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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


 

God

 


 

Editor's Note: This article is part of a series; see the 8 link-icons below - each is best reviewed within a wide corpus of knowledge. My research, for 50 years, attempts to get at what's real and true. Concerning priority of the topics, there's a song-lyric, "love changes everything" - so it is with the scientific evidence of the afterlife; its reality changes everything.

Afterlife Bible Hell God
Jesus Christ Clear-Thinking Satan Summary

 

 

 

the most debated topic of history

Dr. Mortimer Adler, well known for his distillation of history's 102 "Great Ideas," informs us that the subject of "God" is most discussed among the 102 down through the centuries.

However, this topic has brought out the worst in human beings (but not to Divine discredit) as "God" serves another "first" - the flashpoint and proximate cause of most of the murder and violence staining the chronicle of Man's story.

 

we know so little about "God"

Despite all of the heated interplay, and the bravado of those who are certain, we know so little about "God" - almost nothing, hardly anything. Not only do we "know little" but information here is virtually "unknowable." As mystic-thinkers suggest, the best we can do is to state what "God" is not; this is firmer ground. 

 

writing about the "unknowable God"

Only with great difficulty might one proceed here. And yet, it is possible to know some few things. I invite you to survey the best thought and investigation on this subject; a personal collection gathered over many years.

 

bite-sized packets of information

Providing a certain sequence of thought, the following sub-article writings, it is suggested, are best reviewed in the order presented.

 

please click on each link-icon

The reason behind the reason for what most people believe.

Why only the virtuous find the truth.

Quotations from various thinkers on the subject of God

Dr. Amit Goswami: What quantum physics tells us about the scientific rediscovery of God. How does a non-material God, without exchange of energy, interact with material objects in a 3-D world?

Dr. Gerald Schroeder: "The Eternal our God is One" - that is, God is Singular Pervasive Reality. Everything, without exception, is manifestation of an eternal unity, a transcending consciousness. There is nothing else, other than this Singular Divine Totality.

One of my most astonishing discoveries about the afterlife: there is no religiosity over there - no harps, cherubs, or hallelujahs. It's a normal world of real people, living real lives, enjoying work and social activities; further, they still debate what God is like, even, whether s/he exists.

A male-dominated Church hierarchy speaks of God employing masculine metaphor; but, an ignored part of the Bible reveals God also in feminine terms and symbols.

The Image of God, Male and Female: Part I

The Image of God, Male and Female: Part II

The Image of God, Male and Female: Part III

Primal Joy: the secret life of baby animals and the unguarded, unpretentious mind of God

Eckhart Tolle: "The word honey isn’t honey. You can talk about honey for as long as you like, but you won’t know it until you taste it; and you can talk about God for the rest of your life, but does that mean you know the reality to which the word points?"

Carl Sagan: What science should be teaching us about the mystery and marvel of God: "How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way'."

Analyzing the typical religious attitude.

Father Robert Benson: "God is man's greatest and truest friend, not his dreadful judge. He is not a merciful God, for he has no mercy to give. Mercy only exists as between men upon earth."

What Einstein believed about God. 

Pastor Dr. Leslie Weatherhead analyzes the New Testament gospels and informs us that, late in his ministry, Jesus changed his mind regarding the nature of his mission and what the Church should be.

Late in his ministry, Jesus began to view Institutional Religion as the great enemy of spiritual society, a "den of thieves," robbing and pillaging the people, keeping them from true relationship with God.

How a dysfunctional view of God becomes an opiate of the people, a hindrance to clear-thinking, and a barrier to authentic faith.

Why God Does Not Want, and even Disdains, “Worship” Offered by the Churches.

How did the ancient Greeks, a religious people, manage, almost single-handedly, to create what we call philosophy? Why is it that the beginnings of so many important modern fields of enquiry find their roots in the ancient Hellenic culture?

Profiling The Atheist, by Michael Tymn: Atheists tend to exhibit a certain psychological profile.

Does God believe in tithing?

Elizabeth Fry: One of my very favorite afterlife-teachers comments on the nature of God. 

The most important thing I would share about this subject 

 

 

well, that's just what a cultist would say

 

Doctor Strange (2016),
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams)

 

Christine: “So you joined a cult.”

Stephen: “No, I didn't. Not exactly. I mean, they did teach me to tap into powers that I never even knew existed.

Christine: “Yeah, that sounds like a cult.”

Stephen: “It's not a cult.”

Christine: “Well, that's just what a cultist would say.”

 

Editor's note: See a full discussion and definition of cultism here.

 

In my youth, after high school graduation, it got back to me that some of my classmates, knowing of my interest in things metaphysical and religious, were reporting that I had joined a cult; even, that I had shaved my head. This really burned me. Today, 50 years later, I smile at this memory and think of a comic routine by Michael J. Fox who, when confronted with two accusations, would vehemently deny one but remain silent about the other. For me, it would have been, “Ha! How ridiculous! I have not shaved my head!”

And regarding the charge of my joining a cult, along with Doctor Strange, I will brush this indictment aside with, “Not exactly.” Technically, I had not “joined a cult” but, rather, had transferred membership from a childhood church to one of my own choosing. Thus, it was very unfair to say that I had “joined a cult.”

Well, as Christine would point out, this is just what a cultist would say.

But here’s the problem: Nobody likes to be called a cult member. Most times, when this is done, it’s just a form of name-calling, of bigotry, of putting someone down and thinking you’re better. It’s what Tom Wolfe meant when he said that "A cult is a religion with no political power." If your church – and we’ll exclude the non-religious forms of cultism for the moment – is rich and powerful, then it’s not a cult, don't you know. It’s mainstream. How can it be a cult if “everybody’s doing it”? But if your group is a minority religion, with beliefs that are a little funky, then you’re a cult. That’s how it works. It's a way of keeping people in line.

But this politicized definition of cultism is not what we’re talking about here in these writings. I make people mad by calling their respectable church a cult. But, listen to Christine, this is just how a cultist would react.

Cultism, at its etymological roots, has nothing to do with not being popular, or a lack of lobbying ability, or not drinking the kool-aid. These are contrivances, narrowly construed, that people latch onto in order to make sure that their particular cult is excluded from the definition. Nice try. (See these kinds of cheap debating tricks exposed in my “clear thinking” article.)

Let me make this plain, from another angle. You, me, and your second-cousin – everyone – we’re all headed for a new world. This one’s being given up for lost. And when you get over there, if you like to cause discomfort for yourself, you can continue in the old cultish ways – be they religious, philosophical, ethnic, any sort of group-delimitation suiting your fancy. As we’ve seen, they’re called “brotherhoods” by the Spirit Guides, and there are thousands of them in the next world, all populated by those seeking for a “strong father figure.” You can join any one of them. No one will stop you. Go knock yourself out and, in fear-and-guilt, continue to surrender your autonomy to some “infallible” Dear Leader.

Editor’s note: I recently reviewed Father Benson’s “Life In The World Unseen,” and was reminded of his thoughts on this subject. He reports of those who maintain their old religions on the other side:

Each denomination, of course, holds to its own particular creed and formularies, such as it had on Earth…  if the minds of people are stubborn and they are unable really to think for themselves, then do they remain shackled to their narrow religious views, thinking it to be all the truth, until a day of spiritual awakening dawns for them. Then they will see that their slavish adherence to their creeds is holding them back… they do no harm as they are, here, beyond retarding their spiritual progression. Once they realize what they are doing themselves, and take the first step forward, their joy knows no bounds. They will realize the ‘time’ they have apparently wasted.

Notice the judgment: "slavish adherence," or “unable to think for themselves,” or “shackled to their narrow religious views,” or “minds” that are “stubborn.” Yes, “they do no harm” – except to themselves.

There is one more scene from “Doctor Strange” that might help us:

 

The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)

 

"Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all -- it's not about you."

 

In these writings, I very frequently reference the “false self,” the dysfunctional ego, and therefore you might suspect that an admonition, “It’s not about you,” would find support from me. Well, certainly, “you” as “egocentric you” or “you, to the exclusion of all others” is to be rejected out of hand. The problem with easy platitudes from a movie script is that sometimes these phrases are presented by those who’ve not really explored any depth of meaning. “It’s not about you,” at the surface, seems patently unspiritual, with not a friend in the world. However, there’s a “good” and a “bad” to this.

Cultish organizations are very quick, either in explicit teaching or by subliminal message, to sell a program of “It’s not about you.” This is code-language, however, for “You are unworthy. God could never love you. You are defective. You will never reach the high-bar but for the aid offered by the Dear Leader in your friendly neighborhood cultish group.” This is how people are controlled; specifically, by a heavy diet of the fear of death, and an existential guilt of innate imperfection.

But Summerland society is not constructed on these perverse precepts. While there is a harmony and an order to all things over there, the interests of the individual are not sacrificed for the group. In a very real way, it is “about you” in the next world.

While each sane and balanced person in Summerland takes part in various charitable service projects, these do not define one’s life – because, “it is about you.” Each psychologically healthy person in Summerland is engaged in a personal development and educational program, which might include the arts, math, science, space travel, adventure, parties, personal quiet time, friends, and just doing nothing.

One might say that society over there is comprised not of a federation, not of a centralized authority structure, but more like a loose confederation, a voluntary union, often ad hoc in nature, of uniquely talented individuals – as each of us is – who come together at times for the greater good, but, in the main, are dedicated to the proposition of reflecting God’s glory on an individual level, of manifesting the one-of-a-kind “inner riches,” of simply learning to enjoy one's existence -- which is not that easy -- and is what “made in the image” is all about.

Cults know nothing of this sacred personhood and individualization -- for them, it's all group initiative, and therefore take us in exactly the wrong direction, far afield, as per God’s individualized plan for each of us.

But wait. There's another supremely sorrowful reason to avoid the cults. In that darkened frame of mind, you will never find, or get to be with, your true mate, your eternal love. Just ask Christine:

 

 

 

 

Editor's last word: