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What Is God?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Humans have tried to find an answer to the question of God since the dawn of their intelligence. They came with various answers, only to discard them later and find new ones. Gods manifested themselves in animals, in natural phenomena, in planets and stars, in supernatural imaginary beings, and as the natural law.
As our intellect expanded, our answers to this question changed. Yet, despite the amazing discoveries in science, we seem to have not been able to find a satisfactory and definitive answer to this old quandary. All we can do is decide what isn’t God. What God is, is yet unknown.

God can’t be an animal. It can’t be the sun, the moon or a star. God can’t be many. And finally God can’t be a being. All these can be demonstrated logically. What can’t be demonstrated is that God exists.

Throughout the history, God has always been the projection of man’s attributes. It has been the incarnation of his fears and hopes. It has been the ideal towards which humans have aspired. Since humans are different, their thoughts, fears and aspirations are different and so are their gods.

The Aztec believed in Huitzilopochtli who was a war god. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 people per year were sacrificed by the Aztec royalty. Captives were taken to the top of pyramids where, upon a ritual flat stone table, they had their chests cut open and their hearts ripped out. Then the bodies of the victims were tossed down the steps of the pyramids.
Critical to understanding the motivation behind the ritual sacrifices is the concept of ”tonalli,” which means “animating spirit.” The tonalli in humans was believed to be located in the blood, which concentrates in the heart when one becomes frightened. This explains the gods’ hunger for the heart. Without this sacrifice, all motion stops, even the movement of the sun. So when the Aztecs made their sacrifices, as far as they were concerned, they were keeping the sun from halting in its orbit.
The god of the Israelites played favoritism. He had chosen the Jews as his own people. The rationale behind this was that the Jews were living in captivity most of the time. Their captors mistreated them. In the past humans were cruel to each other, more than they are today. To compensate that, the god of the Jews liked them more than he liked other people. He would promise them victory at the end and severe punishment for their captors and oppressors. He assured them that these tribulations are only to purify them from their sins. With these fantasies the Jews endured great hardships and did not let go of hope. Redemption and glory was always around the corner.

To Jesus, God was love. Jesus was a man of peace. He taught people to forgive each other’s sins, find the beam in their own eyes before looking for the speck in the eyes of others, to not throw stone when they are sinners themselves, to love their neighbors and even to turn the other cheek. His God is very much like him. That is the kind of God that Jesus had envisioned.
Einstein’s god was the god of natural law. Einstein was a man of science. He believed that there is an order in the universe. He was referring to this order when he said “God does not play dice.”

Einstein’s god had nothing to do with the god of religions. A man of his intellect could not possibly believe in a god that intervenes in human affairs, breaks his own laws to perform miracles, sends messengers and answers prayers, as if humans could influence the divine Will and change the natural law by supplicating. He described his belief in god as:
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestation of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this sense alone, I am a deeply religious man.
He resented having his religious convictions misrepresented and clarified:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

Great minds are religious and yet their religiosity is so different from religions of the common folk. The cosmologist and mathematician, Stephen Hawking, who spoke of “the Mind of God,” when asked by CNN’s Larry King whether he believed in God, answered: “Yes, if by God is meant the embodiment of the laws of the universe.”

Whether God exists or not, is entirely a different matter. Even if it exists, it can never be understood. What we humans consider to be God is our own creation. This creation is good or is evil depending on who we are.  The god of Jesus is good because Jesus was a good man.
For some,  god is tolerant, loving and inclusive.  For others he is jealous, possessive and exclusive.
God is not one.  There are hundreds of ideas of Gods.  Many of them are forgotten.  No one remembers anymore  Huitzilopochtli  or his kinder and gentler partner  Quetzalcoatl, who only demanded the sacrifice of animals such as snakes and butterflies.  No one prays anymore to Mars the god of war; to Venus, the goddess of love; or to Pluto, the god of death.  These gods had their days, in which they ruled supreme.  “Forgotten lie the martyrs in their dusty catacombs, and the faiths, for which they died, are cold and dead.”
Krishna  says, people pray to different gods according to their understandings, but whichever god they pray to, it is I who answers their prayers. Whether you want to give credit to  Krishna, to Yahweh, or to any other god is up to you.  The Principle says that whatever you focus on becomes real.  Those who focus on success, health, wealth and happiness and persevere, gain.  Those who focus on failure and are overtaken by fear, lose.
If I am thirsty, you can serve me a glass of water.  But if I am not thirsty, what is the point of bringing me water?  God has no needs.  So how can we serve God?  God is the Law of the nature.  You can apply the law but you can’t serve the law.  All you have to do is understand God and follow it. You understand God through science – the science of the inner world and the science of the outer world.  This can be done through the introspection of the world within and the observation of the world without.
No one can tell you about God.  No one can teach you what God is.  You must understand it on your own.  If colors cannot be explained to a born blind, how can one explain God to one who has never felt God?   That is why no one can tell you about God or show you the Way.  Truth is pathless.  You don’t have to go anywhere or follow anyone to find the truth.  Just as you don’t have to go anywhere to find the sun because it shines everywhere, you don’t have to follow any path to find God because God is within you.  Stop listening to every Tom, Dick and Harry who claims to be a messenger of God.  God does not send messages through third parties.  God’s message is all around you.  It’s in every leaf, in every breath that you inhale, in every atom that makes this universe.  Look at a little infant and you will see God. God is in every human.  You yourself are the greatest message of God.  Listen to your own higher self and you will hear God speaking loud and clear.

God does not punish or reward you.  You do it yourself by breaking the law or by following it.  If  you put your hand on fire, it burns.  There is no one punishing you.  Since no one is going to punish you, there is no point in asking for forgiveness.  Once you break a law the damage is already done.

The universe is only a thought in the mind of God.  That is, if you want to think of it poetically.  God exists, without being.  It is the most manifest and the most hidden at once.  How is that possible?  Think of life!  Isn’t life both manifest and hidden?  Life is only an expression of God.

As you can see, we humans have come a long way in understanding God and all we have understood is that we do not understand.  We used to believe in animals, in mythological figures, in planets and stars, in ghosts, in many gods and in a single god.  Some gods were loving and others were fearsome and cruel.  All of them were products of our fantasies.  Our greatest thinkers, no longer think of God as a personal being but as an impersonal law of the universe.  Our understanding of God evolves, as our brains evolve.  The gods of our forefathers, no longer satisfy our quest for knowledge.  It’s time to leave those gods behind in the dust of history and find the God that makes sense to our more advanced intellect.

Folks,sure this an evergreen issue,and probably any research on this will never give a true result.But,here was an interesting piece of article I found somewhere(can’t recall the source),but it’s contents were great.Yes,agreed it’s a paste.The thoughts presented were really convincing,has some references of religions,but it really gives a food for thought.A look at the multiple views we have about the same thing.There is even an interesting theory,on humans not being from earth!This is not a joke. 😛

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, September 7, 2008 7:52 am

    Absolutely brilliant write-up! 🙂
    God is when we think of something and that something happens! God is when we want someone beside us and we bump into that person!
    In short, God is nothing but a coincidence in the guise of a miracle! 😀

    Oh, FYI, by the way, when you put in tags before publishing a post, make sure you separate each tags with a comma. it’s different in blogspot, I know, but in WP, you need to separate each tag with a comma… 🙂

  2. jemaldesai permalink
    Sunday, September 7, 2008 8:39 am

    you don’t have to follow any path to find God because God is within you…key is focus … what’s the target … many points u have given clarity in a wonderful and interesting way to understand.

  3. ameyawaghmare permalink*
    Sunday, September 7, 2008 9:12 pm

    @Nikhil
    Ohh thanks!I didn’t knew the WordPress funda of comma… 😀
    BTW,I’m an agnostic.
    “God is nothing but a coincidence in the guise of a miracle!”
    I loved it 😛 ~~~
    @Jemal
    Glad that you found it clear and understanding…Keep visiting.

  4. Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:14 am

    Very nice post on a question that has engaged man ever since he appeared on earth. All views are valid. The elephant and five blind men – that is the understanding of most people about God. And everyone thinks he’s got it right and the other has not. That is why there is intolerance.That is why there is so much of cruelty and hate masquerading as love in the name of ‘God’.

    “God is nothing but a coincidence in the guise of a miracle.” Very true. Try this: “God is a miracle in the guise of a coincidence.” Equally true…five blind men…

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