Sreejit started his third season of Dungeon Prompts with quite a challenge! He wrote:
There are so many different concepts of what God is that we are forced to philosophically dissect and explain our own notion of the word before we can even talk about it. Often the westerner is not conceptualizing the easterner’s view and vice versa and though one may be devout and faithful in their own religion they would be considered crazy by another’s standards. So what is your concept of God and what is His/Her/Its impact on or necessity in your life.
My beliefs about God have changed numerous times in my life. During childhood and into my college years, I was involved in the Christian church in various forms. My mother’s church was very liberal, but during the 10th grade I went to a Billy Graham crusade in Hawaii and became “born again.” During those years when I considered God, I probably thought of his love and also of the need for me to be free from sin.
I went to a conservative Christian college and before I graduated I did a major about-face. For the next 20 years or so, I described myself as being somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist. I didn’t want anything to do with spiritual people and the word God made me feel sick to my stomach.
That attitude changed abruptly when I met Amma in 1989. I had been invited to go to her program and “Yes” came out of my mouth even though I had no desire to go. When I walked into the program and they began to sing, I felt as if I had come Home.
I often remark that those things I feel the most resistance to doing are likely, at some point, to become a major part of my life. That was certainly true in this case. That first night with Amma resulted in my spiritual life becoming all important once again.
This time, however, my spirituality didn’t and doesn’t have much to do with religion. I have no interest in any religion’s dogma. What grabs my attention is where their beliefs overlap. Amma often says her religion is Love. To me that is one of the areas that all religions have in common.
So what is my concept of God?
- I believe in a formless God. I see God as energy, spirit, consciousness, or something like that. I imagine there aren’t words to give an accurate description of God, and if there are, I don’t know them!
- I don’t believe God is male, female, or neuter. Or maybe he is all of those. I generally choose to use the word “he” rather “he/she/it.”
- I once heard that when the world is in trouble, God sends beings into the world to help us. There may even be multiple beings like that in the world at one time. I find that a believable concept. I think that these beings are made in his image, not because he has a body, but rather because they reflect his essence. Some examples are Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, and in my mind, Amma.
- I believe that God is also inside of each of us. As we do our spiritual work, we remove the blocks that are covering up that divine essence within us.
- I believe in a God that is unconditional Love.
- I believe in a God that is infinitely patient.
- I believe in a God that will stick with us until we learn what we need to learn.
- I believe in a God that is ever ready and willing to pull us close to him, but we have to give him the opening.
So those are some of the attributes that I think of when I conceptualize God. What is your concept of God?