I reinvented my God because I eventually came to see that the Bible wasn’t ‘the literal word of god’ and wasn’t, in fact, even a trustworthy translation of a trustworthy book.
Quite the contrary. An almost arbitrary collection of translations and mistranslations of 66 different documents, at the very least.
All put together by the most ordinary and profane of men.
And I came to see that the ordinary and profane men strutting the earth claiming to have knowledge and understanding of ‘god’ were nothing but charlatans without any claim really to any better knowledge than I myself had.
So now I’ve got this new God that is Reality. REALITY
Puts me in the ‘pantheistic’ camp I think.
My god is not some old man with a beard living in a cloud somewhere.
Not a magical spirit in another dimension to be approached upon death.
Not someone with an intense interest in my every action and mode of dress and avidly listening to my every prayer.
Not someone who stretched forth his hand and said ‘let there be light’ or whatever, and created everything and saw it was good.
Not “Someone other than me”. Not Someone separate, different, away, apart, beyond, outside, external, other.
No. Not some one like that. No one like that. No one at all. No ‘one’.
But this. THIS. The everything. The all. What we have now. What it is here. Here and now. This: the everlasting now. The beginning and the end. The alpha and the omega.
They said ‘There is no God’. ‘Give up your God.’
But there’s always been more gods than you can poke a stick at.
They never say which god it is that they claim doesn’t exist.
How can they claim my god doesn’t exist if they don’t know what my god is?
But I’m being smart about it. We all really know what “they” mean.
In general terms. And that’s all it ever gets to – general terms. They are good enough. The whole discussion never gets better than that.
So in general terms the God they deny exists is an individual-as-a-God or an ‘entity’, like a human being that brought everything into being and created us especially and is vitally interested in all we do and will reward or punish us for our doing in a life after death.
And what they are really saying is:
‘Don’t believe all that because there’s no one gives a damn about you, no Supreme Being caring for you and there’s no Life After Death. So give up hope. This is all there is. ‘
They mean don’t worship anything. Don’t hope for anything. Don’t value anything as ‘proper action’. They mean all is hopeless and meaningless, as meaningless as mechanical evolution.
They are sad and unhappy. They are telling us about their own disappointment and distress.
They wanted someone to care for them. They wanted a Supreme Being. They wanted a Life After Death. They see no point in right action if it is not advocated by the Supreme Being and rewarded in a Second Life.
Well I feel sorry for them but they’re too silly for words.
They’re even sillier than the silly religions.
But I must thank them. For in their attack upon religion – specifically my own, the Christian religion – and on their attack on the truth of the Jesus Christ story in particular they caused me to consider just what on earth I was on about.
Just what on earth was I believing. What was I thinking?
And after some time of such thinking I found my god was unimpaired. Strengthened in fact.
It was not destroyed by their proofs of the unreliability of the Bible, of their demonstrations of lack of evidence of Christ or by their appeals to common sense and science nor their horrifying revelations of the iniquities of all ‘men of religion’ and, in fact, religions themselves, in all.
For all they really did was make me think for myself – which, in fact, is what we’re asked to do in some part of the bible there, I remember.
They just made me think. Reason.
And now I’m decidedly rational about my god.
Previously, for the whole of my life in fact, I gave no thought whatever to my god so couldn’t claim any kind of rationality at all.
I lived my life thinking there’s a god, of course, and it’s just for me to live my life in as good a manner as I can – which basically meant in accord with the popular christian precepts.
I didn’t think about the ‘afterlife’ thing. I didn’t think about the nature of god. I didn’t think about any of it.
But now I’ve thought on it all – prompted by those scoffers and disbelievers – and now my religion, my belief in my god makes very good sense to me. Which is very strengthening.
It has put a distance between me and my old self, my old beliefs, my old unthinking beliefs and has therefore put a distance between myself and those congregations of unthinking believers and their dictatorial ‘leaders’.
I had to find a definition for my kind of thinking, my kind of understanding, rather than just accepting the one my parents told me was my ‘label’, my kind of thinking, my belief, my ‘church’, my reality.
Which was, methodist. I was brought up to believe I was a Methodist Christian.
But it was never really explained to me what that was.
How can you explain a Methodist belief without explaining all the other beliefs? Which didn’t happen. I wasn’t educated in the truth of this field of human reasoning and believing. Most of us aren’t.
So, as I said earlier, after a period of believing I had arrived at an understanding which was peculiarly my own, shared by no one, I finally found that many people before me had come to the same understanding, or something near enough to it, and they were generally collected together under the label of ‘pantheists’.
So now I had a name to hide under. To hand out to people as an explanation of what I believed, what I was, what I am. It wasn’t precise, of course, it was a ‘blanket’ term. A group term. Just like ‘Christian’ is a group term. There’s many, many different kinds of ‘Christian’ thought. Well there’s many kinds of pantheist thought, mine for instance.
So now I find ‘my’ god isn’t ‘my’ god at all. I mean this way of looking at it. This way of thinking, of defining god. It is not just mine. I’m not alone.
No. Not at all. Apparently my idea is belong in the group of ideas called ‘pantheistic’ ideas and has been espoused many times before, going back a long way. I find Spinoza and Bruno amongst the names.
There seems to be a little difference however. Apparently the pantheists wouldn’t credit a ‘personal’, ‘anthropomorphic’ god.
I’m not sure about that but I think they mean they won’t accept the idea of a god in human shape. That’s ‘anthropomorphic’ isn’t it?
I think – not sure, but I think – they draw a line generally and say that ‘god’ isn’t a person.
Well I do think so. For me every human being is god in human shape. A specific instance of god.
Which isn’t to say that I think you are God. Or want you to think that I am God. No. I mean that God is in and of and all of everything tiniest bit of the universe. That there’s nothing else but God. God is all there is. So if you are not God I don’t know what you are because you’re certainly a part of everything and everything is God.
So why don’t you do miraculous ‘godlike’ things? Well, nothing and nobody does. That we usually see or recognise. That wall doesn’t do miraculous things but it is God, too. Why expect you to do anything more than the wall does?
Does that mean there are no miraculous godlike things? Don’t be silly. The whole of everything is a miraculous godlike thing. That’s the whole point.
There’s another aspect. Another way of looking at it. At the pantheists refusal to believe in a ‘Personal’ god.
It could be they mean, perhaps, a god that is cognisant of your own being. Pantheists won’t have that. Like everything is god – God (capital ‘G’ there, I guess, I should keep putting in) – so there’s nothing personal about it. The impersonal ‘everything’ of the whole universe is alike for all of us and blandly indifferent to any one of us.
I don’t know. Maybe they mean you can’t imagine that a part of the wholeness that is God can pay particular attention to your own tiny self.
They won’t accept that idea.
Well I will. I think it is obvious that god is cognisant of my being. I am a manifestation of god and I am cognisant of you. Therefore god is cognisant of you.
God is self aware at least as evidenced by the awareness of humanity.
We assume insensate material. The stuff of reality. Atoms. Sub atomic particles. Well it becomes sensate. At the least. If it is not already sensate in some way we know not of it becomes sensate in, as, us. We are the insensate material become conscious of itself.
We know that much. We can see that.
How much more is there we don’t know ?