Thursday, March 22, 2012


I find asking the question, "What is God?", is my attempt to contain make the Mystery more manageable.

And my answers to the question are best revealed by the followiing story I once used in a sermon:

It was 6-year old Billy's first visit to the ocean, and he had planned his mission for 'Show and Tell' before he got there.

Wading out into the surf, he carried an empty mayonaise jar which he dipped into the water.
The jar was filled almost instantaneously and he quickly put the lid on the jar.

When he went back to school, he carried his jar with him.
When it was his turn for 'Show and Tell', he proudly held up his jar and announced:


Billy's enthusiasm and innocence is sweet...but his jar no more contained the ocean than we can contain G-D.

It seems clear to me that the word "God" means different things to different people.
So do any of us have the right to tell others that we are right and they are wrong?
How do we know?  And to quote the Bible or any religious scripture is to beg the question.

Many consider Hinduism to promote polytheism because Hindus worship hundreds of gods.
But the deeper Hindu understanding according to Swami Satchidananda is that each god represents an aspect of the human experience of the divine.

Actually, we all see and experience the Mystery differently...and some not at all.

Sensory psychologists inform us that we all tend to see what we are trained or choose to look at.
We "see" from different perspectives and seldom, if ever, see the whole picture.
The Apostle Paul recognized this when he said "Now I see through a glass darkly." (I Cor. 13:12)

The Bible itself points to the impenetrable mystery of the divine.
The Psalmist has God saying "My thoughts are above your thoughts..." and Moses asks God:

"What is your name?" and is given the inscrutable Zen-type answer:

Most religions seek to answer the question "What is God?" by promoting a particular belief system based on certain experiences. But this is where the analogy of fleas arguing about who owns the dog applies, for each flea has an "experience" when they take a bite of the dog. But that bite hardly provides an experience or knowledge of the whole dog, much less ownership.

So I am not trying to pursue a religion, but simply trying to understand and develop my own feelings and experiences of G-D... my own  PATCHWORK QUILT SPIRITUALITY.

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