Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Western Conception of God

Today in Buddhism class, we watched a movie on Zen Buddhist "hermits" or ascetics who live in the mountains FAR away from society. They live off only what they need and read and meditate when they are not farming or doing other necessary work to sustain life. They all live completely alone.

I do not know what came over me, but I took a scrap sheet of paper and just started writing. This is what came out: (these are just thoughts, not formed ideas or conclusions by any means)

Maybe, our conception of God as a "being" or any other contained force is just way off.

Almost every religion has this idea that we are all of the earth and will one day return to the earth. Also, almost every religion I have studies is more concerned with what is under the surface. Ideas like desire, meaning, purpose, substance, intention, etc. are all central religious themes.

In the west, we think of God as a contained being that has a home. Heaven or something. But when we talk about and describe God, we use language that beckons transcendence, omnipotence, and more simply; that God is everywhere all at once.

I think, eastern religions have a better, and more logical way to describe God.

Scientifically, we know that heaven is not just beyond Earth's atmosphere, In fact, it is no where to be found so far. (granted we have and never will search every square inch of the universe). But more importantly, do we really think that heaven and God are contained in some space anywhere? I think, in the west we think like that and even talk like we believe that sometimes. Theologically and scientifically, we can throw out the idea that heaven or "where god dwells" is a physical contained space that we will ever be able to see.

God is everywhere? How is this possible unless God is either IN everything, a PART of everything, or God actually IS everything. I suppose, that God could also be in the space in between everything invisible to us.

I don't know.

But any person that uses a conception or rhetoric that makes God out to be trancendent, omnipotent, or all at once everywhere, and uses any other conception or rhetoric that confines God to any sport of space or describes God as a confined being; is in error.

I have no answers.

But just as Eli Wiesel would say, there is just a big question mark hanging over my head.

These are just thoughts. Not meant to persuade anyone but merely to vent what rambles in my mind.

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