“If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that’s what He’s getting” ~ Jack Handy
Today, using my seventh sense, I found a worm that had a god in it, and that god glared in at the god in me that had a worm in it. And it got me to questioning things: What is this drunken physiology; this aggrandized cell-tautology; this clockwork of blood and bone?
What is this mechanism in my head, this impossible chimera, doing backflips in my skull? How can it even come close to being a thing that can comprehend such a concept as God?
And then I remember a quote by Goethe: “The highest to which man can attain is wonder.” And I think, maybe God is precisely this: wonder, imagination, curiosity, awe. But, then again, maybe not.
And then I remember a quote by Paul Tillich: “There is a God behind the gods of men and women –one that can be experienced but not defined, and that makes all of our definitions woefully inadequate.”
Bingo! Wait. What? We’re back to where we started? We sure are.
Asking a human being what is God, is similar to asking a fish what is water. The sound of bursting bubbles is pretty much all you’re going to get out of it. Similarly, waiting for God to show up is like waiting for Godot. But I’d rather the thrill that comes from daring the gods and failing, than the safety that comes from accepting a low-grade ennui and succeeding.
So this article will dare to redefine the concept of God, understanding full-well, here at the outset, that it will be a complete and utter failure. And that’s okay. Because last night I crept up close to the gods talking in their sleep, counted coup on them, and then left with their secrets in my satchel. And I learned something very important…
God is anything you want God to be: woman, man, hermaphrodite, Spaghetti Monster, Jewish zombie, a guy on a microphone speaking in tongues through a gas mask, a girl with a mohawk killing us softly with quantum-gravity Kung Fu. Or whatever!
The key is not to be serious about it. Just be sincere. For me, in all sincerity, God is a magnanimous question mark in the sky with an infinite amount of answers spilling out of it like galaxies with nowhere to go but everywhere.
Similar to that weird symbol-thingy that the artist formerly known as Prince is now known as, “?” is the artist formerly known as God.
Like Aldous Huxley said, “All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”
Indeed, the Infinite Question Mark of God can pull my strings all it wants. I will forever heed her call.
Now I know this simply won’t suffice for some of you. Some of you want things clearly defined. And that’s okay, except for the fact that absolutely nothing can ever be clearly defined. I know it’s frustrating. But being a human being in a strange universe is supposed to be frustrating.
So if you tell me in all seriousness that God can only be a He, or only a supreme being, or judge & jury, or only one single thing, then my eyes will promptly glaze over and you shall be intellectually dismissed.
If, however, you tell me God is possibly a frequency, or possibly everything and nothing intermittently, or possibly Infinity itself, then you will have my attention and we can then proceed with an intellectual conversation about the subject.
Like Alan Watts said, “The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.”
Sometimes (similar to killing Buddha on the path) you have to kill the gods of sacred texts in order to finally discover God. I mean, God is probably more than words spilling from speaking-in-tongue tongues. Indeed, maybe God is simply the point being moot that things change.
Or maybe it’s like how Ralph Fiennes describes it: “God is not anything human. God is a force, God is chaos, God is unknown. God is terror and enlightenment at the same time.”
Or maybe Stephen Mitchell has a point when he says, “If you don’t make yourself equal to God, you cannot perceive God; for like is known by like. So leap free of everything that is physical, and grow as vast as that immeasurable vastness; step beyond all time and become eternal.”
Notice that the key words so far in this discussion are “maybe,” “perhaps,” “possibly,” and “probably.” This is extremely important to notice. Not because it’s a serious subject, but because it’s an important concept for human beings to wrap their heads around.
So perhaps one solution is to simply have some fun with the way we define God, and to purge ourselves of any preconditioned, spoon-fed ideas we might have about the idea of God. After all, “God emptied to the limit is man,” writes Alan Watts, “and man emptied to the limit is God.”
If we can empty ourselves, maybe we can discover something healthier to fill ourselves back up with. And then we can just keep emptying ourselves, over and over again. Maybe we can even learn how to see things the way God does, but probably not. T
hen again, Meister Eckhart did say, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” So it goes.
All I know for sure is that we need to stop bludgeoning each other with seriousness. We need to stop being so brittle. It would do us well to laugh at ourselves, to trick our own predilections, to surrender to solitude and meditation. Let’s dare to walk through the threshold of our own pain and come out the other side sharp enough to cut God.
Like Adyashanti said, “One must be willing to stand alone – in the unknown, with no reference to authority or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility.”
Perhaps then we will be strong enough to love God. Perhaps then we will find ourselves at peace with the fact that we are interdependent beings living in an interconnected cosmos.
Like Hermann Hesse brilliantly penned, “We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.”
Head-butting the gods will get you nowhere, my dears. You’ve got to laugh at them. And laugh hard. At the end of the day, I laugh mightily, God’s tongue in my cheek. All by myself I am a giant nostalgia. My soul leaps through the hoop of itself. I am here to shake things up. And I am willing to do what it takes to do exactly that; even if that means stapling your god’s heart to my wall and throwing darts at it.
Like Dr. Richard Bartlett said, “You are more than your thoughts, your body or your feelings. You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake things up and create something new that the universe has never seen.”
Indeed. In the temple of my heart, God is on fire. He makes for good kindling. But what rises out of him is a mighty Phoenix. She is that Giant Question Mark in the sky (a fiery red question mark to be exact). And she has risen to burn all answers with her almighty questions. She is damn good at what she does too. Like Margaret Atwood said, “God is not the voice in the whirlwind, God is the whirlwind.”
I leave her to it. Meanwhile, I’m moving forward, to that place where emptiness is full, and fullness empty.
Like Einstein “I believe in Spinoza’s God, that which reveals itself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a god that concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”
I’m too busy moving forward. I am not a victim of the world, I am the world. But I’m also between worlds, God’s precious little oblivion. I am Sweet Law Breaker, constantly in the throes of Metanoia.
I’m here to disturb the undisturbed, comfort the uncomfortable, and free the unfree. I am the oracle who has come to tell the old oracles that they have failed. I am Jester Guru, Wag & Sage, Donkey Genius, THE HEYOKA THAT BEFUDDLES ALL HEYOKAS, and my duty is to crack you open to reveal that you were always God-in-hiding. To teach you that you are nothing like God, and like God you are nothing; but also that you are everything like God, and like God you are everything.
And it’s not that I have a God complex; it’s that God has a Gary complex. The blitzkrieg of my heart is a bag full of God. I tease it to no end.
Like Bradford Keeney said, “Tease God. Do not fear God. A fool’s love is what God loves best. It represents the ready and available heart of a child at play.”
And have no illusions, friends, the world is a playground and I’m on recess.