An Open Letter to Our World:
WHAT IF GOD IS NOT A
HUMAN-LIKE SUPER BEING AT ALL?
I am excited to be able to use this space on the Internet as a place in which we can join together to ignite a worldwide exploration of some of the most revolutionary theological ideas to come along in a long time.
The ideas I intend to use this space for in the immediate future are the ideas found in GOD’S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD: You’ve Got Me All Wrong. I believe this new book (published just four months ago by Rainbow Ridge Books) places before our species some of the most important “What if” questions that could be contemplated by contemporary society.
The questions are important because they invite us to ponder some of the most self-damaging ideas about God ever embraced by our species. For example…one teaching about The Divine—perhaps the one most often reflected in the doctrine of many religions—describes God as a superhuman male being, with human characteristics and proclivities (anger, love, being judgmental, etc.), but with wisdom, power, and abilities far beyond human capacity, or even human understanding.
In some ancient spiritual traditions pre-dating organized religions, The Divine was portrayed as a feminine goddess. And while this portrayal has been brought forward and is held as true even today in certain spiritual movements, the rendition of a male Deity outlined in the paragraph above has been by far the most prevalent.
Now comes The Great What If . . .
What if God is neither male nor female—and not even a human-like Super Being at all?
Would it make a difference? Does it matter? In the overall scheme of things, would it have any significant impact in our planetary experience?
Yes. First, it would pull the underpinning from a story prevalent across the globe—which is the story of male supremacy.
It is no coincidence that most major religions are still run by men. It is no coincidence that the world’s largest religion and one of the world’s fasted growing religions, still did not allow women in their priesthood as of 2014. It is no coincidence that—minor deviations in this regard notwithstanding—men still pretty much rule the corporate and financial world. It is no coincidence that to this day men continue to dominate the global political scene.
It is no coincidence that even in medicine, science, and academia men continue to vastly outnumber women in places of highest influence, impact, and authority. And it is no coincidence that even where women rise to the level of men in some of society’s institutions, they are even now paid less than their male counterparts far too often, although doing the same work.
If we thought that God was not a male, our whole idea of power, might, and glory would be more widely considered to be feminine, as well as masculine, traits. Our depictions of God would not be exclusively of a man with flowing white hair and a flowing white beard in a flowing white robe. Imagine an illustrated Bible with a picture of a female Goddess in it. What would that tell our children?
And what if we thought that God was not even a person? What if we relinquished the idea of God as a male or a female? What if we accepted as truth the idea that God is not a larger version of human beings at all; not a “person” in any sense of the word? Would that change things in our global expression of spirituality, in our day-to-day experience of religion?
It surely would. It would alter the Father/Child interactions of most of the human beings who believe in God. It would profoundly affect our understanding of our true relationship with divinity.
It would shift our whole notion of how to get what we want from God (if, indeed, we would then think that such a thing was even possible), and it would alter our whole idea of what, if anything, God wants or needs, demands or commands, requires or requests. And that would change, in one fell swoop, so much human behavior that our species might have a difficult time recognizing itself.
We would become, in short, a different species in terms of not only our deportment, but our objectives and goals, our measures of “success,” our ways of “praying” and interacting with God, and our ideas about where and how we fit into the overall scheme of things.
The search would then begin all over again among the largest number of people (as opposed to the tiny minority who have already begun this process) to redefine God and overhaul our entire approach to interactions with divinity.
Perhaps it is because this kind of massive overhaul of such a critical part of our human experience feels so overwhelming that most of us avoid this new search altogether and remain “stuck” in the same old place forever regarding our understanding of Deity.
Whatever the reason, it is questionable if we are doing ourselves any good hanging out with ideas about God that are thousands of years old.
Now comes GOD’S MESSAGE TO OUR WORLD
God has been telling us from the very beginning, and it is becoming more clear to us every day, that humanity’s Ancient Cultural Story about God being a superhuman male is plainly and simply inaccurate.
It is okay now to remove this ancient teaching from our current story, and to stop telling this to ourselves and to our children.
God is obviously (or perhaps not so obviously, to some) not a Big Guy in the Sky who sits on a throne and oversees humanity’s countless daily doings, approving some and disapproving others; who hears countless prayers, granting some and denying others; who judges countless souls at their death, rewarding some and punishing others.
God is neither a male nor a female with the appearance, the qualities and the proclivities of humans, yet with supernatural characteristics, powers and abilities. Such an idea of God is simplistic in the extreme.
What, then, is God? Some say this is impossible to know. That is not true. God can be known, and God can be experienced. God communicates directly with us, as the founders of our religions have shown, and we can communicate directly with God—as every religion that believes in the power of prayer declares.
God can be known, and God can be experienced.
Here, then, is what God has communicated, and continues to communicate, to humanity about divinity: God is an Essential Essence that permeates everything, the Prime Source of unlimited intelligence and the Prime Force of unlimited creation.
God is at once both The Creator and The Created, a Pure Energy that impacts upon Itself. It is First Cause. It is Every Effect. It is the seat of all wisdom, the wellspring of all desire, the fountainhead of all power, and the origin of all reality.
It is, in a single word, Love.
Its wisdom is activated, Its desire is fulfilled, Its power is evinced, and Its reality is fully, grandly, and gloriously made manifest through the experience and the expression of Love.
Does this Essential Essence we call “God” have a personality?
God’s greatness and God’s magnificence is God’s formlessness. This does not mean, however, that God is not a “personality” to whom we may pray and with whom we may interact. It means, in fact, exactly the opposite.
It is God’s essential formlessness that allows God to assume any shape and any form in any moment that it serves the ends of Love for God to assume.
Thus, God can take on the energy of a father’s figure, a mother’s comfort, a friend’s loyalty, a confessor’s compassion, a peacemaker’s courage, a survivor’s strength, a teacher’s patience, a compatriot’s camaraderie, a lover’s intimacy, and a beloved’s constancy.
So we see that the fact that God is not, at Its basis, a bigger-than-life human being does not mean that we no longer have anyone to pray to, or to intercede with, or to form a personal relationship with. Quite to the contrary. God can be all things to all people, and if we want a personal God we can pray to, a parent-like God we can ask advice of, or a powerful God we can intercede with, God can and will fill all of those roles for us.
God is all things to all people because God is all things in all people.
I believe God is life itself.