I have a saying:
“God is awareness.”
What I mean by this is that ‘god’ is a really nothing but a form of awareness. It is not:
- A man, being, or thing.
- A concept, principle, or idea.
- A myth or image.
All these things, in my opinion, come AFTER the awareness of god. Because they come after the awareness they are representations of the awareness of god. That is to say, they are various ways to portray the awareness. This does not mean that they are wrong or in error. This is not true. What it means is that they are an interpretation, a description, a ‘painting’, of the awareness. Because they are different, frankly, means nothing at all to me. Because they are descriptions they are reflective of the ‘language’, so to speak, that the person uses. As we all know, we can say the same thing in different languages and not have a clue what’s being said. The same applies here. We’re all describing the same awareness in different ways, dependent on our means and ability to describe the awareness.
The awareness of god is first and foremost. As a result, it is in awareness that god is known. This means that all the speculation about god, the analyzing, the trying to prove or disprove god, is utterly ridiculous to me. Just some time ago I saw some scientists and atheists trying to disprove god . . . I couldn’t help but chuckle. Obviously, they are looking at a different god than I’m looking at. They treated god like it was some sort of an object – a rock, an animal, a tree – that they could analyze.
Good luck! . . . you’re going to need it.
God, in my opinion, is only known through awareness. A person cannot treat god like an object, a thing. The question of god is the question of awareness. This means that a person must be open to the awareness of god to know god and what it is. In many ways, the learning of god is nothing but a learning of awareness.
There are two forms of god-awareness:
- Pure awareness. This is an awareness without words and ideas. It is an experiential form of awareness.
- Representation of Pure Awareness. This is the awareness given some form. This form is a means to interpret and ‘get a handle’ on the Pure Awareness.
‘Representation’ has something like a spectrum of describing the god awareness which follows this pattern:
- Using images. This refers to having an idea of what it is, such as a man or animal.
- Using myths and stories. This is when we put aspects of the god awareness into a story format, to give it interpretation and meaning.
- Using concepts. This is, in a way, the turning of myth and stories into ideas and principles that generally are more philosophical.
As a general rule, we tend to lean to the conceptual end of things. This is because it gives us something ‘tangible’ to work with. This is usually where most of the disputes of ‘god’ take place too, an endless battle between concepts and principles. The problem is that this is where, in my opinion, god is felt the least. The further we move from Pure Awareness the more shallow god becomes. The area of concepts is the farthest . . . and the shallowest. But, yet, it is here that most of the disputes take place. It’s for this reason that I have always taken disputes of the ‘existence of god’ with a grain of salt. That is to say, not too seriously.
All these forms of awareness shows that there are MANY forms of god-awareness . . . not just one! This fact leads to a dilemma I call ‘the dilemma of god-awareness’. It amounts to this question:
“WHAT TYPE OF AWARENESS DO WE USE?”
In general, culture determines a lot of the awareness we use. In culture is the ‘language of interpretation’. As a result, culture leads to the form of interpreting the god-awareness that we use. It generally describes the form and way in which it is to be looked at as well as how we use it. But, regardless of this, different people still experience god-awareness differently, leading to a variety of awareness and interpretations of god. Even in a culture, these different interpretations can lead to problems.
I’ve often felt that most of the disputes of god are really nothing but a dispute in awareness and interpretation, of which awareness we should use. It’s not a question of gods existence more than how one is to be aware and interpret it.
Even within ourselves we struggle with how we should be aware and interpret god. Just some time ago I heard someone say that, after a tragic event, he felt “how can there be a god that would allow this to happen”. His faith in god disappeared. But it would be more accurate to say that his representation or interpretation of god, at that time, was put into a crisis. What happened clashed with what he “thought” god was and his “interpretation” of god. In effect, this forced him to have to ‘review’ his own conceptions of god, recreating a new representation and interpretation of god. In the end, he recovered his faith.
This shows the fact of how most peoples lack of faith, or belief, in god are not a question OF god but more of how THEY view god. My observation of some scientists, atheists, and non-religious people show this quite a bit. Many of these people just don’t have a good representation and interpretation of god. With many of these peoples attitudes and points of view there is NO way they will develop a good representation of god.
Because god is awareness, and we have to interpret that awareness, we have to continually change and develop our interpretation of god with the situations of life and our own growth. There is no ‘one’ interpretation. This fact gives the ‘dilemma of god-awareness’ even more complexity and variety, for even in our own lives our representation of god varies. We all will struggle with our representation of god in some form or another.
This shows, in my opinion, that we must always be aware of the fact that our ‘representation’ of god is never complete or accurate and that it continually needs to be changed and updated in our lives. Many peoples disputes with god are because they have a ‘one’ image of god and a ‘one’ interpretation and they are trying to fit everything to that model (I see that a lot with scientists and atheists). Since situations don’t fit their model it creates a dilemma with god.
That’s not the wise way to look at it in my opinion.
The ‘dilemma of god-awareness’ is primarily caused by our tendency to create a ‘one’ god-awareness,of a single representation of god. By allowing ourselves to change our awareness the ‘dilemma of god-awareness’ really ends.
If one stands back and takes a look, it is actually a wonderful and great thing that we have all these different forms of god-awareness. It makes life rich and deep. It’s actually something to be appreciated.