Last Sunday, I got dragged to church with my sister for her confirmation ceremony. It was very *nice*, and the Espiscopalians are a denomination [nb: almost wrote demonination there...] that I could probably deal with -- I like the sense of ritual contained in the church, and if I didn't feel as if I would be lying by participating in the ritual, I might just consider it as a spiritual home. As it is, though, I think I'm best sticking with the Unitarians, who encourage the quest for spirituality that I see as nearly necesary.
So here we go. This is what I think of the entity which I will call God, for lack of a better name. I'm going to put it in point form because I'm still trying to grasp all that this contains. Here's the thoughts in order, and some of them are weird.
- God is unknown and unknowable in His full glory. This is not to stop human beings from confronting head on the eternal mystery which is God, but at the same time, human beings should be aware that they are much like the blind man and the elephant, each only grasping a part and attempting to understand the whole. Each human being has an understanding of God in his or her own fashion.
- God is a genderless and numberless entity. To be all things to all people, He would have to be. However, the English language is not capable of expressing this idea capably in a pronoun -- He and It are the two obvious, and as God is animate and intelligent, speaking with the pronoun 'It' strikes me as somewhat disrespectful. Thus, I choose to use 'He' in expressing the concept, with an understanding that even this does not express the full glory and wonder that is He.
- God is both everywhere and nowhere. He is both within and outside the universe, interacting with it but at the same time not bound by the rules of the universe. Thus, the miraculous and the awesome can filter through the universe, and we can see His thumbprints in the creation if we know where to look.
- God is the Creator of this and maybe other universes. He reacts in joy and wonder to each new creation in the universe, from the lowliest bacteria to the largest star, and he is especially fond of those of His creation who can attempt to know the unknowable, who can learn the parameters of His universe and see the care He put into creating them, and He revels when those of his creation attempt to emulate Him by creating something from nothing themselves.
- God has empowered, for lack of a better name, an Adversary. The job of this Adversary is to guide us towards the light of the Presence by showing us the darkness. In the end, while the Adversary seems to revel in the darkest foulest pits of evil, this is not true. We will find that the Adversary is welcome at the side of God, and when we ask why the Adversary is there, God will tell us that in order for there to be good, there must be evil. In order for there to be light, there must be darkness. There must be a choice, and the choice must be clear, and it is the Adversary's job to define that choice.
- At the same token, God doesn't care whether we believe in Him. An athiest is just as capable of making the choice as is the most pious Christian, and it is possible for the former to make what could be termed the "right" choice, and the latter to make the "wrong".
- There is no hell. We will find that "hell" consists of a conscious lack of the Presence, but does not involve torment and punishment. Or at least, this is what I think. I could still be wrong. ;)
That's all I can think of at the moment. This is what I think, mind you, and some of it is conclusions I have come up with over many years of thinking about the problem of religion and a quest for spirituality, and in the end, it's all about faith.
Thanks for listening to my odd rambles.