GOD IS BETTER THAN THIS
by Jim Cleveland
People are forever tearing God down to their level of understanding.
They make God a male, or even a female.
They all exhibit a fatal flaw. They say that God disdains other religions and stands behind theirs.
Intolerance is not a trait of God.
Neither is ignorance. It isn’t necessary for humans to show their allegiance with endless rituals, even prostrate themselves on the ground.
God is not so vain or ignorant to need incessant expressions of the same thing. God knows what you think and what you do, and how you invest your time and how you waste it.
It’s time to elevate God to a greater understanding. God’s energy permeates everything. God created everything — the humans and their sexuality, the splendid natural garden that makes up the Earth.
God created you imperfect. You were born both ignorant and innocence. Your success as a mortal depends on how you feed yourself. Do you look for love, beauty and truth. God provides plenty of assistance to guide your way.
If you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it. If you do take a step of faith, it will be rewarded. It’s as simple as that. God is a mysterious monitor that indwells you. Call God your soul, your conscience, your goodness, your higher self, your indwelling spirit. The language is yours; the reality is God’s.
Evolving religions have invariably put themselves above the reality of personal religion. They can only supplement religions, they can’t be one. They can only socialize spiritual seekers, not control them. They can only provide community, not personal salvation. Religions must know their rightful place.
They do not. They even intrude on diet. Over history they have taken a role in births, marriages, and deaths with human consent, but they shouldn’t believe they should have any control over such transitions of life.
Without the religions, where would civilization be? Without the dark ages, where would we be? Without the example of Jesus’ life, where would we be? Without the eternal religious conflicts, wars, genocides and inquisitions, where would we be? Without the destruction of the new world Indian
populations, what kind of spirituality would there be in the world? We can but speculate on history while we live in reality of what has happened.
Today, surely we can realize that we are all flesh and blood and bone and our beliefs about speculations should hardly be that important. Better than mankind would have respected and loved each other rather than project all the love they had upon a god of their imagination. They have tortured and destroyed the natural world, which directly represents God, and replaced it with printed page doctrines about their exclusive and imaginary spiritual jurisdictions. They are worth so little that they should be scattered to the wind, and rot back into organic matter wherever they lay.
We must try to understand that God is the First Source and Center of life energy in the universe. God should not be understood as a despot who needs constant re-assuring worship. He wants you to live the life he gave you. Upon transition, you will need to stand up for what you did.
The philosopher Baruch Spinoza had a view of God which I have long ago come to respect. No doubt, Christians, Muslims and Jews would find much here for disagreement. It does not suit their ideas regarding their particular church’s power and control over our lives.
From his writings:
Quit praying and beating yourself in the chest! What I want you to do is go out into the world to take pleasure in your life.
I want you to enjoy, to sing, have fun and be blessed with everything I’ve done for you.
Stop going to these dreary temples, dark and cold that you built yourself and you say they are my home.
My house is in the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and here I express my love for you.
Quit blaming me for your miserable life. I never said there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner or that your sexuality is a bad thing.
Sex is a gift you were given and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So do not blame me for everything that you were made to believe.
Quit reading these supposed sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you cannot read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the eyes of your friends, in the eyes of your son
… you won’t find me in any book!
Trust me and stop asking me for things. Are you going to tell me how to do my job?
Don’t be scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you or get angry or upset, or seek to punish you. I am pure love.
Stop asking me for forgiveness, there is nothing to forgive. If I created you … I was the one who filled you with passions and limitations, with pleasure, feelings, needs, inconsistencies … with free will!
How can I blame you if you respond to something that I gave you? How can I punish you for being you, if I’m the one who made you? Do you think that I could create a place to burn all of my misbehaved children, for the rest of eternity? What kind of God could do that?
Forget about any kind of commandments, or any laws, these are tricks to manipulate, to control you, they only create guilt in you. Respect your fellow man and do not do what you would not want to be done to you. All that I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that you let your awareness be your guide.
My dear, this life is not a test, or a step on the road, or an essay or a prelude to paradise. This life is all that is, here and now and it is all that you need.
I’ve made you absolutely free, no reward or punishment, no sins or virtues, no one has a marker and no one is keeping track.
You are absolutely free to create in your own life a heaven or a hell.
I cannot tell you if there is something after this life, but I can give you some advice: Live as if there wasn’t. As if this was your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.
So, if there is nothing after, then you’ve enjoyed the opportunity I gave you.
And if there is something after, rest assured that I will not ask you if you behaved well or badly. I’ll ask: Did you like it? Did you learn? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?
Stop believing in me, to believe is to assume, guess, imagine. I do not want you to believe in me. I want you to feel me in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when embracing your little girl, when you pet your dog, when you bathe in the sea.
Stop praising! What kind of egotistical God do you think I am?
It bores me to be praised, I am sick of you thanking me. Are you grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, of your health, your relationships, the world. Do you feel awed? Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.
Stop complicating things and repeating what you learned about it like a parrot. The only certainty is that you’re here, you’re alive, that this world is full of wonders. What do you need more miracles for? Why so many explanations?
Don’t look for me outside, you won’t find me. Look for me inside. I am there, shining on you.
— Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677) Dutch Jewish philosopher
During his time, other philosophers saw God as being essentially apart from the earth, his creation. Spinoza saw God reflected in nature — our elemental gifts, our love for each other. His views are reflected most in the theologies of Pantheism. Opposing views espouse doctrines produced and published by humans which have nothing to do with nature and everything to do with their usurpation of your free thought and free will.
A more enlightened view results in your appreciating each glorious sunrise as a gift of God and endeavoring to see the love of God in all that you encounter. Then you yourself, like God, will be shining outward into the world.
(From ON TOP OF IT: Rising Above the Common Mind on Amazon. Free e-books and MP-3 tracks at www.jimclevelandauthor.com)