To “God,” or not to “God”

This is a tricky one. I don’t know what to call “God” in my writing. To me, God, Goddess, Spirit, the Universe, Allah, your heart, creative energy, Higher Power, Buddha, Krishna, Mother Earth, Divine Self, Light, the Holy, whatever you call it, it’s all the same thing. However, an extraordinarily bright and beloved friend brought to my attention that my use of “God” might be alienating. Specifically he, a sincere soul brother, felt excluded, if not a bit surprised, by my word choice.

So, let me be clear: when I say “God,” I’m talking about the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, opulent energy that lives within all of us and in every living thing and transcends any name you give it. It just so happens that a.) I am from Kansas, and b.) I was required to memorize much of the Bible in my early Lutheran-school days. As such, although I’ve zero inclination toward dogmatic religion at this phase of my path, it’s always been “God” to me.

However, I’m suddenly asking myself: Is it time to find a new name? For the purposes of this little blog, is it time to rechristen the artist formerly known as “God”?

To me, “God” is universal–not some masculine deity enjoying human form in the clouds–and is revealed in vastly different ways. It might be the light you see in the center of your forehead when you close your eyes, or the subtle currents you feel in your spine. It’s the brilliant idea that pops into your head. It’s tears of gratitude. It’s the softness of a child’s hand patting your skin. It’s knowing. It’s the flower bursting with color. It’s the devotion in chanting, or the joy in praise music. It’s the majesty of the ocean. It’s the mindfulness of being truly present in the moment. It’s unconditional kindness, given and received. It’s radiant magnetism. It’s comfort during prayer. It’s hope. It’s love. It’s truth. It’s the absence of fear. It inspires you.

In my heart, I’m clear on what “this” is, I happen to call it God or the Universe, and now I just need an appropriate all-inclusive name. Or maybe I don’t. (I mentioned this is tricky.) The idea of dreaming up my own phraseology for the most magnificent, um, “thing,” we’ll say, ever in the history of anything, is daunting. Mastin Kipp’s clever use of “Uni-verse” on his luminous resounds with me but, until further notice, I’ll be on the lookout for my own right (written) word. Suggestions welcomed.

One thought on “To “God,” or not to “God”

  1. Naming God is an issue for me as well. At various times many of the traditional names strike a resonating chord. So too do some of the more unusual names. Recently, I was struck by “The Absolute” referenced in a discourse by Yogananda. For me, coming up with a singular name/word for an omnipresent, infinite, eternal, creative force present in all and through all feels impossible and may not even be relevant. Thank you for provoking thought.

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