Monday, November 13, 2006

This Just In, God is Real

God is real. How do I know? I just decided. It really is that easy. Belief is a habitual thought, and I have thought about God for my entire life. So, it's easy enough to declare, "I believe in God." And if I believe in something, it is real to me.

Now, beyond "God is" I don't have much to say. I mean, it seems clear to me that Something must be ultimately real. But what do I know? If, however, Something is ultimately real, that Something can be called "god" as easily as anything else. Universe, the divine, spirit, the eternal, goddess, the gods, divine mind, the infinite, the whole, first cause, and life-force are also all good words. God/goddess/you-name-it doesn't care what we call it. We invented language, we can use it however we see fit. "God" points toward ultimate reality as well as any other word, so I'm happy enough to stick with it. You, of course, get to choose your word. I'm sure it will work just as well.

Now, is god a symbol for beauty and hope and life? Sure. Why not?
Is god the personification of moral action? Sounds good to me.
Is god the energy of life that creates and expresses itself in more ways that we can ever notice. I'll buy it.
Is god an impersonal but conscious and self-aware presence that manifests as what we know as the material world? Again, I can't say that it ain't.

Since the word "god" points beyond itself to something supreme and mysterious, and since it signifies whatever we choose to say it does, its pretty hard to say it doesn't exist. It's everything, and like everything else, it's more than the sum of its parts. It's conceptual, its emotional, its experiential. It's "isness." And isness seems self-evident.

So, by the authority vested in me by the god of my ever unfolding understanding, I pronounce god to be real. And while I'm pontificating, I also declare that god is good and kind and generous and loves everyone unconditionally. God has no hang-ups, no prejudices, and doesn't prefer one race to the others, one country to the others, or one religion to the others.

My declaration, just like the declarations of the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Church, and every other religious institution is just the articulation of human thought. But my declaration doesn't damn anyone to hell, promote oppression against anyone, or pretend that God is a person who is privileging me with insider information. So, if you're going to believe anyone other than yourself about what and if God is, then take it from me. Because my version will never start a war or marginalize someone because of race, gender, or sexual orientation. And if you're going to have a god, shouldn't it be one that doesn't create havoc and devastation?

God is real, only if God is good; and God is good only if its goodness is all-inclusive and unconditional. That's a god, whether empirical or imaginary, that I can embrace and promote. And I do.

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