3.2
November 7, 2013

A God I Can Believe In.

I believe in a God that can’t be described or defined in an article or a book—or a whole library full of books.

I believe in an invisible intelligence inside, behind, beyond all things; a universal impulse toward life, consciousness, harmony, joy, liberation; the spontaneous wisdom that guides the blossoming of trees and flowers, the evolution of species and the advancement of human understanding.

I believe in a God without form. The fertile void of nothingness, beginning of all beginnings. The vibrating emptiness inside every atom and particle. The unfathomable expanse of darkness between the stars and celestial bodies. The empty space between us that somehow weaves us together, a living tapestry. The emptiness inside of us, that gives birth to our poetry and music.

Call it Spirit. Call it soul. Call it whatever the hell you want to.

Because my God has no name. No gender. It doesn’t matter whether you say he, she, it, Jesus, Gaia or Buddha-nature.

When the philosophers and theologians gather to debate these things, my God grows bored and often falls asleep. Or else quietly slips away to where the wine is flowing and the guitars are playing, where the lovers are dancing and wooing each other.

I believe in a God without judgement or condemnation, without laws and punishments. No cosmic “thou shalt nots.” Just a vast, spacious-yet-intimate friendship that enfolds us all—no matter where we’re from or what we believe, no matter what we do, how we live or who we might be attracted to.

I believe in Love, with a capital “L.”

I believe in God, not as a being but as the ground of being; an unspeakable, transcendent ideal. Paradoxical, mysterious, yet nearer and more familiar than my name, my breath.

Ah, but all this is too abstract. It doesn’t satisfy. My God is not an idea or a concept, to be believed in or not. God is an experience to be had, to be felt for yourself. God is a state of mind (or rather a state of no-mind).

My God is real. I don’t believe, I know.

I feel it when I fast and pray and keep to my practices. And when I stumble, and fall, and get back up (yet again).

I feel it when I drink and dance, and drum around the fire, and howl at the moon.

I feel it when I’m completely, deliciously alone. I feel it when we feast, and sing and play together.

I feel it whenever my heart is full to bursting, with grief or with gratitude, awe or pain, devotion or desperation. When I am overcome, and broken open, and for just a second I stop the constant running-away-from-silence and simply die into this moment…

The veil parts. Madness ceases. “I” am no more. All that remains is peace and clarity, and a deep humor and compassion for the whole absurd tragedy of life.

Nothing left to dothen but laugh. And cry. And then laugh some more.

And maybe lift up from the depths of the soul a heartfelt “Hallelujah! Hare Krishna! Allahu akbar!”

 

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 Editor: Bryonie Wise

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JohnH Aug 27, 2014 11:20am

"God created man in His image and man returned the favor.." Voltaire http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/08/beyond-gen

Justin Fink Nov 8, 2013 3:43pm

A ripe fresh picked morsel straight from the spirit vine, Thank you Ben

kate hogeland Nov 8, 2013 10:08am

I love this so much! Thank you!

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Ben Neal

Ben Neal is a father, a musician, a mystic poet and lover of Zen. He lives with his beloved in Kansas City, writing and teaching meditation and experiential spirituality, tending his garden, raising his son and riding the wave of global Awakening. He loves to have passionate philosophical discussions on the nature of ultimate reality over hand crafted Belgian-style ale. He aims to suck the marrow out of life, and infect the world with unbounded Love and Freedom. Connect with him on Facebook or on his blog.