|Cosmic Heart by Willow Arlenea|
Isn’t it amusing to listen to the endless debates about Creation, when whatever happened, happened billions of years beyond the reach of human memory? How can anyone actually prove that the universe was designed and created by a divine, benevolent intelligence, or that it was just the result of random chance? Many who believe in the Intelligent Design of the universe still do not credit any of the world religion’s images of God with the creation and evolution of everything. Not a surprise, because there is no one religion that can satisfactorily answer every question that an inquiring mind will have. Perhaps this is because each religion was designed to meet the spiritual needs of a particular section of the human population. If there is an omniscient cosmic intelligence, it would recognize that the immense diversity of human capabilities, worldviews, environmental and cultural backgrounds, interests and experiences, would make it impossible to present the whole world with one pathway to understanding creation and the meaning of life.
Every religion, every culture, and nearly every individual in the world, embraces a different image of God -- an image that may be worshiped, adored, revered, feared, claimed to be dead, or to be a fabrication of the human imagination. But there is no single human brain that can possibly fathom the entirety of the infinite cosmic mystery. So each person chooses the portion of truth that he or she can comprehend, and each portion of truth is embellished with details either fabricated by the individual, or by one of the founders or perpetrators of that particular brand of faith. Those who deny the existence of any Divine intelligence frequently do so because they see the fallacies in the religious doctrines they have been exposed to; and then instead of going a step further to explore the possibility of a divine mystery too large to be explained by any theology or philosophy designed by the human mind, they disregard all theism as an invention of the imagination. Some atheists may dismiss the existence of God because of the limitations of the human brain that cannot conceive of an intelligence greater than its own, or the existence of realms that cannot be seen or heard with the human senses.
In these times of widespread famine, war, and natural disaster, we often hear people ask: “If there was a god, he wouldn’t allow these things to happen. Others say: “How can God allow these things to happen? Where is God when people are suffering?” Or they echo the lament of Jesus as he cried out from the cross: “God, why have you forsaken us?” Many people believe that the current catastrophes signal the inevitable end of the world as predicted in the Bible and by the Mayans and other prophets. Those who proclaim that there is no god say that it is the wishful thinking of childlike minds to believe that any higher power actually cares what happens to our race and our world. Whatever happens to the world is totally up to us. We'd better make some big changes, or it will be all over soon, whether by environmental destruction, nuclear holocaust, the disappearance of the honeybees, or a wayward asteroid – take your pick!
More and more people don't even want to hear the word “God” spoken. They connect “God” with childhood images of a stern old man sporting a long white beard, who tallies their sins, and deals out punishments accordingly. “God” is also the one who instructs certain factions of society to be excluded from grace: homosexuals, atheists, and anyone or any group who differs in belief or lifestyle from those whose image of God is exclusive to them. Some people confuse the meaning of “God” by saying that God is not the same as Allah, Brahma, or the kami of Shintoism, when all of these names refer to different cultural concepts of God.
“God” is just a word. In fact, it is an abused and over-used word, which might be understood better if it was replaced with another one, such as Creator, Divine Light, Omniscient One, Universal Mind, Heavenly Parent, Eternal Spirit. The possibilities are endless! However, the one word that I believe best sums up the essence of the One in whom we “live and move and have our being“. . . is Love.
When God is thought of as pure love, I find it a little easier to separate truth from fabrication in the religious teachings and doctrines of the world’s faiths. Would love intentionally create a world where greed and violence are a natural part of life? Would love allow any of its children to spend eternity in despair? Would love give up and cease to extend lifelines of hope to any wayward ones who have lost their way? Would love reveal the truth about itself to one segment of its family and then leave it up to them to make sure the other family members get it right? Isn't it possible that Love spoke through the hearts of all the divine messengers who brought us the world's religions, and then the scribes who wrote and edited their messages added their unloving thoughts about revenge, jealousy, and superiority? Well, isn't it?