Eric Garner | May 02, 2009
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What is God?
Eric: Wow! What a place to start! They don’t come much bigger than this. This must be the one question that has teased philosophers for thousands of years, from Aristotle to Einstein to Richard Dawkins. And, since it is still being asked today, we obviously don’t have an answer we’re all agreed upon. It’s probably easier to start by saying what God isn’t.
By now, I think it’s pretty universally acknowledged that God isn’t an old man with a long flowing beard sitting on a cloud somewhere up in the sky. He is not even a “He.” What God is, is at once simple but incredibly profound.
God is the name we give to the Life Force of the Universe, a force that is not accessible through our ordinary five senses but accessible as an energy made up of pure consciousness. It is the reason why things exist in the sense that we experience them and have life. And it is the reason why we, as humans, can use our own consciousness to manifest anything in our lives. In short, God is the source energy that allows us to create our own individual lives in all their wonder, diversity and glory.
God or the Big Bang (or both)?
Eric: The Big Bang is our current most up-to-date explanation of how the Universe began. According to this theory, the Big Bang happened some 13.7 billion years ago, when in a split second the universe became so hot that it literally exploded outwards like a rising loaf of bread in a hot oven. As a scientific explanation, some people see the Big Bang as a more plausible alternative to stories of how life started, such as those in religious accounts of the Creation.
However, the Big Bang does not make any claims about how the Universe came to be in existence before this explosion.
If we accept our earlier proposition that God is the Life Force of the Universe, then not even an event like the Big Bang could have happened without the Life Force already being present in some form. In reality, there is no start point or end point in life. Life, as pure consciousness, is infinite and eternal. And it is eternal because, despite our desire to explain things in the past and predict things in the future, all of life happens in the infinite and eternal moment of Now.
God or Darwin (or both)?
Eric: The question of where human beings come from is one of the most controversial around. Did God create Man as part of His Creation blueprint, as religious tradition has it, or did human beings evolve along with all other species as part of a process of natural selection?
This argument was fiercely debated some 150 years ago when Charles Darwin published his ‘Origin of Species’ based on his scientific research into the development of life forms. Just like the Big Bang theory of the physical Universe, Darwin argued that humans could not have been created ready-made at the start of Creation but evolved in a gradual process thereafter possibly from other life forms such as primates.
So which is right, holy texts or scientific theory? Well, perhaps there is no conflict and they are both right. After all, holy texts are often simply metaphors for ideas that are hard to understand in any other way. Even if God did not create Man in one day six days after the start of Creation, the act of creation was not a random chance happening but the result of source energy manifesting itself in life form. Darwin simply fills in the more interesting details in the timeline thereafter.
In short, we are both creatures of God as well as an evolving species.
God or Darfur? (How can a Darfur happen if there is a God?)
Eric: This question arises every time we hear of a natural or man-made disaster happening in the world: why does God allow “bad” things to happen to people? This question is the sort that arises when people see God as the old man with the flowing beard sitting on His cloud in the sky and having the power to determine what happens to people on Earth.
The reality is, that everything that happens in our experiences happens because of the power of individual and mass consciousness, the consciousness which in its pure form is the gift of God. In other words, we create our experiences from our thoughts and feelings and what follows is the result of law of attraction. We get what we think about and what we expect.
The problem is that, instead of simply accepting the experience and moving on, we analyse the experience and choose to label it “good” or “bad”. Thus, situations that we, as onlookers, believe to be bad, such as those in Darfur, are considered unacceptable. We immediately look for someone to blame, be it Man or God, and we do everything in our power to prevent it happening again.
In doing this, we fail to understand that all situations in life are created by people through their individual and mass consciousness, some actively wishing them to happen, others passively wishing them to happen to them. Either way, the experience is a manifestation of life force and not something that God chooses to have any say over.
Who is God’s God?
Eric: There is no division between God and ourselves, just as there is no division between all manifested forms of life, be they animals, plants, microbes, cells, or indeed, the space between them. What makes us One is the Pure Consciousness or Life Force that (a) breathes life into everything; and (b) allows us to become creators of our own experiences. Because we use life force and pure consciousness to create our own lives, we have the same power as God.
Some thinkers have explained our relationship with God as that between the individual droplets of water in the ocean and the ocean itself. We are one and the same. God is made up of all of us and our individual consciousnesses; while we are the stuff that God is made up of.
So, in a very real sense, we are God’s God and God is ours.
Will the real God please stand up? (or why do we have so many religions?)
Eric: There are countless religions in the world. One estimate suggests that there are 10,000 distinct faiths in the Christian church alone. The reason why there are so many is very similar to the reason why there are so many languages in the world. They are the result of culture, history, and the manifesting consciousness of different groups of people sharing similar beliefs.
The problem, of course, arises when a religion claims to be the one true faith. Then we have the potential for conflict with others who make the same claim. The history of the world is littered with such bitter conflicts. The answer, again, is very simple and very profound. If a group of people choose to believe they have found the answer to who or what God is, then to them on a personal and collective level it is real. There is no reason why this should be of concern to the rest of us, unless we are so unsure of ourselves and our relationship with what we perceive to be God that we need to destroy all other claims.
There are many routes to connecting with the life force that is God. And all are equally valid.
Is this just a big lab and are we just guinea pigs and God just a researcher?
Eric: Yes, it sometimes feels that we are like guinea pigs in a vast laboratory being tested by God in some cosmic experiment. This may be especially so when we lose connection with our true selves (ie joyously connected to the life force of God) and give way to our feelings of fear and insignificance.
Spiritual teachers, Esther and Jerry Hicks, compare our earthly experiences not to a big lab but to a huge kitchen, stocked with all the most wonderful ingredients imaginable. In this kitchen, we get to choose whatever recipes we want. Some turn out to be favourites, others we’re not so sure about, and others are yuk and we won’t try again. But each time, we get to choose what we want. Either way, it’s great fun. And that’s what life is: an endlessly enjoyable choosing of life experiences, made possible by the creative energy of the Life Force.
God is not a watching researcher in all of this, but, as part of ourselves, an entity who gets as much thrill out of the experimenting, creative, and playful process as we do.
Unexplained phenomena = God
Eric: The reason why people fail to see the presence of God, or the universal life energy, is because our sense-based thinking gets in the way. In other words, we only believe what we can see, hear, feel or know.
That’s why we want to know the meaning of unexplained phenomena, from UFO’s to ghosts, Near-Death Experiences to the mysteries of outer space. The answer again is simple and profound.
Life is supposed to thrill and surprise us. There is supposed to be a succession of unexplained phenomena that we can marvel at. After all, how else should we appreciate the breathtaking beauty of a glorious sunset? Not by analysing it, but by just having our breath taken away.
Our job is not to take each unexplained phenomenon apart and find out if it hides God but to fully accept it as a wonderful part of the fabric of life that can only exist when we and God come together as One.
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