Friday, May 19, 2017

God as . . .

The word God
has had a fairly clear-cut meaning for centuries in the West.
It has meant a being of some sort,
a Santa-like creator concerned with questions of good and evil.
I don’t believe in such a God.

I believe God is a cosmic energy of beauty and harmony,
verb as much or more than noun,
lending the term an entirely new meaning.

I used to see myself as some character in a cosmic drama: 
I was created, have sinned, and would be saved
 a grand story. 

Now I realize 
that we’re more like actors standing around on a stage 
without direction 
and I have no choice but to improvise a little drama here,
 a little comedy there. 

My aversion to religion 
stems from the fact that I felt a longing 
for something I now know isn’t true.

The laws of nature are impersonal;
they’re not all just about me.
How could I have warm feelings for them
as I do for another human being?

There’s nothing in the laws of nature
to suggest that I have a special place in the universe
without living my life fully in love.
I don’t find my life pointless
when I live in love while trying to understand creation.
I myself have to give my life meaning.

Great works of art can console me.
I can go on enjoying cathedrals and Gregorian chants
without believing.

And many of the greatest pieces of literature
manage without any religious background;
witness all the works of Shakespeare.

And through it all, I still have humor.

I can be amused with myself
not with a sneering humor
but with a kindhearted one.

It’s the sort of humor I feel
when I  see a child taking its first steps.
I  laugh at all the child’s arduous efforts,
but I do it full of empathy.

And if laughter ever fails me,
I can still take satisfaction
in that I was able to live
in Love.

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