As is always the case, my friend Jacob Nordby comes up with phrasing that delights and bedazzles me and as is often so, they could have come from my own imagination. On Monday, while spending the day writing several Bliss Blog entries in anticipation of the possibility that power could go out in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, I saw his facebook posting in which he referred to God as “The Great Unboxable”. It struck a deep chord in me because I tell folks that “Love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box.” Another friend, Tom Osher calls out the name of the Divine with three initials ATI (All That Is). I have friends who were raised in traditionally religious homes who now ‘order off the menu’ and I have those in my life who have fundamentalist beliefs. I don’t have the right to tell anyone what to believe spiritually, feeling that is between your own heart/mind and Whoever/Whatever you believe in.
Many wars are waged because humans disgagree on how to refer to the Creator. How silly is that? I was raised Jewish and in my earlier years, had the Judeo-Christian perception of God as a male entity outside myself who provided nurturing and protection as well as judgment. It felt like such a confusing juxtaposition for the little one who sat next to her parents in synagogue and read from a prayer book, words in both English and Hebrew. It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I fully appreciated the seeds that were planted in my formative years, even as my beliefs have become hybrid since then, absorbing and integrating inspiration from other faiths. I have come to see that spirituality is about love and acceptance and not hellfire and brimstone judgment for those deemed ‘hopeless sinners’. On occasion I hear people refer to themselves as being “God fearing.” I would prefer to be God loving. In my childhood, I adhered to the wishes and guidance of my parents, out of respect and love, and not fear. I graduated in 1999 from The New Seminary in NYC, founded by a priest, minister, rabbi and imam…kind of like the opening line of a cosmic joke. The motto of the school is “Never Instead Of, Always In Addition To” which encouraged us to weave our religious origins with new thoughts and understandings.
Each day, I have a conversation with God/Goddess/All That Is, and sometimes it feels like a dialogue and sometimes a monologue. It resembles a comedy routine on occasion, and a petulant little kid temper tantrum at others, but mostly it is a heart to heart, and the words don’t matter. Much of the back and forth is a celebration of my blessings as I express gratitude for what I desire, even if it hasn’t yet transpired. Someone recently told me that the definition of a visionary is someone who can experience internally what it is they want, even if it hasn’t yet arrived. They just KNOW it will. I would definitely put myself in that category.
What if we viewed ‘the God of our understanding’ (to use a 12 step term) as being unboxable? For some people, it might feel too frightening, since they need to feel sheltered by the box and for others, it would feel freeing since it would they are becoming out of the box thinkers.
http://youtu.be/W5pL04O8fPc God In The Box