Naming God

November 29, 2007

Writings about spirituality refrain from calling God God anymore. In a politically correct and pluralist atmosphere, gurus, writers and lecturers refer to Spirit, Source, Higher Self, and a list of other inclusive terms for the mysterious omniscient force which moves through things both seen and unseen.

 Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims speak of God, Yahweh, or Allah. In ancient Hebrew texts, there were many names for God: Elohim, Adonai, etc., each correlating to an aspect of quality of the divine father. In fact, it was not allowed to write the name of G-d. Because if the material or medium on which the name was written were vandalized or destroyed, that would be blasphemy. Moreover, the god of the Old Testament was a particularly volatile and unpredictable character, and one had to go to great lengths to please him and stay off his shit list.

I understand the need for inclusiveness—because this force is fatherly to some cultures, motherly to others, is a singular entity to the faithful of one tradition and manifested in numerous forms of another. So I find myself referring to God as Source, Spirit, Great Mystery, Universal Life Force, Wakan Tanka, Beloved, and Yahweh—interchangeably, sometimes listing many names in the same prayer—because I just don’t know how to address this force.

 I want to use one name, and I want it to be the name God wants to be called, or a name I feel fits God. Instead of a title, I’m considering an actual name, or a nickname, or a pet name. Something respectful but affectionate. But I have to have a better grasp of who God is. And I don’t. So I wonder, why am I trying to differentiate this being, this force? Differentiation is a function of ego. Ego is what causes me to believe that I’m not God. Ego is what keeps me from really knowing God, from feeling God in me and around me. So why would I want to further perpetuate this distinction, this separation? That is what we’ve done. We’ve named this energy, essentially confining this thing to an ego of our making, out of the kindness of our hearts, of course.

I am rootless and without a spiritual tradition. I used to call God God, but I no longer like the connotations. I wish for God to be separate from me, and I don’t. I wish God to have compassion for me, but I want all the credit. I want intervention, but I want to make my own choices. I want to make a pet of God, and at the same time I wish to be its beloved child.

 

Who are you God? What are you? How proximate are you? Are there unanswered questions in your realm? Is that what all this is for? Are you curious about me? What is your name?

So Neale Donald Walsch says that God isn’t a being, but a process. That means that God isn’t a noun, but a verb. God is an action, a growing, movement, living. To live is to God.

And if each one of us is an expression of this process, then God, the noun–its name is Cindy, in my experience. And if God wishes to know itself, if I wish to know myself, then as Walsch also states, my truth is revealed by the negation in my experience, which is to say, that who I am, is defined by its relation to its opposites, or what I am not. I am not poor. I am luxuriating in abundance. I am not ugly and repulsively flawed; I am serenely beautiful. I am not the victim of circumstance; I always manage to be at the right place at the right time.

 

So, while it is delusional to believe that one’s ego is the totality of ones being, it’s also a cheapening of ones experience on this plane to deny the unique expression of God which each of us embody. If God wished to always be the All, with no individual expression and experience, it would remain indistinct, wouldn’t it? So play out the role you were born to play, and be you, absolutely you, with all your quirks, and desires and uniqueness, for these are what make God feel whole.

  

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