Worldwide Discussion:

In the last installment of the headline series of articles here humanity was given the answer to the most important question in human history.

What does God want?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.

Please think about this. What does God want? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.

How does that feel to you? How does that thought feel when you try it on?

Does it produce an empty feeling? Does it produce anger? Does it produce simple agreement, as in “ho-hum, nothing new”? Does it confuse you? Does it make you happy?

How do you think the world at large would react if it turned out to be true? What, if anything, do you think would change?

Can there be any kind of meaningful theology if we have a God who wants nothing?

If we say that God wants nothing, are we as much as saying that there is no God at all? If we all agree that there is a God, but that there is nothing God wants, then what is God up to? What is God’s purpose and function? Why believe in God? Who needs one?

Some people have come to these questions and walked away shrugging their shoulders, saying, “There is no reason to believe in God. We don’t need one.”

I would argue strenuously that the first of those above two statements is false, and the second is true. There is a reason—and a very good one—to believe in God, and…we don’t need God.

The reason to believe in God is that this belief opens us to the possibility of God’s power playing a role in our lives. You can’t use the power of God if you can’t believe in the existence of that power.

Yet why would we care about using the power of God if we don’t need God? Fair question. The very fact that we can use the power of God is why we don’t need God. The answer is circular.

If a rich man writes you into his will in which he says he has given you all of his money, placing it is a safe deposit box for you, then you don’t need that man. Yet if you don’t believe the man ever existed, you will not even go to the safe deposit box to get the money. You won’t believe the money is there. You’ll think it’s all a ruse, a farce. You’ll be rich and won’t know it.

This is Part IX of an extended series of headline articles in The Global Conversation.

God made us “in the image and likeness of God.” This is a truth. This is not just a nice statement, it is what is so. It is as the Scriptures tell us: “Have I not said, Ye are gods?”

The idea that we need God is an illusion. It is an act of forgetfulness. It is what we imagine is true when we forget who we really are, rejecting our inheritance. If our belief in God is based on the idea that we need God for some reason, then most of our interactions with God will be dysfunctional. And, of course, they are. That’s the point here.

The very best reason to believe in God is that we don’t need God. God has made us capable enough to get along just fine, as any good parent would. Thus, we can be open to just loving God—and just loving God is the most powerful thing any of us could ever do. That’s because love unleashes the power of who we are, and when that power is unleashed, there is nothing we cannot do. Which is, of course, what God intended.

God did not intend for us to be dependent on Him. God intended for us to be independent. Free. And not only free, but fully capable. Of what? Of producing, of creating, of experiencing what we have long desired.

But just loving God means, of course, that we would stop fearing God—and that could only happen if we thought we did not need God. So long as we imagine that we need God for something, we invite fear, because, of course, we believe that there is always a chance that God will not give us what we need.

Most of humanity’s interactions with God aredysfunctional precisely because most of humanity has created a need-based relationship with God. This relationship not only assumes that we need something from God but, perhaps of more profound implication, that God needs something from us.

The relationship with God that so many people on earth have established falls apart if it is true that God wants nothing at all from human beings. Yet because the relationship falls apart does not mean the relationship is ended. Sometimes things need to fall apart for things to truly fall together for the first time. It does not always serve us to shy away from ideas that may cause things to fall apart. So let’s look again, and now more deeply, at this idea:

What does God want?

Absolutely nothing at all.

Please think about it. Even if you disagree with it vehemently, think about it. Especially if you disagree, please think about it deeply.

What makes you disagree?

Who told you that this statement could not be true?

What makes them right?

How do you know that they know what is true? Because they read it in a book? Fair enough. But then, what makes the book right? Because God said it was right? Which God? Which book?

Think about this deeply if only for the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual exercise.

(Our exploration of this topic continues in Part X, the final installment of this extended series, coming very soon. Don’t miss a single entry. And if you wish to catch up on installments that you have missed, simply click on the word HEADLINE in the Categories list at right, then scroll down to find the column you wish to read.)

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note:
  • Erin

    Whaaat??? No more damning to Hell? No more wrath, fire, & brimstone? No more Bible bashing & blame? Talk about takin’ the fun out of Life!
    Yep, feelin’ a tad sarky on this sultry morning 🙂

    You once gifted me with the saying:
    “Freedom is the grandest gift of Love, and Love always (and all ways) seeks to give the grandest gift.”

    I have re-presented this whole-heartedly since, both in word & deed…and especially in parenting & relationshipping…It is actually my favorite Joy. Thanks for that, btw…again. 🙂

    Does it ‘pay’ to give Freedom? Why, yes, it does!!! It took a little time, & a lot of gifting first, because this was ‘a new way’ of moving stuff that We did not know well. But OMG! I Am in the midst now of being the proverbial butterfly…and Oooh, I so love these wings!!!
    The peeps about me are just beginning to unfold the ones they have, too, which is producing constant & growing elevations of Happy all around…More than well worth the time & effort of personal input…”Priceless!”, in fact.

    No, not exactly easy to let go of favorite T-shirts, even when they are only taking up drawer space. However, once one gets a grip on moving matters, while retaining the dear memories they hold, stuff just rocks with dance steps rather than trudging along.

    idk…I’m Love moving ‘this way’…Anyone else on the flo’? 😀

  • mewabe

    A mutually needy relationship with a deity is psychologically modeled after a relationship with a parent, that relationship being conditional (love is granted when the child behaves according to parental needs, desires and demands), and the deity taking the place of the ultimate daddy.

    No mystery here, I would say that’s very obvious. And people “need” this relationship IN A NEUROTIC WAY, which is why it is universal and as old as human neurosis.

    When you start chipping at neurotic human patterns, of course it makes people extremely uneasy, as their own psychological structures are threatened.

    You are then questioning more than a belief, you are threatening their psychological foundation and causing some unwelcome movement in the neurotic defense system.

    This is why you will find much resistance to these new ideas in the most neurotic among us…and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it, as neurosis is not cured with ideas, or with the truth. You can only present these ideas to people who are relatively psychologically healthy, who can do without the concept of a mutually needy conditional relationship with a big daddy in the sky, a relationship THAT REPRESENTS THE ULTIMATE STRUGGLE FOR LOVE FOR THE NEUROTIC INDIVIDUAL, and thus the last hope.

    • Sander Viergevert

      very good point you make…. psychology explained

      • mewabe

        Thank you…

  • Christopher Toft

    “Please think about this. What does God want? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.
    How does that feel to you? How does that thought feel when you try it on?”

    It feels liberating. And kind of relaxing:)

    • Christopher Toft

      Perhaps I am uncomfortable with the supernatural implications of “Gods power”. I don’t really believe the idea the people can walk on water or turn water into wine or whatever & I am wary of believing 100 ridiculous things before breakfast. Perhaps that is my failing, I’ve just seen too much misery caused by superstition & fundamentalism.

      • mewabe

        I agree Christopher…the so-called power of God is all around us, it is in all things, because it is life. It doesn’t even need to be named God or anything else. People who are blind and deaf need to believe in the supernatural, because they fail to see and appreciate the miraculous in the natural.

        The same goes with love…would we need to put love on an altar before we start feeling it and believing in it? Does love have to be made into a deity before we surrender to it?

        People have a strange need to separate the sacred and the profane, the divine and the non divine. But when we know that, as the ancient hermetic teachings put it, the divine is in all things and all things are in the divine, and all life is consequently one, then words, labels, definitions become superfluous.

        All we need knowing and FEELING is that all life is one, that there are no separations between spirit and matter as all is energy waves manifested at a different level on the scale.

        “Cleave wood, I am there; lift up the stone and you will find Me there.”
        (Coptic manuscript).

        The divine, or Life, is all around us, in wild nature, if we only open our spiritual eyes. Words, labels, concepts about God are about as useful, in this context, as would be shoes made of lead when going for a swim.

        This is why I personally do not need a man-made theology, new or old…because I know Life, and this life that I know goes far beyond any concept, definition and language…I encourage everyone to seek LIFE rather than ideas about life.

        • Christopher Toft

          Yay Nice Jesus quote! Another concern I have is that if we equate the divine with the supernatural, it alienates secular thinkers and dangerously implies that developing love, compassion and wisdom, finding meaning, purpose and joy in life are contingent upon a belief in supernatural phenomena.(Or that even love itself is even wishful woolly minded thinking or “woo woo” in some people’s minds) This is something I understand many religions regard quite rightly as “Oh that’s pretty but not really the point. Anyway, getting back to the real business of facing our fears…”

          (It’s not that I utterly dismiss the possibility, I just don’t think it’s “where it’s really at”).

          • mewabe

            I agree…I met people in my life who perfectly fit the definition of being “spiritual”, by being very empathic, compassionate, caring, generous and loving, yet scoffed at the idea of spirituality and were never concerned about “God”.

            Many of us are way too concerned with words, concepts, beliefs and definitions, and blinded by them.

            We do not need to “believe” in anything, what we need is to KNOW LIFE, in the most expanded meaning of the word, which means expanding our consciousness by expanding our vision and experience of life.

  • Richard Robinson

    Hi Everyone, I have missed you All , and these Wonderful discussions…..I went through a series of changes including internet service 🙂 I’ve been busy. Sorting out what serves me and what does not…. I would like to share with you the topic of a discussion with a friend concerning God , Belief and Freewill. He had asked me about the changes in my Faith.
    I told him my faith has faltered before and may again, but it’s still strong…what’s changed is my understanding of the “god” I’m putting this faith in… He said my faith sounded like a blend of several religions….I smiled inside…it’s true….We talked some more and asked for …examples. Well, I said imagine this…you are an atheist, you don’t believe there is a God…well that’s ok , because you have Free Will . It’s one of the gifts God gave you…Oh…hehehe….Ok how about this then , You are an atheist, You do not believe in God…Well that’s also Ok, Because God Believes in You….oh….hehehe. I told him that’s the point of All that Is …Is All That Is…You can’t escape it if you are part of it…where would you hide? …He didn’t have an answer…So I asked Gently… 🙂 Ponder this then….He grew up with Star Trek just like I did…. Imagine you are travelling in space somewhere …to another planet…and your ship gets pulled into a black hole? Regardless of where or when it “leads” or known science or physics…do you think it would lead somewhere God could not find you?

    • Erin

      Hey, Richard! 🙂 heehee…So reminded me of a few tea-times with JWs…They are such a funny bunch! I found fine challenge in seeing their faces light up with simple, loving conversations about Life, as opposed to their ‘show a happy face thru the God-suffering & Bible-bashing We must do’ stuff.

      My ‘faults’ are that I Am not the quiet, submissive Woman of their interpretations, nor married or celibate. I’m okay with this! 😀 Seems, though, that if you can get them to giggle too much about this stuff, get their brains thinking other-‘wise’ly, they have to go into a debriefing scenario to put them ‘back on track’. A few times of this & you don’t see them any more…Oh, well, fun while it lasted!

      Blessings on your moves, Richard…May your Lithium crystals always be energized! 😀 (my fave ST ep will always be “Trouble with Tribbles”) 🙂