to die on a cross for our sins. Before my faith took an about face, I wondered why a loving and benevolent God couldn’t have figured out a better way to wash away our “sins.”

I am much happier with my current faith ~ believing in a loving energy and spirit that connects all of life.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Lisa ~ I revised my incorrect summation . . . without much elaboration.

If you feel I’m still missing the mark (or actually that Wiki is missing the mark), please let me know. 🙂

Lisa - May 9, 2011

I’m not an expert. It’s just how I understand it, but I’m sure some Rabbi will say I am wrong. 😉

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Well, it’s better now than the way I first wrote it. Thanks.

Lisa - May 9, 2011

Of course, then I stumble on an article like this which explains the issues I have with the Jewish religion. http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thecutline/20110509/ts_yblog_thecutline/wheres-hillary-hasidic-paper-breaks-the-rules-by-editing-her-out-of-white-house-photo

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

That is just awful . . . and more than a bit insane. It’s 2011 and a woman can’t be depicted with her hand over her mouth?

Thanks, Lisa. I shall not convert to Hasidic Judaism in this lifetime. 😉

7. Pseu - May 9, 2011

Can someone please explain the ‘dear time out box’ expression used in this and other posts? Sorry I can’t work it out!

I do not have any faith in any god, but respect that others feel differently.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks, Pseu. I relate to your lack of faith in any god. I was a devout Atheist for 25 years. 😉

To answer your question: Loreen addresses her comments that way because she wants to let everyone know that she no longer has “free rein” to say whatever she wants to say on SLTW. Her comments are held for moderation until reviewed by the “editorial staff.”

nrhatch - May 9, 2011
Pseu - May 11, 2011


8. SuziCate - May 9, 2011

God created Man in his own image and Man returned the favor.- I have found that to be true. As I am currently going through many changes…throwing out old beliefs and accepting what resides in my heart, I won’t comment other than to say I see and feel the presence of God (spirit) everywhere.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Me too, Suzi!

9. Maggie - May 9, 2011

No matter whether it’s God or the Spirit or the Universe or whatever, the divine is far too large for our tiny human minds to fully comprehend anyway. We can try and try to understand, but some things will always remain a mystery, like exactly who or what God is.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks, Maggie. Well put.

The true nature of “God” is a concept that is beyond our earthly ken . . . a mystery too big to be encompassed by one small word.

10. kateshrewsday - May 9, 2011

I meet him when I go inside; when I am most myself.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Me too!

When I go within, my ego (and all its defenses) falls away and “God” surfaces from a bottomless well of joy, happiness, and inner peace. 😀

11. Penny - May 9, 2011

God is my Faith-My Spirit- My Healer-and my Comforter. God dwells within me! We can grasp His presence in our lives. I have experienced His touch many times in my life. When I look at the beauty of nature-I know there is a God.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Thanks, Penny. Beautifully put. 😀

12. clarbojahn - May 9, 2011

I also refer to God as Spirit. We are all spirit as He made us.And we are all one. We are all the Christ. Our brothers and us, One Christ. Or should I say our sisters and us as this blog is mostly women. I also think God is too big for words to describe.That’s why I think of Him as Spirit without gender.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

I’m curious, if you think of God as “without gender,” why do you say “He made us” and “I think of Him”? 😉

Old habits die hard, eh?

clarbojahn - May 10, 2011

I clarified without gender so I wouldn’t have to say Mother/Father/He/She/It etc. Yes, when I think of God I think of She/it/Spirit it is without gender. Thank you for understanding what I am trying to say.

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Same here, Clar. If I say “God” (rather than Spirit or the Universe or the Loving Source), I use the same default of He, Him, His. Old habits are hard to break. 😀

13. Cindy - May 9, 2011

To me God is a set of moral guidelines; the RIGHT way to live and behave, in relation to my inner self and the world around me.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Ooh, I like that. Thanks, Cin!

Have a wonder-filled week! 😀

14. Sana Johnson-Quijada MD - May 9, 2011

i can’t imagine God will only answer to one name. thank u for including us in your bouncing thoughts, search and personal journey.

nrhatch - May 9, 2011

Good point, Sana. And thanks.

I think I’m ready to turn my thoughts to something else entirely. 😀

15. jannatwrites - May 10, 2011

I enjoyed reading the post and the comments that followed.

Just curious – how long does one stay in the “Time Out Box” here at SLTW? For my kids, it’s one minute for every year of their age…

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Thanks, Janna.

Some bloggers moderate ALL comments. They want to see what’s going to be posted before it’s posted. I don’t do that, but I do moderate a few people’s comments because they have “veered off topic” or “pursued their own agenda” often enough that I want a chance to respond to their comments as soon as they are posted . . . rather than allowing them to “hijack the discussion.”

To answer your question with a question . . . when will you leave your children on their own at home? When you’re satisfied that they will “behave” without your oversight, right? 😉

jannatwrites - May 10, 2011

Hehehe…your question answers mine…maybe never 😉

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

I hope that’s not the case. When I started blogging, I had no idea that I might have to “police” the discussion.

When I’m attending a discussion on “Wine Tasting 101,” it wouldn’t occur to me to try to steer the conversation to Poverty, Child Abuse, or Suicide. Not that those topics aren’t worthy of discussion . . . they are. But not in the middle of a Wine Tasting seminar. 😀

16. granny1947 - May 10, 2011

I should have read your post before I did mine!

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Ooh . . . intrigued. Shall be around straightaway. 😀

17. Sandra Bell Kirchman - May 10, 2011

My belief is similar to yours and to some others here. I believe that we are all souls with physicial bodies not the other way around. As souls (or spirit), we are one with the Universe, also called God, the Higher Self, etc. I think that people get caught up in semantics, when actually we are talking about the same thing.

I believe that souls who have gone through the various lessons on Planet Earth have chosen to help us learn our lessons. They are called angels, guides, the Holy Spirit, the small still voice within, controls, avatars, masters, ascended masters, and so on. We all have a team of them to help us in this lifetime.

I believe that the divine part of every one of us, plus all the levels of angels, form what is known as God. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at night, we attend spiritual board meetings to work on the Plan for the Universe.

There is a lot more to this, but it’s too lengthy to go into here.

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

What you say resonates with me, Sandra.

I love the idea that (at night) our spirits convene to work on the Grand Plan. Maybe there is still time for us to put the power of love before the love of power. Thanks for an insight-filled comment!

18. CMSmith - May 10, 2011

Heavy stuff. But I’m with you on the patriarchal God. More in tune with the natives, I think.

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Thanks, Christine.

I’m going to give the topic of religion a rest for a bit. It’s been interesting, but somewhat exhausting.

I expect that’s why so many people focus on discussing less controversial topics at cocktail parties ~ weather, sports, food, wine, movies. 😀

19. eof737 - May 10, 2011

My relationship with God has always been personal. Even though I grew up hearing about the God of the Old Testament and the eye for an eye stories, that was never the relationship I felt inside my heart. My relationship has not changed. It has matured; but it remains one of grace, faith, and belief in the miraculous.
When I opened my eyes to the philosophical teachings of other faiths and paths, and got into yoga and meditation, my understanding of my own faith deepened. I am a Christian who believes the paths to God are many and that if God created us all in his/her image, then one religious order cannot truly claim ownership of the one God. 🙂
Have a great day and I love that abstract painting at the top. Is it one of yours?

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

Being filled with grace, faith and belief in the miraculous is a wonderful way to view the world.

No, it’s not one of mine ~ most of my avatars are from avatarist.com. I’ve never gotten around to scanning my paintings. Some day . . .

20. oldancestor - May 10, 2011

You neglected to mention the greatest god of them all. God…zilla!

You know how I feel about the whole thing, so I won’t comment, but it’s interesting to see the range of comments.

nrhatch - May 10, 2011

I apologize to God…zilla for my egregious oversight. And to King Kong as well.

But not to Mothra . . . no one believes that Mothra is real. It’s just not plausible. 😉

21. Greg Camp - May 11, 2011

What about gods? Apollo and the Muses appeal to me as a writer, and the Norse gods fit in with my view of how life ought to be lived. Christianity claims to be monotheistic, but that just doesn’t make sense. The Trinity is three, however connected they may be, and what about the saints? Many of the aforementioned gods just got baptized.

I take the stories that appeal to me or touch me and leave the others alone. If we all followed that policy, there’d be much less conflict between and within religions.

nrhatch - May 11, 2011

So true, Greg.

I like the idea of many gods and goddesses rather than a single God. Pagan, Celtic, and Wiccan religions appeal to me.

Do what you will . . . and harm none. So mote it be.

Sandra Bell Kirchman - May 11, 2011

Greg, you are right about less conflict between and within religions. However, we are overlooking one major point. Religion is not about God…it’s about power. As long as people want power, they will claim their religion is the best or the only way to go (pardon the pun) or stir up doubt and fear by saying their interpretation is the only right way. The less secure the leaders are, the more fanatical they become.

Pretty soon, we have rule by fear to lay at the feet of almighty power…not even divine power…but earthly power.

nrhatch - May 11, 2011

I think you hit another nail on the head, Sandra.

Churches are in the power and control business . . . not the business of salvation. 😀

22. Be Still And Know That I Am God | Spirit Lights The Way - November 17, 2013

[…] posts:  The Placebo Effect of God * What is G~O~D? * Why I Speak of Spirit not God * God is NOT A Christian, Jew, or Moslem * Blaming God For The […]

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