I often get asked about God. Especially the age old question of how it is possible to have bad things happening in the world and on an individual level when there’s supposedly an all-loving God. Like, what’s going on there? I totally understand. I mean, we’re all going through tough times every now and then. Even on a small scale it’s enough to make you wonder – does God WANT me to suffer? Does He want me to endure pain and hardship? Because why else would it be such a big part of everyone’s life? Well, here’s how I see it.
*I’m referring to God as He only because that’s the language I grew up with. God is neither male nor female. As I’m explaining in this post, He’s not a person. Our language will never be sophisticated enough to find the perfect words to describe Him or address Him. So I’m just using the words that come naturally to me, but with the understanding that those aren’t the right words, because there are no right words. And I encourage everyone to simply use the words that come naturally to them and that they feel comfortable with.
God’s will for you is PERFECT happiness. And that is a direct quote from A Course in Miracles. God is love, which means He can only ever be loving. Just as the sun can only ever produce light, God can only ever produce love. The sun is the SOURCE of light, and God is the SOURCE of love. There are no rays of darkness extending from the sun. And there is no trace of darkness extending from God. It’s impossible.
So often people seem to think of God as a person in the sky. He’s not. We think that because we aren’t perfect love, and because we are capable of fear and negativity, God must be too. But God is not a person. God is God. God doesn’t have an ego. He doesn’t have fears, or insecurities, anger, pride, or anything like that. God is the source of love, He is love, and He is loving you and everyone, always and equally.
When you think that God wants you or anyone else to suffer, you’re thinking of God as a person. That’s the problem. But He isn’t like you and me. He doesn’t have a body, or an ego, He’s not even a he. But our language is simply too limited to express what God is. We have to use words to describe Him and address Him, but we have to remember that those words can never perfectly describe what God really is. A Course in Miracles says that words at best are but symbols of symbols. And the more you practice spirituality, the more you realize how true that really is.
A Course in Miracles also says that fear is to love what darkness is to light. Now when I first read that, that was huge for me. Because I, like many people, had been somewhat traumatized by organized religion growing up. And studying A Course in Miracles is what really healed all those past wounds for me. Now I don’t know what kind of religious background you grew up with, but for me, I definitely remember a lot of talk about the devil, evil forces and so on. And it freaked me out.
But then A Course in Miracles kind of explained it all to me, so it wasn’t frightening anymore. That again comes back to the fact that language is limited, and it is often poorly used. I feel like religion and spirituality would be much less frightening to people if we let go of outdated language and used more modern expressions and symbols.
So fear is to love what darkness is to light. What does that mean? Well, there’s no source of darkness, right? There are sources of light like the sun, light bulbs, candles, and so forth. But there is nothing that actually produces darkness. Darkness isn’t really a thing. It is merely the absence of light. In the same way, there isn’t any source of fear. Fear is not a thing in and of itself. It is merely the absence of love. If you want the darkness to go away, you have to turn on the light. As soon as you do so, the darkness is gone without a trace by which to be remembered. In the same way, if you want the fear to go away, you have to turn on the love. And once you do, the fear will return back to the nothingness from where it came.
All that to say, if you’re trying to fit God into a neat little box, if you’re trying to define Him, you will fail. God is beyond words. And if you think of God as someone who can curse us, or withhold things from us, or anything along those lines – you’re thinking of a person; not God.
And you are the one who chooses who and what to believe. If you’re afraid of God, or think He’s responsible for the pain in your life or in the world, even if you’re thinking He wants the best for you most of the time but not all of the time – you’re choosing an insane belief system. As I said in this post, I want you to use your intellect. And that’s what I’m trying to do with this article. I want to explain to you that believing that God wants people to suffer in any way is insane, because it doesn’t make any sense! And when you’re using your intellect, that’s clear to see. Once you take a step back to really assess the situation, and you put aside all the frightening stories you were told growing up, you put aside everything – it is clear to see that God who is love, who is the source of love, who can only ever produce love could never, in any way, shape or form bring suffering to you or anyone else. It is impossible. Just as impossible as it would be for the sun to produce darkness.
Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.
–A Course in Miracles
But look, if you do believe that God can bring suffering, or withhold blessings, you’re not alone. This is basically textbook ego. You have a negativity bias, as we all do, and right now you’re putting more faith into fear than you do in love. And there is no such thing as a faithless person. Faith is an aspect of consciousness. As Bob Dylan said in one of his songs:
It may be the devil
Or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
So even though you can’t really change that from one day to the next, the decision always comes first. You have to CHOOSE to put your faith in love/God/miracles, however you want to say it. And if you want to do that, I encourage you to also read this.
And speaking of textbook ego. There is a section in the workbook of A Course in Miracles called What Is The Ego? I’m including it below.
The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the “will” that sees theWill of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied. The ego is the”proof” that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.
The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere, apart from All, in separation from the Infinite. In its insanity it thinks it has become a victor over God Himself. And in its terrible autonomy it “sees” the Will of God has been destroyed. It dreams of punishment, and trembles at the figures in its dreams; its enemies, who seek to murder it before it can ensure its safety by attacking them.
The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God, when he abides in Him? What can he know of sorrow and of suffering, when he lives in eternal joy? What can he know of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack, when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed, in deepest silence and tranquility?
To know reality is not to see the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails. In suffering, the price for faith in it is so immense that crucifixion of the Son of God is offered daily at its darkened shrine, and blood must flow before the altar where its sickly followers prepare to die.
Yet will one lily of forgiveness change the darkness into light; the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself. And peace will be restored forever to the holy minds which God created as His Son, His dwelling place, His joy, His love, completely His, completely one with Him.
That description of the ego – that’s where many of us find ourselves. So as I said, you’re not alone. And more importantly, you can overcome this. You just have to choose this on a daily, and even hourly basis. I remember when I first started out on my spiritual path, I would repeat phrases like, “I choose love. I believe in miracles. I choose happiness. I am calm. I am at peace.” ALL.THE.TIME.
As I said, it doesn’t happen from one day to the next. You spent quite a few years developing your current belief system, so it’s gonna take some time to shift your perception. But it WILL happen if you choose it. And as it says in that paragraph from A Course in Miracles above, one lily of forgiveness will change the darkness into light. I noticed a big shift when I devoted a full 30 days to forgiveness. Every morning I would do a forgiveness meditation, thinking of everything and everyone I was mad at, and consciously sending them love and light, and trying to cut that cord of anger between us. That made a big difference. I was holding so much anger. And you are probably too. You have to let that out and heal those resentments. They are hurting you so much. It doesn’t even matter if you’re angry at God, or another person, or a company – anger is anger. It is toxic. And it needs to be released and let go of. A Course in Miracles repeats countless times how forgiveness is the key to happiness. Another direct quote. And it’s not about pardoning someone’s “sins”. It’s just about cleansing yourself from that anger and those grievances because they are weighing you down so much, it’s hard to rise up. Forgiveness like a detox. And like a reset. It’s clearing away everything that’s weighing you down so you can start fresh and feel, quite literally, lighter.
So that’s just a little glimpse into how I see God. I hope you found it helpful. I think I’m gonna continue with this topic next week, because there’s simply too much to cover in just one article. And I’m happy to answer any more questions you might have. So keep them coming. I love hearing from you!
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