I wrote some thoughts out this morning, for the purpose of writing this post. But, I am experiencing some resistance in actually doing that. Why? I feel like I’m coming out of some sort of spiritual closet.
The thing is, I don’t know my answer to the title question. I mean, I believe in “God” as in an mysterious force of creation and love in this universe. I believe in an intelligence that is greater than any of our consciousness’s combined that is expressed through each of us. I’ve grown more comfortable using the word God because I can now relate the word to my experience whereas I couldn’t for a long time. I also find that it’s helpful for me to be able to use that word, as it’s an integral part of the language of many circles I’m in.
What about prayer? I do pray. Sometimes, I speak aloud the desires of my heart as if to my best friend, as my friend, Adam Bucko, would say. These words often flow easily, though I sometimes don’t really think anything or anyone is listening. My words are carried via vibration through the ether. And, maybe those vibrations can eventually manifest into a lived reality, depending on the combinations of other vibrations. But, I’m not sure I would say that I have a personal relationship with this God.
I do believe in divinity – a pure, unadulterated grace that transcends yet is made manifest on the earthly plane. And, I experience this force and this presence almost daily.
My dad once asked me how I can speak prayers of thanksgiving – as in, to whom did I think I was praying? I wonder, is it not enough to simply experience gratitude? It doesn’t have to be so transactional, like “you gave me this thing I wanted, so here is my thanks.” I suppose that extending thanks can bring with it a beautiful sense of humility, though I wonder if this lowering of oneself can extend itself into a denial of agency and responsibility for one’s actions.
This is actually why the God vs. no God debate is often sort of a moot point for me, a point at which I feel that I align greatly with humanists. I have no idea what will happen when I die, if I’ll go to some heavenly realm or reincarnate or simply decay into the earth. So, I don’t have fear of hell or damnation or whatever. All that really matters to me is that I have a life to live on this planet and I can spend it living in compassion or not. I choose compassion.
And, when I mess up, it’s because of me. I can’t simply use God as a scapegoat, as either an excuse for bad behavior or the thing that will simply absolve me of my sins.
Mostly, I don’t feel much turmoil on this matter. I have a deep, and ever-deepening, spiritual life and calling. And, who knows, maybe I’ll write a different response tomorrow. “God” simply can’t be put into a little box of this-not-that.
“What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos.”
— Albert Einstein