Friday, December 2, 2011

Thoughts on God

“…I feel it’s time to start exploring beyond the boundaries of my current faith place. If I feel so stuck by the bible – so much resentment, disbelief, guilt and shame – then what’s preventing me from exploring past it? Oh, right – resentment, guilt and
- Excerpt from my journal, February 20, 2010

I was raised to imagine God as this omniscient, omnipresent force external to mankind; like a giant human figure that holds the world in his hands. This giant, intangible being holds also the rulebook to ethics - the truth and absolution between right and wrong. He dangles it before us as individuals, so that if we believe and obey and do everything just right we will be awarded his favor. And, if we fuck up, it's because we gave into temptation. It's because we are weak and imperfect and will never be good enough to earn his full favor - at least not until death. Becase, in death, we are separated from our humanity. Only in separation from humanity can we be truly holy. Because, as we all know, humanity is inherently evil.

I believed in the concept of calling. I believed that God had a road paved for me to individual righteousness - a more fulfuilled and meaningful existence. Love. Pray. Take risks. Have faith. Trust. Believe. I did these things. I did these things and met a sadness and suffering I had never experienced before. But, they said, keep praying. Accept the consequences of your sinful behavior. Focus on authenticity but it must be holy. If it includes desires and choices that are inherently "bad", it must not be authentic. Pray for transformation. Pray for healing. Pray for purpose, to rid yourself of sinful desire, for freedom from patterns. Pray for love.

Two years ago, I thought I was just leaving a relationship in search of something more compatible. But I feel like I've lost everything. My prayers, if they worked at all, were answered opposite from what I had expected. Most surprisingly, my prayer to connect more deeply with God has driven me farther and farther from the God I was raised to believe in. It has driven me to reject Christianity altogether. Moreover, I am disgusted by Christianity.

I'm coming to understand God - if there even is one or if that's even the right word - as the culmination of all creation rather than the creator. It is not a separate entity that continues to exist even if all life fades. Rather, it is an energy. A force that moves towards a benevolence via the beautifully imperfect process of evolution. There is a driving, striving force for what is right - I do believe this. But it is not separate from humanity, rather it lives within each of us. Each thought, feeling, experience and intuition is like an atom and each one of us like a blood cell that floats alongside the whoe of creation to form one, cohesive network that is divinity. Divinity is the culmination of all existence as it is today, and it is different today than it was yesterday and will be something changed again tomorrow. It is not absolute. It is growing. Our individualism matters only in that we are each a part of the whole.

The beauty - the perfection - is in the process. It is not a test or a goal to be achieved, but available to each of us today...right now.

There's immense freedom and grace in this. But the crumbling of 34 years of ideaology and values has been devastating. I've lost so much on my way to discovering my own truth, including (and most painfully) the connection I felt with family.

I'm happy for my life and grateful for my process. It's just that, just as I begin to understand community and connectivity as a key component of divinity, I have never felt so alone.

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