Recently, I have been pondering the concept of God more than usual. Could be the influence of my good friend and fellow pilgrim who this week decided to more consciously seek out the God in everything. Could be my reading of an anthology of Black feminists from the 60s and 70s and their continuous call for revolutionizing and thus liberating the Self as a prerequisite for any farther-reaching movement and progression.
In some Asian philosophies, it is believed that by giving your life and identity to God, you attain the identity of God. I’ve been examining what that means, for me, and these are a few of my reflections…
God does not laze around in an unthinking, uninspired state. By devoting our lives to growth and opening our minds and selves to new experiences; by opening up to learning; by rising up to action and progression—by doing these things and beyond just the doing: by being these things, we attain the identity of God for we tap into that God-force, God-essence, God-spirit…that is within us.
Indeed, maybe God is purely a force, energy. So in a sense, you do God or God flows through you. Life after all is about movement. Blood constantly flows through our veins. Oxygen is inhaled and CO2 purged. Our cells break down and are regenerated. Our minds are challenged and if we allow it, enriched. To lead a complacent and static life GOES AGAINST life. To submit to defeat GOES AGAINST life. To mechanically answer to other people instead of creating your own space and journey GOES AGAINST life.
Not only are these things going against life but they are indications of a disbelief, a rejection in effect, of God.
The things I wish I were doing and the things I wish I was—by putting them off, I shortchange God (the God in me). By not exercising my potential, stretching it to and then past its apparent limits, I will never attain the identity of God.
Why are we so afraid of Godliness if indeed it is such a phenomenal thing?
As kids we are more in touch with it but we are gradually and systematically trained to detach ourselves from it. Conditioned to see it as a separate, untouchable, unattainable, mysterious abstract worthy only of wonder and reverence.
All our prayers and conversations with God are empty and worthless if we do not truly believe in God. The essence of God. The God in us.
“…Time, money and energy could be better invested in… the acquiring of skills and knowledge and a groovy sense of self so the child isn’t menaced by stupidity and other child abuse practices so common among people grown ugly and dangerous from being nobody for so long.” (Toni Cade, The Pill: Genocide or Liberation?)
GROOVY SENSE OF SELF! The answer always seems to boil down to revering the self. That is the start and the finish. That is the identity of God—indeed he fashioned us in his image. Why do we so routinely forget?
Of course a lot of the time, people and the institutions they create exist to make the forgetting all the more easier because they too recognize what power there is in a healthy recognition of the self. So preoccupied with keeping others from their selves, those people distance themselves from their own selves. A significant detail that they either seem to forget or sacrifice in the name of transient glories…
Yet it is only the Self that endures.
Love for one’s fellow being.
A being is a representative of something. Being is acting out, demonstrating the existence of something. So if there is one true self, then human beings are manifestations of this one thing. Renditions, acts, roles—and we are all this one Self. We are all God?
And if indeed the key to understanding others is to understand oneself, then is it so preposterous to infer that not to love another stems from the inability to love yourself?
A difficult concept to grasp and embrace. Your head may quickly be filled with examples of people you could never imagine loving. But people and their actions are never absolutely defined. It is more correct perhaps to say I hate it when so-and-so does this than to say I hate so-and-so. Even we can admit to ourselves that we do things that are less-than-desirable… so perhaps true love of ourselves (as representatives of God) means the ability to see the God in everyone (and everything) and consequently love everyone (and everything).