What Is God?

Compared to God, we are like the lady bug compared to nature.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to work on building a basis of understanding for spirituality. I recognize that I'm in it so deep that it sounds like a whole new language in the way that I express it. It shouldn't. The point of spiritual awareness is to live your own life with love and kindness; it's not about setting up a new set of hurdles or ideology. If anything spirituality is ultimately antithetical to ideology. Ideology is about itself and the ideas it presents. Spirituality is about you; it's about oneness; and it's about how there's no difference between you and the other. But now, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Square 1: Believing in a Higher Being and Higher Purpose
In some way, if you're interested in spirituality and growing yourself, you probably believe in a higher purpose. If not, let's start there. What do you want? Why are you here? You don't need to have answers now. These questions are supposed to start your thought process. Obviously, we've got some idea of how you got here biologically, and we know some of the basic body "wants" (food, water, air, etc.). But a lot of the rest is up to you to decide.

God Is
For those you with a sense of what you want, you may be looking for a deeper connection. This is where God steps in. My sense of God is probably unique. I don't see God as one individual spirit. I don't see God as a man or woman. I believe that God is all that is. God is in you, me, the cat next door, the sun, the Andromeda Galaxy, and everything else. God is the universe. God is.

I know that some religions (Buddhism) don't believe in a God perse, but the Buddha starts to encompass a lot of those quasi-God-like qualities akin to Jesus. Nirvana can sound a lot like Heaven, although they're conceptually very, very different. The point is that there is still a connection for the believer with something bigger and more expansive than he or she is.

Bad Substitutes for Divine Connection
There are plenty of bad substitutes for divine connection. Money is a big one. Sex is another one. People are so desperate for connection that they sell out themselves and others. Just think how much time is invested in a bad relationship for the safety of companionship or to get sex. Or consider all the hours put into a miserable job to get lots of money. Ultimately, that money is supposed to bring fulfillment and happiness. But whatever modicum of satisfaction comes from having the three car garage home or the trip to Maui is overshadowed by the daily grind.

People join a lot of organizations to try and make this connection as well. Fraternities, the Peace Corps, volunteer organizations, and lots of other groups are put in as substitutes of relative positive or negative impacts. It varies, and there's nothing wrong with joining well-meaning organizations. However, they are still human run organizations with all the faults and flaws that humans bring to them. Whatever deeper connection or meaning they may offer will always be somewhat incomplete compared to your own connection with God.

Making Your Connection
People pray. People meditate. People read spiritual literature. People spend lots of time in nature. Really, God is everywhere. However, the intention and aspiration to connect to God is key. Until you look for that higher source, this blog post is just malarkey. It's a whole lot of BS that you don't buy into. That's fine. You're still caught up in your life. Live it fully. See what's there. See if you find the fulfillment you truly want.

For others of you, you know that you're restless in heart. You're looking for the way back to connection. God, the universe, Mother Earth, or whatever name you seek to use, is there for you, waiting with open arms to take you back home.

Next blog: What Is Intuition?

The photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. You can check out her beautiful work on her flickr link.

Comments

  1. I agree. I feel that religion is for those who feel a need to be taught what to believe and want to have structure to their lives. Spirituality is for those who are ready to take religion to the next level by going within to discover the truth.

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  2. Man, I just don't know. I want to awaken so I can find happiness, greater awareness, and self-mastery, among many other things... but honestly I can't bring myself to have faith in a god. I've tried to have faith in the order of the universe, but trusting something I don't have any proof exists is really hard for me. I was raised Christian, and used to believe in God as a kid, but I think I could just have been desperately clinging to the hope that something in the universe might care for me and save me from the terrible life I had as a child.

    My north node is Pisces, so I know I have to do this... but honestly how am I supposed to believe in something that does not even prove its own existence to me? And how am I supposed to continue down this path without believing in a god? Should I just believe in myself instead?

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  3. Hi sennenwings. Thank you so much for your honesty in your post. At this point, your ego mind has sway over your life, and subsequently, that narrows the possibilities that can come into it. Our ego minds are so out of control that they think they can control and define every aspect of the world. But as many scientists will even tell you, most of science is inexact and often has to be changed as some new phenomena falls outside the realm of what can be proved.

    You don't have to believe in God to continue, but it helps. You will need to go back to the terrible life you had as a child to heal that. It sounds like that's where your crisis of faith has come from and that's what you're avoiding. This path is hard because it takes us through our pain, not around it. That's why tapping into a greater love than ours becomes so helpful.

    Here's a blog post about healing a crisis of faith. Thanks for reaching out and feel free to contact me:

    http://www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com/2010/11/healing-crisis-of-faith.html

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  4. I agree with this article.

    Many atheists and anti-believers continue to push against an idea of God that is blatantly narrow and misses its mark by near-infinity. They speak of an uncaring being separate from us. God is not separate; He is us. He is everything we are and everything we aren't. God is existence.

    Choice is the greatest gift God has given us. We, humans, have done great things by choice, and terrible things. God has only ever asked us to make a single choice: Love. Love Him, love each other. Jesus, a man who walked the Earth and knew exactly what he was doing, said so. If we aren't doing this one, simple thing we aren't truly walking in God's Will.

    Religion, that thing people have been raving for and against for as long as mankind thought to think, is a tool used to fit God into a perspective our feeble, human minds are capable of maintaining. It limits Him. Because God is greater than anything we can imagine, it ultimately fails and people become lost and confused as to what God is, and how God does. Do not believe in religion; believe in God. Read the Bible and discover Him for yourself. God is a personal God. He will reveal everything that matters to those who want to know. (Here's a hint; each other!)

    For everyone out there who believe that God has failed them I can only say this; we fail ourselves when we choose to do nothing. We fail ourselves when we choose to harm each other. We choose from one moment to the next how we react, what we say, what we do, what we think about every thing we experience in our lives. God does not abuse us; mankind abuses mankind. God does not fight wars; people do. It is terrible beyond description that people choose to do these things in His name.

    It's about responsibility, and we are just children playing carelessly with our own lives until we choose to grow up and start treating each other with care, compassion, and understanding. We are all responsible.

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  5. Adam, that is a truly beautiful and well-thought comment. Thank you for adding it to this discussion.

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  6. Jim, thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. Sorry my reply is so late, after I read it I read the article you linked to and have been trying for a long time to find some way to just believe. I couldn't believe before because my life was so terrible, but now that things are good and that makes up for the past, I should be able to believe, right?

    It's... really difficult. No matter how much I beg god to show me he exists, just to give me a feeling so I know he is there, nothing happens. I've had friends who claimed to do that and immediately got a sign, and have been completely different people ever since, and I just don't know why it isn't happening to me. I'm always insecure, I don't have any confidence in myself or anything, and I just want something to believe in, that I can know without a doubt is true... but all the religious texts and inspirational articles and books by Eckhart Tolle in the world just aren't doing the trick.

    I give up. I've tried everything. I've sorted through my childhood, and honestly all those times I got through the abuse and suffering were because I fought for my life and my sanity. Whether god exists or not, he's not talking to me right now. I'm glad faith makes so many people happy, but I guess I've got to live without it.

    I'm still trying to detach myself from my ego and observe my thoughts. Maybe I can't be enlightened, but at least I can be a little more mindful, and perhaps that will help those around me.

    This is a really great blog, by the way, and I'll keep reading it. So, thank you :)

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  7. Thanks Sennenwings. I really honor what you're sharing with me. I really feel you in my heart and hope that you can find the tools around you to heal from such a hurtful childhood. I've had friends who've had to overcome a lot of very difficult things from their childhoods, and in that way, that's what drove them to the spiritual path. That hope for deeper healing and deeper connection to melt away so much pain from long ago brought them down that path, and in many ways, this is about more than just faith in God for you.

    Because it's no small thing to have an abusive childhood. Our childhood is where almost all of our internal mental programming comes from. So you have to re-wire everything inside you because so much of the internal programming about how to live and act in your life is based in fear and clinging to means for survival. It was necessary at that time, and so it's perfectly understandable. But like an old computer program, it is outdated to who and what you are now and what you may be able to fully embody.

    I'm available for talking via skype or email if you want to continue this conversation privately. You can also contact me through my contact form; I offer a free 1/2 hour consultation. If nothing else, I can simply listen and hold space for you.

    http://www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com/p/contact.html

    Thank you for the compliments about my blog.

    With kindness,

    Jim

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  8. When you speak of God in this post are your refering to God in general, or the christian God?

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    1. I am speaking of how I perceive God. I encourage you to look at your definition of God and inquire into where that definition came from rather than to accept mine or anyone else's definition about what God is. This is part of taking responsibility for your spiritual path instead of relying on someone else to tell you what and how to believe.

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  9. Dear Jim,

    I find our posts completely in line with what I beleive and how I think, though, unfortunately I have the problem, like many others, of being ruled by the ego. How does one surrender the ego? Not dissolve the ego, as i don't think this is possible, but see the ego as the ego is for its practical functioning? How does one not hold on to the ego, its thoughts, beleifs, fears, projections, insecurities, etc. The main thing I've struggle with my entire life is to be me, free of worry, fear anxiety. To love me and feel I am enough. I want to be free of the desire to be loved by someone or approved by someone. How does one love the self so much so that no situation or no one person could shake this foundation of self love and balance?

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    1. Hello TMC. I'm so glad that these posts resonate for you. I just want to say that you have such beautiful questions. I am sure that they are leading you where you truly want to go. But just remember, dear one, that there is no where to go. Let go of the struggle and accept all of you--including the fumbling, worrying, confused ego. It is all part of the sacred whole. Being free of the ego doesn't mean losing all the other painful feelings we have. It means that we aren't ruled by them and constantly reacting whenever they arise for us. After that, we practice...practice, practice, practice as we burn new neural pathways in our noggins to think and act in new, healthy ways.

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