Try to recall who God was for you when you were a child. List key concepts you learned about God when you were growing up. What or who was the source for your information – parents, friends, TV, religious education?

Take one minute and write any word association that you now have with the word “God.” Try not to think, just write whatever comes to your mind.

Can you remember a time when you felt jealous, angry, or resentful toward God? Can you take those events and reframe them into more positive feelings and meaningful lessons?

The name in the Bible that unfortunately has been translated as “God” is comprised of the Hebrew letters yud, hey, vav, hey and is written out in English as “Y/H/V/H.” It is important to know that “Y/H/V/H” is not a word at all, but a Tetragrammaton – the Tetragrammaton as there is only one – standing for “was/is/and/will be.”

How can a human mind grasp Y/H/V/H? How can the human mind imagine the Ultimate Timeless Reality? This is a very difficult idea to grasp because it surpasses our minds. It’s like a drop of water in the ocean, trying to grasp the ocean. Indeed, the best we can say is that we each embody an aspect of reality, but we are not reality. Like the drop of water in the ocean, we exist within reality. Because reality is Y/H/V/H.

When Jews celebrate Passover, they sing a song from the Haggadah: “Blessed Is the Place.” One of the terms used to describe Y/H/V/H is the “Place,” Why “the Place”? Because it suggests Y/H/V/H is the place in which we exist, is the reality within which we exist.

If you believe in the Big Bang theory – that the word came into being as a primordial explosion with masses of hot, whirling gases that eventually condensed into stars and planets – you would still have to ask: Where did all this happen? What place was this in which the explosion took place? “Who” or “What” facilitated this event?

The answer is Y/H/V/H, the Ultimate Reality – the One who embraces all time, all space and all beings.

Ultimate reality is beyond all names, all terms, all images. We can’t stuff something as vast and abstract as that any rigid concept or image. When we say “God”, we realize that we only possess a simplistic, limited, inadequate understanding of the Ultimate Reality, the Source of All Being, the Place or the Context of All That Exists.

God is dead; it is a lifeless concept, a dead word.

Recently Ron, a computer engineer, Hebrew by roots, but an atheist, visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the last remnant of the Temple, which stood over two thousand years ago. He thought, “I am an atheist. What the heck, here I am at the Wall, I should do something spiritual.” So he turned to a religious fellow next to him and asked, “Well, what does one do here?”

The fellow responded, “Why don’t you recite some psalms?” and he handed him a book of psalms. Ron thought that seemed appropriate and he began to read some verses. Sure enough just within the first few words, he hit upon the “God” word. Although he felt annoyed, he decided to continue. But again the “God” word appeared. Now he was getting very frustrated. How can I say this if I don’t believe in God? He asked himself. Do I have to believe in God to have a spiritual experience?

He decided to relate to his predicament as if it were a computer problem. When there is a computer data that he can’t use, he creates a buffer zone and puts it there. Ron decided, I’ll put the “God” word in a mental buffer zone and simply disregard it so I can continue reading the psalms without getting aggravated. And that is what he did.

Ron then continued reading and suddenly felt overwhelmed by a flood of inspiration released by the moving poetic words of King David. He was stuck by a profound spiritual experience, which he had never felt before. It was as if he were surrounded by light. Only when he got rid of “God” he was able to understand the Ultimate Living Reality.

It is interesting to note that Nietzsche, besides proclaiming that God is dead, also said that unless we experience an infinite whole working through us, our lives have no meaning. Nietzsche didn’t believe in “God.” And neither do I. I believe in the infinite Whole, the One who was, is, and always will be.

Tags: Bang, Big, God, Nietzsche, Psalms., reality

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In boolean...
"God is dead; it is a lifeless concept, a dead word."= False

It seems that your friend Ron is a rather narrow-minded person in that the concept of God bothers him.  I realize that such an attitude is appropriate for the worldview he has chosen, but he also chooses to believe that his worldview is the right worldview, and that the one to which he is opposed is wrong.  I suspect that he is simply (if that is the right word) resisting the obvious...because of the worldview he has followed through his overall education.  After all, the education that is inculcated in the western world these days, is elitist and holds contempt for the idea of God. 

And as has been stated numerous times, by many "famous" people..."God is dead", a concept some "want" to believe in and have, when all is said and done, only those vocalizing that concept are the ones that are dead.  That is my opinion and sense of things.   

THE INFALLIBLE COMPUTER

The following is my version of a story I heard, years ago:

Like many before him, a brilliant computer scientist became convinced that from the first second of the Big Bang, the universe has been nothing more than a giant computerized-camcorder (CC) and that on the record is all the knowledge and information, in all its forms--physical, mental and spiritual. If this is so, it ought to be possible to develop a computer which could retrieve all such knowledge and information.

With this in mind he brought together a great team of experts of which he agreed to become the team manager (TM) of a great project--create a personal computer capable of retrieving all knowledge and information generated since the Big Bang.

It took five years, but they developed what they believed was a powerful, voice-activated computer. After a number of private trials, the TM dared to claim: "This CC will answer any question anyone is willing to ask. It--like God, if there is a god--is virtually infallible. Although he was a skeptic, he was willing to accept that it was possible that behind the Big Bang there could be a great god-like mind who created, wrote, produced, directed and has, since the beginning of time, been recording the epic we call the THE CREATION, EVOLUTION AND EXISTENCE OF LIFE--in all its forms. 

                                           

THE INFALLIBLE COMPUTERIZED CAMCORDER (ICC)

Confidently, the TM, team manager, sent out word to all, not just elite and powerful social leaders but to ordinary families with their children. Of courser he included the media, who had heard about his project.  He said, "The team has agreed to call our infallible CC, G.O.D--that which morally and ethically generates all good, organizes it and delivers that which is desirable and delightful to all who have the imagination to tune in and connect with IT (imminent and transcendent being)--in the spirit of respect and good will. 

G.O.D and Company, Inc

The TM said, "G.O.D, like a moral and ethical corporation is capable of answering any question imaginable about physical, mental and spiritual matters any human being is capable of asking. G.O.D is programmed to give us the facts of life--both good and evil, but IT has been programmed only to help you overcome evil, not to overcome evil for you."

"In addition, if you have a practical project you want to get done, G.O.D, without doing it for you, will tell you where to get all the information you need to know, and will point you to those who will help you--on condition that in justice and peace you serve one another and the public good."

One of his female friends was a theologian of high character. So he invited her to the demonstration, along with other friends and experts, to be among the first to put his infallible computer to the test, publicly.

At the meeting, first the experts in the arts and the sciences asked their questions. No matter what question was asked, the computer responded, verbally, and with precision. It was able to answer every physical and mental raised, in detail. Finally, the media got into the act.

Everyone present was amazed and very impressed.

Finally, it was the theologian's turn. She was a Christian, but open-minded. With the help of some theologians from other major religions, church historians, scripture experts and linguists, she asked some very tricky questions about the religions, history and content of the Bible, other scriptures and about other religions of the world. Again, the computer had no problem giving the correct answers. The same was true for questions from families and their children.

                                    

THE ULTIMATE QUESTION

Then she said, "If you truly are an infallible computer, I assume that you already know that I and the TM, here--and perhaps others among us--have our doubts as to the existence of God--but most of us, to the best of our ability, desire to have and us the power to love one another. May I assume you are aware of this?"

"Yes, I am aware" said the ICC.

"I am glad to hear that you are programmed to help us know what is evil, what love is and can do to help us overcome evil. With this is mind, may I ask one more question?"

"Yes, you may?"

"With deep respect I ask: IS THERE GOD?"

Suddenly the room became dark and silent for several minutes. Then gradually the darkness dissipated and a beautiful light-filled cloud filled the whole room.

 

Out of the light came a powerful and resonant voice with the answer:

 "THERE IS, NOW!"   laugh

"Only when he got rid of “God” he was able to understand the Ultimate Living Reality."

Only when he got rid of the concept which he had of God, he was free to experience and spiritual experience. A concept an intelectual idea is very far from "getting" the real thing.

God is not a concept or a bunch of preconceptions induced by tradition. It is an experience... We need to unlearn to learn. That is the problem of "Knowing" too much... Little experience but lots of words...

Dr. Carl Jung--the son of a Swiss evangelical minister--in a famous BBC TV interview said: "I do not believe in God. I know there is God."

I agree with Jung. However, I prefer to put it this way: I know there is G.O.D. There is a application within and beyond us--individually and collectively--which can generate good, organize opportunities and deliver that which is delightful. If we refuse to use this application--based on the agape-love principle--or if we use it for the wrong, usually self-centered, reasons it will also deliver much pain and suffering.

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