Who or What
God is still thought of by many as an old man with a white beard. Okay, I know, you would not admit that to anyone but what or who do you think of when you think of God? George Burns? Someone you ran into at Wal-Mart? It is almost unavoidable to not think of ‘Him’ as a human.
Admit it. When you read the title of this blog you thought I was somehow degrading the all powerful Creator. We have a tendency to get touchy around such verbiage… possibly because we are not clear in our own minds of what our concept of God actually is. By dehumanizing ‘Him’ I am putting God in the category where ‘She’ belongs. (Okay, I called ‘Him’ a ‘Her’. Did that feel weird too?)
Are We Created in His Image?
I know, in the Bible, Genesis, 1:27, states that God created man in His own image. Do we truly believe that God was standing around in a physical human-like body when we were created? If that is the case, where did this dense physical body hang out while ‘He’ was busy doing ‘His’ creating?
God created us in his spiritual image. We have God within us. God is our true essence when we are in these physical bodies and especially after we leave these bodies behind.
Elevating God Beyond the Human Image
How can we dehumanize God and give ‘Them’ the credit that ‘They’ truly deserve? First by realizing that it is GOOD to take God out of the human context. If you refer to God as ‘Him’ like most of us do, it’s probably not your fault. We all struggle with the appropriate pronoun partly because of our own specific religious backgrounds.
Maybe it is connected to our survival instincts to try to put the unknowable into a box… a definable, dependable concept that we can store neatly on the shelf. If we think we know what something is, it is less scary. We are more comfortable if we feel like we have some control, by thinking of ‘It’ with human traits that we can somehow relate to it.
Maybe this automatic categorization is related to Pareidolia, a psychological process where a stimulus triggers a familiar pattern in our thought processes. We do this when we look at a cloud and right away our minds want to label it as an angel or a poodle or a dragon. Pareidolia is thought to be linked to facial recognition which is an innate survival process developed by all species at a very young age with the baby imprinting on the mother providing facial recognition for survival reasons. And so we take traits that God does not have and try to humanize them so we feel safe and comfortable.
How Does Jesus Fit Into This?
Jesus built the bridge between humans and God, giving a better understanding of what God is and therefore providing clarity around the concept of Divinity. Jesus had traits of both man and God…an avatar… part human, part God. So God is not man, if he was then there would have been no need for Jesus.
God is not man and therein is the challenge for us to move past our egos and have true knowledge of God. We are human. Therefore we are not God. Within our spiritual evolution it can be a goal to become more God-like or at least more Christ-y which can be a process of subduing the ego so that our own Divinity can be uncovered. We have to get beyond our human-ness to be able to get closer to God.
Our egos are very powerful. They control our lives with a pushiness that is undeniable. God made us in his image on a spiritual level. We try to make God into our own image on the physical level. That is how we deal with the mystery; the unknowable. Intellectually we all know that God is not an old man.
An Intimate Relationship With “It”
Those of us who have had a Near Death Experience know God intimately. My experience and concept of God is pure love energ, unadulterated, and unconditional. So I am left with the pronoun “It”. Therefore, I wrote ‘It’ with a capital “I”.
Somehow ‘It’ does not seem appropriate when referring to God but unfortunately there is no other pronoun within our language to use that’s appropriate. So I just know in my heart of hearts that when I call God “It”, it’s merely my ego that feels the reaction – the recoiling. God could care less what I call ‘It’.
Moving past the terms of him and her and allowing God to be dehumanized, I guess I actually prefer to call ‘It’ ‘Love’. ‘Love’ with a capital L. I feel ‘Love’ around me and within me, especially during my daily meditations. For us as humans, it is an ongoing challenge to become one with ‘Love’ but certainly a challenge that is worth the effort..