A “god” is the idea of a god — the idea of a god is a god:
The most basic meaning of the Hebrew “elohim” is that of “powers“. The human mind names, personifies, and maps-out these various “powers” and their interactions, but ultimately the “gods” are the culturally-appropriate manifestations or mental vehicles for a given power/energy/idea.
The demons, angels, pantheons of deity, Gods and Goddesses — they are all the impulses that inspire and guide You — unpackaged and unfolded as poetry and story-form. They are personifications of the “powers” arising from nature and found within human-nature, externalized and examined in their most potent and purest symbolic form.
They all exist in our right-brain — as the warring desires in our minds, which battle for dominance in our decision-making. It is we who make the “gods” real by the ones we choose to be guided by and the ones we “make flesh” by our actions.
Thus — if my “guiding power” is violent, then my actions and worldview will be contentious and hostile. If my “dominant god” is compassionate, then I will experience my life through the lens of acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness. Etc.
The long-standing human tradition of myths, religions, mystical experiences, etc. — is the essential activity of differentiating yourSelf from the unconscious forces of existence by personifying them, and then bringing them into a relationship with yourSelf consciously.
“Gods” are the set of ideas and perspectives through whom we view our world and ourselves. They are but a name for someone’s mode of being — relating to their inner-self and their external interactions. Our beliefs are our reality tunnels — and every one of them is an individual and culturally-appropriate manifestation of the Singular God.
Which is why it’s not entirely respectful to comment on the specific beliefs of another religion/culture to which you do not belong — because God gives the portion of his Word that is expedient and culturally-tailored to the specific conditions found among the community of the seers/prophets who received it [not to your conditions or culture].
The revelation of God in Jesus Christ:
The “God” whom I follow is the story of Jesus Christ. A belief-system which commits me to the basic concept of servanthood and compassion.
I have voluntarily bound myself to Christ and his Word by my covenant to obey his every commandment. This voluntary servanthood [or yoke] binds me to the fundamental reality that “God” is found in being under the most, serving the most, and being connected to the most [instead of vice-versa].
The revelation of God in the scriptures is that the most basic fabric of all existence is “chesed” — the loving-kindness and compassion of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of “beriyth” — or a covenant.
God is not “self-existing” — for He does all things through covenant [including creation] — which actually binds Him to all things. A “self-existing” Being is independent and cannot be bound. This is why God could “cease to be God” if He acts in certain ways — because the power and unity of God is a product [not a starting point] — and He is God because of the covenant He’s bound Himself to.
Thus — faith is not a stop-gap measure, or transient state-of-mind that we can drop once we’ve crossed-over and are “with God”. All things [including gods] must have and keep faith, for it is the necessary element of the trusting engagement and active cooperation that is “existence”.
God’s covenant relationship with all of creation means that He exists for us – not Himself. Likewise, all things exist because they are bound in covenant with God as well. That is why any damned thing in the created universe can return to outer-darkness [“return again to their own place“], where there is no existence.
Neither the elements of the universe nor God are self-existing or independent entities — because the existence of both parties is a covenantal relationship.
Belonging to the “true church” of God has no meaning or value
There is nothing special that I get for having joined the latter-day church of Christ. In fact, it gives me nothing special or noteworthy — and that’s the point. There is no advantage to being LDS, to having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, to holding the rights of the priesthood, or having access to temples, etc. — for me.
You can’t “pass the test” of Life — or “solve the problem” by aligning yourself with the “right religion” on earth before you die — thereby securing your “salvation”. Life is not a bank you can rob — and “get out” of it with eternal treasure.
Things don’t “get solved” — they comes together and fall apart, and come together again. “Salvation” or “Enlightenment” comes from letting-go and allowing there to be room enough of all of it to happen — without fearing failure or desiring success.
We naturally desire the immortality of our ego, our beliefs, our group, etc. God reaches into human history through the person of Jesus Christ to extend immortality to all — on the condition that they accept it unconditionally-alone, meaning by abandoning the hope of securing it for “You” or your “in-group”.
When our “god” is not Jesus Christ — when we do not deny ourselves, cease to identify with this skin-encapsulated center-of-will in the universe, and take up the yoke of Christ — then our fundamental allegiance will always be to Self-preservation, Self-reliance, and Self-centered survival.
We can never be One with God or with others — because we constantly experience God and neighbor as something inherently “Not-Self”.
Having the “mind of Christ” in you means you pour yourSelf out, in love. Because, in love, surrender is victory.
And not just with God — but with your family and your neighbors, your enemies and those who would despitefully use, hate, and persecute you — and this love won’t leave out the animals and plants, the earth and the stars — because deep-down and far-in, it’s all one energy flowing from them, through us, and back out again.
One thing [a uni-verse] that we experience coming through in individual waves.
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