Years ago, I was sitting in a twelve-step meeting when a rather surly older man began his sharing with “my higher power, whom I choose to call God… well, because that’s his f------name…”
There was a stunned silence in the room as he droned on about something that no one even heard. The silence was followed by a cacophonous roar of laughter that continued for several minutes. All these years later I do not remember this man’s name, what he looked like, or not an inkling of what he shared. I vividly, however, remember what he chose to call God. And why he called it that.
The only time I ever use the term God is when I need to for vocational clarity. I do not concur that God is a f------ name for what I might call Source. My favorite term for this pervading Oneness is ALL. The name God falls flat from my head down into my solar plexus. ALL resounds in my heart, throughout my body, and radiates out to touch, well, all.
I personally feel that the term God turns Allness into a controllable object in our minds. It names a concept that, by labeling in this way, we keep at mostly at bay. By centuries of collective agreement God is up above us in the sky. It is beyond and apart. We beseech it to come down and clean up our messes when our other control devices have failed. The unconscious problem with that beckoning is that “God” as a concept is at the root of the messes we are making.
You have your God and I have my God. Those Gods are sometimes in agreement, and mostly are not. My God is better than your God. My God is the way, and yours is not. My God has a favored religion, a political affiliation, a favorite sports team, and hates all of the same people that I do. God, if we are honest, has a personality disorder and is in severe need of anger management.
God needs therapy.
Or perhaps we need therapy as a result of what we have made of God.
In the words of the Hebrew God “oy vey.”
The problem with that theology is that we in fact made God in our image and likeness.
And then we call it truth.
The God of our image and likeness gives us license to judge, belittle, dehumanize, and send to hell those with whom we disagree. We damn those who dare to have a different God than we do. Those who may not use the name God. F------ or otherwise.
God as a super-object in the sky has little to do with our reality down here. We set it up that way. Then we get to do all the heinous things we want and then scream up and out to God to save us.
We get to pick and choose what is God and what is not.
You do not have that luxury if instead of God you have ALL.
If ALL is ALL, then everything is indeed the image becoming the likeness.
If ALL is ALL, then every encounter is a relating within the ALL.
If ALL is ALL, then creation and all beings are permeated with and ever-within IT.
If ALL is ALL, then we each are called to become ALL in how we show up, pray, and relate. We are responsible to the ALLNESS that is within us. No screeching up and out to God. No using God to cop out of what we are ourselves are required to become and transform. No using God as an excuse for denigrating and dehumanizing those “Godless” others.
And perhaps scariest of all we must give up the control that comes from limiting ALL to just God.
If ALL is ALL, then there is something beyond this God thing. And it cannot be controlled.
Beyond God, there is ALL. ,br>
Carl Jung said to label something is to limit it.
German mystic Meister Eckhart prayed “God, rid me of thy name.”
For me ALL is transcendent of a label and rids me of a name that has been polluted for centuries with dualistic theology.
Now, clearly you get to call Source whatever name or term works for you. I only offer these ideas as my response to what happened for me when I dropped God and opened to ALL.
A radical, mystical, monumental, miraculous, and uncontrollable experience of ALL happening not in my head but in my heart and body.
Releasing the name of God opened me to the experience of It.
I found that beyond God and the concepts relative to it was a whole new experience of Something far vaster and greater than any name could ever capture. By attuning and tapping into ALL my consciousness expanded and literally burst the boundaries I didn’t know I had built to keep that God away.
And I found that I did in fact want to keep THAT God away. The one that drowns Egyptians and murders the only begotten. The one that favors a party and sends hurricanes to a different coast. The one that creates eternal punishment schemes and sends the few and righteous to an eternal glory, you guessed it, up and out of here.
When I had the courage to go beyond God I found ALL.
Maybe that is what is really meant by the great beyond.