Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I believe in God

That's is a pretty big statement. So I should probably qualify it. After all, I've spent a little while browsing random blogs, and don't wish to find myself lumped in with the scary number of god-botherers who all sound like they love Jesus more than their fellow human beings, and none of whom seem to have graduated highschool if their command of the language is anything to go by.

Anyways, of course I'm not saying I believe in the god of the bible. Nor the koran. In fact, none of humanity's sacred texts really talk about the god I believe in. The buddhists mention the God I'm talking about, but they've added a few too many complications and "mysterious ways". You see, God is actually very simple...

God is that thing inside me that celebrates when I see something beautiful. It's the thing that fills me with warmth when I help someone, or act decently, or decide against the selfish act. God is that thing inside me that catches my breath when I first glimpse the ocean after an hour of driving towards it. God has no brain, no mind, no personality. God does not pass judgment nor require appeasement. Yet God's voice is the only one worth listening to.


Blogger L said...

Very nice-- and quite sensible of you, I think.

10/2/05 04:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(today's anon is iotar)

Is this god also the creator? I'm a little wary of mixing up ethical deities and creators - in that way moral values have to be implied in the make up of Creation. You can either have a nice guy personal god or an impersonal creator god - the moment you try to combine them the problem of evil comes to dominate cosmology: see Zoroastrianism.

But I'm sure we've been here before, haven't we?

10/2/05 11:54  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

> Is this god also the creator?
Good grief no!

(except perhaps in a 'poetic' sense)

The universe didn't require "a creator". It's birth from nothingness was a natural, though anomalous event. The "coming into existence" of time is in fact an inevitability. As Einstein pointed out, "the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once". And with the birth of time, came the other dimensions (an infinitesimal fraction of a nanosecond later) which go to make up spacetime.

I don't believe in a nice-guy personal god, nor in a creator god. We are God. And God is within us. God is love. And God is that which inspires love.

10/2/05 12:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't call that "God", I call that "Dao" (not the true Dao, you understand).


10/2/05 13:00  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

I hear you Joel. I guess it's just a terminology thing (I never escaped that Catholic upbringing, did I?)

10/2/05 13:03  
Blogger merrick said...

Gotta say I'm with Joel on that. If you have a god that is nothing to do with the bible god, why use the same name? Isn't that ladelling on the biblical overtones and asking for confusion?

Imagine how your post would read if it said you believed not in 'god but' in say 'allah', 'brahman' or 'odin' but then explained that it wasn't in the way that the muslims/hindus/odinists mean it.

It's a position I've heard several times before and I've noted that, as you declare, it invariably comes from those who had an upbringing in the religion whose god's name they use.

10/2/05 13:13  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Thing is Merrick, the word "God" has a huge resonance in the language I speak and the culture I was raised in. Just as "Allah" does for Arabic speakers. The word "Dao"? I can tell you about it intellectually... but the word stirs nothing deep within me.

And there's nothing can be done about that. "God" is a massive concept within my life (yes, because of my childhood... but we're all a product of our past; denying that is a psychosis). And it's a concept that I want control over. That I want to mean something to me. I don't want "God" to be this hideous shadow from the past... and it will never be just an empty word that has as much resonance as "table" or "losenge".

I understand the difficulty that people without a religious upbringing have with this. "Why not use a more accurate word?" you may ask. But for me there is no more accurate word. I have reclaimed the word, and the idea of God from Catholicism. And it took me 15 years to do it. A decade and a half to transform that hideous guilt-ridden notion of judgment and punishment into something that lifts and inspires me.

So for now at least, I'm sticking with "God".

10/2/05 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always tell people that my "god" is the common feeling of good between decent people that I pick up on when among decent people.


10/2/05 20:59  

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