Many of you have visited museums, or art collections of some variety. Some of you prefer to stand further back, to take in the full scale of the artistry. You prefer to study the work in its completeness, as the details merely represent smaller parts of the larger whole in which you are ultimately interested in seeing. Others of you may be more inclined to stands closely to the work, to study its detail, to trace the brushstrokes. You want to feel the method and the thought to understand the completed work. From this perspective, your vision has clear limitations, yet you find you can study the minutiae. At this depth, you can learn the work more intimately. As you step back, you take in more of the imagery, more of the hue, more of the shading, and thus, learn how the brushstrokes flow into a larger, more elegant work. A step further back, another step still, and the work comes into focus. But, you know this work better. You know it intimately.
Right now, we are one inch from the canvas.
While some reformists, educators and counselors seek to accelerate the learning process by speeding up, we are going to accelerate the learning process by slowing down. Take your time. Intelligence and enlightenment have a way of showing themselves to you according to their own schedule, so rushing the process is worthless. If we go too fast, we will miss the point as we pass it. If we slow down, we can grab its reins when it passes us by.
As we move through these postings, lessons, and articles, move at a comfortable pace. Read and reread statements until they become clear to you. Think about them. Let them linger awhile in your thoughts. Then, when you have the opportunity, put these methods, thoughts and ideas into practice.
There are many subjects we could address first. However, at this point, I find it best to use the broadest strokes. So, what subject divides and unites more of us than any other? What subject to we all have in common, if only held in common by our totally differentiated beliefs on the subject? What is the one subject on which anyone, and everyone, has an opinion? God.
Initially, I welcomed all of you, Atheist or the Devout, to this forum. This greeting still applies. Whether or not you believe in God, as defined by popular opinion, really is of secondary importance. However, what must be understood is that we all, Atheists and Nihilist included, have our own God. Before you scoff, allow me a moment to explain. Before we delve into this topic, I want ALL of you to strip away any predetermined meaning from the word “God,” and pretend as though this is the first time you have ever heard the word. I will show you why we all have a “God,” by varying definitions, and we are all perfectly correct and perfectly incorrect about whatever our definition is of God. Let’s begin by a brief examination of our atheist friends.
Atheists, like most other belief systems, are partially correct and partially incorrect. The Atheists viewpoint primarily serves as a rebuttal to the positions held and the deities defined by Jeudaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and virtually every other major religion. Why is this? The Atheist mind shares much in common with the Seeker’s mind. Why should this come as a surprise? The Atheist rejects the idea of God, true enough. But, is the Atheist truly rejecting God, or rejecting God as defined by others? Atheists are typically disillusioned with modern religion, as they see the “Gods” represented and the followers of such Gods as being often sinful, hateful, judgmental, and often hypocritical. Most Atheists would agree with the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who said “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Atheists are very typically highly intelligent, and love to debate with devout religious followers of any faith. In fact, many atheists know more about the religions “practised” by many of those with whom they debate. I find this very interesting, however. If one is so disillusioned with religion, why then do Atheists make the point to educate themselves on the subject? One could say that Atheists like to arm themselves for spiritual discussions, which could be true on one level. However, doesn’t the passion held within a seeker’s heart lead him to seek? Why then, are the Atheists seeking like they do? There must be passion in their heart, on some level. Innately, they know that they are RIGHT in saying that no one has correctly defined God. God is beyond definition, if he/she exists. Yet, they don’t believe in God because they haven’t felt the hand of the supernatural in their own lives. “Where is the evidence?” says the Atheist’s mind. Well, the Athiest mind that rejects others’ definitions of God is also seeking proof of that same God’s existence. They want God to exist, but they don’t want to believe in God because they don’t want to be like those believers. Who could blame them? Yet, in doing so, they walk out of one box and into another.
My first point for the Atheists, and non-Atheists, is this; Stop Defining God. The only way one can find God is to cease seeking definition of God. Atheists don’t see the works of God because they are deeply seeking the same God that they have been taught to hate by other Dogmas. This is the God they know. But, Atheism itself is, or can be used as, a Dogma. Atheism itself comes with its own set of rules, what one can do and say, and what one can not do or say. But, Atheists are so close. If they could only give up defining whether or not they BELIEVE in God, God would have the chance to define his/herself to them. What would Atheists say if they found out that God did exist, with certainty, and that God was just Love in its purest form? Better yet, what would CHRISTIANS say? (oh, the drama!) Would it not be possible at that moment that many Atheists would have lived more Godly lives than Christians? Are there not many deeply loving Atheists? Are there not many deeply hateful Christians? Yes, there are both. I have met them. You have met them. So, is the loving Atheists, who rejects God, really rejecting God if all God is is unlimited, fully passionate, creative Love in its purest form? Furthermore, if an Atheist lives in this manner, and God is truly unbridled Love, does it matter if the Atheist publicly professes any support for a Dogmatic “God”? I say, no, it does not. To love life and to practice love is to love God, whether or not anyone is aware.
So, therein lies my first challenge. To the Christian, the Atheists, the Seeker, or anyone else reading; Stop defining yourself and stop defining God. If you do not believe in God, this should make even more sense for you at this point. By human nature, we are so limited in our perceptions that we could not possibly be correct in defining God. If he does indeed exists, he is outside of definition. If God is God, he must be limitless, without bounds, complete Love, complete knowledge, complete existence, of which our minds can not fathom. Those of you who are devout, it’s fine to continue practicing as a Christian, Buddhists, or otherwise. However, stop being mind-intentified with the paintings that depict God as an elderly grand-father throwing lightning bolts at whoever disobeys him. God doesn’t do this. Humans do this. Stop humanizing God. You may finally see God, for the first time. The walls separating you in hatred and judgement from the rest of your brothers will begin to crumble. Your relationship with God and humanity will not die, it will come to life.