“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.” -Nietzsche
“I pray God rid me of God” – Meister Eckhart
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” – Joseph Campbell
Post-Enlightenment thinking does not accept the traditional view of God as an old man with a beard dwelling in the sky judging humans. When Nietsche says that “God is dead and we have killed him” I believe he is referring to this past view of God that no longer holds of to Science, logic, and our developing understanding of love over time. The Orthodox loyally hold onto this view with Faith. Others feel guilty about moving onto another view of God and are stuck in indecision. While others angrily reject and form of God because of how other Christians have weaponized God and used it to manipulate others.
Eckart and Campbell both acknowledge that God is beyond total and pure understanding. Words are just a symbol of the truth of who God is. To learn more about God and communicate about him with others we must form a symbolic picture of him, but Eckhart is asking God to help continually break that symbol and build a bigger, fuller picture of who God is. That is the cycle and growth of faith.
What or who do I think God is? I believe God is Love and Truth. I believe that he contains both the masculine and feminine attributes, but is beyond gender as he is Spirit. I believe God is beyond time and space, his nature never changing. I believe that God is above, but within all things. His love is a creative, expansive force that continues despite all darkness and decay. we can see this in the universe in that it continually expands. I believe Spiral dynamics also gives us a picture of human growth and understanding as well in History.
I believe that everyone is part of the body of Christ. By learning from each other’s unique personality and way of expressing love, we learn more about who God is. We all have a piece of the puzzle of who God is, but not one has the whole. By learning from each other we can start to fit pieces of the puzzle together and have a fuller understanding of God.
These are basic, simple understandings of God at the core of my understanding. The journey of life is discovering and learning to co-create/live out ourselves how God’s love is poured at in the design of the universe and in the story of humanity. It is infinitely complex and fascinating!
A few questions that have been interesting and perplexing to me personally are:
Does God learn something from humans’ experience of life on Earth? Does he somehow grow through their eyes as process theology postulates? I’m not sure.
Did God create the universe and then humanity corrupted it with ego? Or did the collective conscious of man or part of the Christ mind (as the Course of Miracles phrase it) create the universe in a mistaken belief that we’re separate from God? I’m not sure.