Dungeon Prompts: What is Your Concept of God?

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?

 

22 thoughts on “Dungeon Prompts: What is Your Concept of God?

  1. Your first bullet pretty much sums it up. As the Sufi mystic Rabia Basri said, “Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers.”

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post, Karuna. We do share similar Ideas…I too would frown or do the eye roll, in my twenty’s if someone tried to convert me. I think then the only religion that attracted me was Judaism, I still do have a fondness and interest in especially the history.

    I remember my cousin crashed at my place with a new girlfriend who was trying to convert me to Baha’i…a few have tried…although I do love my friends who are followers …but in my twenty’s I just steered away …period. Now, I feel I am more inclusive of so many religions and I think that is what is so inviting and rich when seeing Amma…her whole being spells compassion and unconditional love.

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    1. That is so true about Amma……..I very feel blessed to be able to be with her as often as I am. And I love being around people from many different religions, both when I am with her, and in my daily life.

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  3. I think the concept of God as embodied in this one word is best seen as an umbrella term or matrix of related concepts that might encompass notions from Spinoza’s concept of God as nature, to something overtly anthropomorphic and naïve. It is a word for the general that may become particular in the individual at any one point in their development.

    Very best wishes.

    Hariod.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the way you conceptualize God. I definitely see how different aspects of the general have become particular both in my past and even now. I am much more in-tuned to the nature part at this point in my life.

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  4. Your concept of God is very like mine. I began as a Christian and still am, though I’ve grown way beyond the bounds of where I started out. My traditional roots support my growing and changing understanding of God.

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    1. I can definitely relate to what you are saying. I actually still consider myself a Christian, although I know some Christians wouldn’t agree. I feel very connected to Christ.

      I spent many years after I met Amma going to a Church of God in Christ church. That is an African-American denomination and I loved the people at the church and the music.

      The minister often asked, during sermons, to raise your hand if you “had the Holy Spirit”. I felt in a dilemma. I had no question that I did, but also knew that many of the church members would think I was lying or deluding myself if they knew more about my religious beliefs.

      I talked to the ministers wife about the issue. (She did know about my journey with Amma.) Her response was “If you had a $20 bill in your pocket and someone told them it wasn’t there, would you stop believing it? Besides, anyone who knows you, knows you have the Holy Spirit.” I was so surprised and grateful that someone from a very fundamentalist church would think this way.

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  5. I love this post- and totally related to what you said about the power of doing something when there is a bit of resistance present. What is that? I wonder if it is instinct telling the mind “this is BIG” and the resistance is the mind trying to avoid change? I don’t know, but I definitely feel a similar thing in life.

    I also like what you said about dogma and religion. There is so much overlap between religions… and love does seem to be a common theme.

    Thanks for sharing Karuna- and I love your blog too!

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    1. What came to mind when I read your comment was hearing a minister, many years ago, say that the first quiet voice that comes is the voice of God, and what often follows that voice is our mind offering a flood of discounting messages saying why God’s message won’t work!

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  6. I love this post and agree with much of what you said. I believe God is spirit – a spirit of pure love – and much, much larger than any of us can conceptualize.We thus spend our whole lives growing closer to understanding that which we cannot understand. I also separate religion and spirituality as two very different things, and I subscribe to spirituality. Spirituality gave me the breath of life when I was near death.

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