May 25, 2014

Who is God?

There is no one right answer to that question.  God is so complex that many answers can be right.  This blog post only intends to cover God from one angle, though it is a broad, somewhat all-encompassing angle.  That said, this is a blog post, and cannot be comprehensive for any angle or view.

First, some definitions. Keep in mind that people don't always fall firmly into one category or another, and often beliefs contain elements of a few of these viewpoints. Also, these systems of belief are far more varied and complex than can be covered here.


Animism;  The belief that nature is full of spirit, even the rocks, and that these spirits can be angered or appeased. Sometimes the spirits can manifest apart from the objects of which they are a part, and some are godlike in power.  Many of the earliest known human religions are animistic.  It is related to pantheism.

Pantheism;  God is in everything.  It differs from animism only in that God is the same force in everything.  It does not involve separate spirits, necessarily.  However, many people consider animism to also be pantheistic. 

Polytheism; Polytheism simply means believing in many gods and goddesses.  It can be an extension of animism, where the spirits of natural forces are considered gods. It can be a creationist belief system. It is most often a combination of both, and other ideas.

Monotheism;  Belief in only one God.  Most often it is a male deity, but not always.  Most Christians, Jews (religious,) and Muslims are monotheists, as was the ancient Egyptian Aten cult.  Hinduism is sometimes called polytheism and sometimes monotheism. In reality, it is both, and it is also panentheism.

Panentheism;  The belief that God is in everything, and everything collectively is God.  It also contains the belief that the Universe has a collective consciousness.  It can be somewhat monotheistic,  polytheistic, or both.  It is pantheism also, but it specifically recognizes the collective consciousness of the Universe. 

Monistic panentheism;  Panentheism which believes that the Universal Consciousness takes the form of an overarching Divine being. That form is called God, though everything still is God.  The God form exists to direct creation, evolution and growth, to provide balance,  and as another way for the Universe to experience itself. Many followers of Jewish and Christian mystery traditions are monistic panentheists.

My beliefs are closer to monistic panentheism than to any of the other listed views.  I believe that God can manifest as one God or Goddess, or as many gods and goddesses, but that there is one eternal form which is the creator, God.

I call that overarching eternal form by the Hebrew name, "El Elyon," God Most High.  Yahweh is one form of that God, but God extends beyond gender and includes all genders.

God loves creation, and only wants what is best for us.  God rarely interferes directly, so that we may grow by learning to help one another as we face the trials of life.  God has equipped us with everything we need, including some bright minds, and these gifts are only valuable if we work together in the spirit of love and community.  

God doesn't punish sin, per se, rather,  sin creates its own consequences for the soul.  God does not torture people, especially not for eternity.

Though God rarely directly intervenes, God does hear our prayers.  In response, God grants us wisdom, guides us to knowledge,  and will even send angels to guide and guard us. However,  God's most frequent method of answering prayers is to guide us to others who can help, or to guide others to us. 

So, stay alert! You may not realize it when God is making you the answer to someone's prayer!

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