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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God or Something Like It

The fact that I used the word God the other day in my blog has freaked me out a little, or at least gotten my wheels turning. I typically always say "the universe" because that's probably closest to what I believe, but I also notice that in the past few months I've gained a new perspective on God and religion.

I finally have come to understand that there are as many concepts of God as there are people and that even if we told all 6+ billion stories, we could never actually approximate the true nature of the divine. I will never believe in a God that can be understood by the limited perceptions of a human mind. A God whose limits of compassion, love, and grace can be completely described in a book written by men will never be sufficient to me.

However, I have come around to the idea that these stories and descriptions can serve a purpose in my life, as they have for others for thousands of years. If I can draw inspiration from a random person plucked from obscurity and put in a reality show, why can't the story of Joseph also inspire me. Why should I cut myself off from a tradition that has enabled countless generations to bring meaning and order to their lives?

I always thought I would never come back around to a Judeo-Christian tradition because didn't believe in personifying the divine. The Jesus story has always been problematic for me as well. However, as I have started to see this personification as more of a tool (under the most rational circumstances), I have found tremendous comfort in my explorations into Judaism, and it really has changed the way I've been moving through the world.

I find myself now, praying for people, and accepting the prayers of others. As I've seen some of these prayers come to fruition, I've realized that it doesn't really matter to me whether it could be simply a coincidence or not. Some people might say, "Well, that would have happened anyway," but I don't think that's the point. Even if prayer only helps me align my subconscious thoughts towards whatever the desired outcome is, it has proven to be a useful tool.

I'm not sure where this new aspect of my spirituality will take me, but I feel optimistic.

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