The following is the intro to my book-in-progress: The World According to Love.
Our universe came into being billions of years beyond the reach of human memory, and yet we endlessly debate the possibilities of how and why it happened, as if anyone can know. Some believe that the universe was designed and created by a divine, benevolent intelligence, while others insist that it was just the result of random chance. Neither theory can be proven, so we may as well imagine the best possible scenario. A scenario in which there is no accommodation for eternal damnation and no place for a creator that is not loving and all-wise.
Many who believe in the Intelligent Design of the universe still do not credit any of the world’s images of God with the creation and evolution of everything. For instance, the God of the Hebrews has no interest in the evolution of Christianity, the Christian’s God denies the existence of nature gods and goddesses, and Hinduism’s pantheon of gods does not comprehend a God-head that doesn’t recognize more than three aspects of itself.
There is probably 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 will 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 a single 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. There is no single human brain that can possibly fathom the entirety of the infinite cosmic mystery.
Some people claim they have experienced cosmic consciousness, a blissful union with divine intelligence and all of creation; but this is a spiritual experience that can never be clearly described in human language. People tend to choose the portion of truth that they can comprehend, and each of these bits is embellished with details either fabricated by the believer, or by one of the founders or advocates of that particular brand of faith.
In these times of widespread famine, war, and natural disaster, we often hear people say: “If there is a God, he wouldn’t allow these things to happen.” Others say: “How can God allow these disasters? 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 today’s catastrophes signal the inevitable end of the world as predicted in the Bible and by the Mayans and other prophets. Some, 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, except in that popular expletive: “Oh my God!” These people connect “God” with childhood images of a stern old man sporting a long white beard, who tallies their sins, and deals out punishments accordingly. To many, God is also the one who proclaims that certain factions of society should be excluded from grace: homosexuals, atheists, and anyone or any group who differs in belief or lifestyle from a particular religious group. Some people confuse the meaning of “God” by claiming that their God is not the same as Allah, Brahma, or the kami of Shintoism.
“God” is just a word. An English 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 Source, All-That-Is, Universal Mind, Heavenly Parent, Eternal Spirit. The possibilities are endless! However, the one English word that I believe sums up best the essence of the One in whom we “live and move and have our being“. . . is Love. Of course, if I was Greek, I would choose “Agape” – the Greek word for divine love.
When God is thought of as pure, unconditional Love, it’s 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 and agony? 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 small segment of its family, and then leave it up to them to make sure the other family members get it right?
So the source of all creation in my story will be called Love. Divine Love could not create a place such as Hell is imagined to be. I believe the existence of Hell, whether in this world or the next, is the creation of human minds that have separated themselves from the Love that spawned us. Love is the energy, the creative force, the One who creates the universe and our world; the animals, plants, and people who populate it, and who has nurtured us throughout history as we have been learning, ever so slowly, to be more like Love ourselves.
Divine Love does not have a single personality, but is expressed in the multitude of selves that burst forth from the divine heart. Therefore, I have as much as possible, refrained from ascribing any particular characteristics or gender to Love. Rather, I have tried to show how Love’s work is accomplished by created beings, both physical and spiritual, who reflect Love’s various aspects.
The purpose of this book is to demonstrate the possibility that one Divine Intelligence created the universe and everything in it; and that this Universal Mind, which is Love, has always been active in the evolution of creation, manifesting in the multiple ways that have helped to transform us from primitive warriors to the seekers of enlightenment that so many are today.
The World According to Love is a combination of fact and fantasy, history and spirituality. It is my hope that readers will be inspired to expand their imaginations beyond the walls that religion and science have built around our minds. Just imagine that all of creation was conceived in Love, that the universe is a safe and friendly place, and that a world at peace is a probable and attainable goal.
Chapter One of The World According to Love can be found here: http://bridgesfromthewellspring.blogspot.com/2011/11/beginning-of-love.html