What is God?
I don’t for a minute profess to know what God is. Frankly, I think God is beyond the grasp of mind because God is beyond the senses and beyond limited words and images.
However because I am blessed or cursed with reason, I seek some glimmer of understanding.
I, like everyone else, seek to satiate this unquenchable thirst for knowledge by gathering it from other minds. And because we have such marvelous things as books, I am able to bend time and space and bring understanding into the present.
This essay is not an attempt to proselytize but merely an attempt to clarify. Nor does it seek to answer any questions about why the world exists the way that it does.
In fact it has no express purpose other than the joy of thinking and sharing those ideas with others. However, since we are, by nature, teleological beings, then perhaps consider this synthesis of ideas as an invitation to inquire about the meaning of life.
Finally, this is my view of things. It is not an assertion of absolute knowledge nor do I profess to be an exponent of original thought.
God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
God is omnipresent because there is nowhere that God is not. God fills the entire known universe. God fills us. Somehow we are an extension of God, an expression of God, or an aspect of God.
God is omniscient because there is nothing about God’s knowledge that is outside of God. Knowledge is God and God is knowledge. As pure consciousness, God expresses itself in every way that consciousness knows itself to be. The observer is present in the observation of all phenomena. Science seeks to separate itself from theology, but both are aspects of consciousness, so I can’t see why God is less a scientist than a theologian. Wherever consciousness is, you will find God. The observor is part of the phenomena that is observed.
God is omnipresent because there is nowhere that power does not exist. Even the humblest living thing has power: the amoeba has power to move, to live, and to reproduce. And even the humblest non-living thing has power: a rock has power in its atomic flux. Since everything has power, everything has God.
God is sat-chit-ananda
Sat is beingness. All expressions of consciousness arise because they emanate from a being. God, then, is the essence of being. God is the being behind your being and mine.
Chit is awareness. All expressions of awareness are expressions of God.
Ananda is bliss. God is transcendent over dualism and is not a party to either side of any issue. And because of this, God is infinite happiness. We know of this happiness because of the experience of mystics. All the Eastern and Western saints report that contemplation of the divine filled them with an inexpressible joy and a peace that passed understanding. In fact, if there is anything mystics down the ages have in common it is this bliss and peace.
God is the silence that holds sound together. Without the interval of silence, sound would not be able to exist.
God is the space that holds objects together. Without the interval of space, objects would not be able to exist.
Thus, God is considered to be the Creative Void, the emptiness from which all emerges and the silent and invisible source that emanated creation. God is also considered the witness behind creation; hence, the advice by Eastern metaphysicians to enter the "gap between thoughts" as a way to find God. In the West, this idea is expressed by the Biblical quote, "Be still and know that I am God."
Since the universe as we know it is held together by light and sound, they appear to be related to God. Some schools of thought hold that Light and Sound are God, others that they are the Holy Spirit. Either way, without light all would be invisible and without sound all would be without vibration.
Proof of God
Since God is both silent and invisible, objective proof is difficult. It is rather like a fish trying to prove that water exists when the fish itself is largely composed of water and experiences an environment of water.
Thus, the only possible proof is the subjective record of mystical experiences over time.
Here is an example of a mystical experience. Plotinus was born in 204 C.E. in Egypt. He is famed as one of the earliest recorded mystics in Western culture. He attained this bliss seven times. Here is a description:
“ Many times it has happened.
“ Lifted out of the body into myself; becoming external to all other things and inside myself; beholding a marvelous beauty; then, more than ever, assured of community with the loftiest order; enacting the noblest life, acquiring identity with the divine; stationing within It by having attained that activity; poised above whatsoever within the Intellectual is less than the Supreme.
“But then there comes the moment of descent from intellection to reasoning, and after that sojourn in the divine, I ask myself how it happens that I can now be descending, and how did the soul ever enter into my body, the soul which, even within the body, is the high thing it has shown itself to be.”
In his other writings, too elaborate to quote here, he sees the soul as a “high thing” because of its bliss, intelligence, and grasp of beauty in its communion with the divine.
Arguments For God:
Out of the many arguments for the existence of God, I like the elegant simplicity of the argument of design.
St. Thomas Aquinas proposed the argument of design. St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) was a Dominican priest, theologian, and philosopher.
The teleological argument, or argument from design, is offered by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. In this work, he says:
"The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things that lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God."
Here is how we would understand his idea today:
A watch has to have a watchmaker. The argument that the design just happened to come together after a series of evolutionary accidents does not make sense. The perfection of the laws of nature and the mathematical exactitude that holds planets and electrons in their orbits suggests a designer.
In sweeping through various views on God, we find an invitation to only think further and open up our inquiry. It is, in fact, impossible to ignore the possibility of a Summum Bonum to all existence.
Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Ca., 15 years ago and now resides in Denver, Colorado. His articles on the internet have inspired over ten thousand people from around the world. Discover how to create a remarkable life