Monday, 27 June 2016


What is God? Not who but what?

"Ehyeh asher Ehyeh" 

"I am that what I am." 

The Jews had many names for Him. Tetragrammaton, YHVH was one or Yahweh when Anglicized. In the Torah, the name is written as יהוה. Orthodox Jews will not utter the name as it is forbidden. The name Tetragrammaton may be derived from a verb that means "to be", "to exist", "to cause to become", or "to come to pass". It is not a name as such. It is a word that best sums up the unknowable, the eternal.

Zoroastrianism is an older faith than Judaism. Like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism it is a monotheistic religion. The Zoroastrian God also has many names, Ahura Mazda,  OhrmazdAhuramazdaHourmazdHormazdHarzoo, and Hurmuz but is chiefly known as Ahura Mazda which literally means "mighty wisdom." Again, this is not a name in the manner we think of names but a device by which a thing unknowable can be identified. 

For many God is the supreme creator, a deity, an invisible presence, one who manufactured life and all of existence. For some reason this God is always presented as a father figure, a male who created everything yet is a non-interventionist deity. He is omniscience, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent. Quite why God is meant to be male I have never understood as the powers ascribed Him seem feminine not masculine. Of course, in recent years, with the rise of feminism, and for the sake of being politically correct, there are those who now suggest God is sexless.

For me, this suggests God is but a name for something greater than ourselves. It seems as if, without my being patronising, that God is little more than primitive man's attempt to define a thing that is undefinable into something he and his fellows could understand. In other words, God as a deity is a manifestation of man; man at his ultimate best it has to be said, man without his inherent frailties or flaws. 

God as a concept of that which is eternal, of that which is greater than mankind, greater than yet part of all creation makes perfect sense in my mind. It brings me back to my much-used phrase, "God, Science, Nature - one and the same thing."

It is easy to see why our forebears would have thought that for life to exist it would have taken someone to create it for wasn't that how things worked for them in the everyday routine of their lives? A stone mason carved bricks to make houses; a wheelwright made wheels so that wains could travel on roads; a blacksmith made horseshoes so that horses could be shod. In everything that was designed, it took a great designer to make it. In the same way, it is easy to see why they applied magic and mysticism to all and anything they did not comprehend. Some still do.

This truth holds with all creation. The universe and our place within it was designed but by a logic far superior to that of our ancient ancestors. How would they conceive of evolution? It was beyond their understanding. Only a thing greater than they could have constructed such a method. Only the thing they referred to as God was capable of such a complex feat. And their word for that Great Creator was God but a word it remains, a concept by which we, having existed for thousands of years, have taken so long to understand.

If God created everything and "God" certainly, in the abstract sense, did then we all are subject to the same laws as "God." That question again - What is God? Not who but what?

God is everything yet God is no one. God is nature. God is evolution. God is science. God is us and we are one with God. God is just a word we used and still use to shape out thoughts for such a multiplex, composite force. God is a concept. God is a reality. God is not a father or mother figure. God is not a deity. God merely is and we are a part of God as much as God is a part of us. We have one chance in life to love ourselves as well as our fellows. Recognizing we are inseparable from 'God' is the first step to self-awareness which in turn is the first step to changing the world.

Recently the UK voted to leave the EU but the British cannot deflect the fact that the human race is one body of people, that no matter our skin colour, no matter our personal faith, no matter where in the world we were born we are a part of a far bigger world and a far bigger society. Borders will one day fail as 'God' did not create them, fellow animals do not recognise them and we, with all the will in the world, will one day have the freedom of movement we were given from the day we started to walk this, our, Earth. One race. One planet.

Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.


Cara H said...

While I do believe in at least the possibility of a higher power that has what might be termed a personality, I lost the belief in the Stern Bearded Father In The Sky years ago. It wasn't an easy one to lose. I dreamed that I was going to hell for my heresy until I was nearly 30 years old. It's hard to let go of one's indoctrination.
I actually wrote a post about some of my beliefs over at the One Love blog this morning. Great (agnostic) minds think alike!

Russell Duffy said...

You and I have often discussed this question of our differences. I for one would not dream, and I know you are the same, of pushing my ways onto you as I know you wouldn't to me. I think the old Hindu saying sums up all I feel on the subject. "There are many paths up the mountain all of which lead to the same summit. Only a fool would say his way is the only way." Good luck with your faith as it brings love into this world.

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