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Monday, March 13, 2006

Is God with us?

My nom de plume is Acharya S, but my Christian name means "gift of God." I am somewhat known for my books, articles, essays and rants at truthbeknown.com about religion, mythology and assorted other subjects of interest to me and many other members of the human species. My interest in religion and mythology stem from childhood, and I can vividly recall discovering the Greek myths when I was around three years old. My family adhered to a very mild form of Christian Protestantism, and we belonged to a lovely Congregational church in New England. Despite the fact that it was not a "hellfire and brimstone" type of church, and that the minister was a kind and caring man who offended no one, I was extremely bored with church itself and found little of interest in Sunday school. One of the few things I enjoyed as a child about the gospel tale was the part in Luke where a short man climbs a tree in order to see Jesus above the crowd. That part stood out to me, a little child, because I was forever standing on tiptoe to see things, peering over the counter at the bank, for example.

At seven I decided that I would stop attending church at the age of 12, and so I did. My mother, who was the main person in the family interested in church and who had served as the treasurer and choir director, was not terribly dismayed by my not going to church, although I'm sure she would have enjoyed it if any one of our family had continued to share her interest. My mother was not terribly religious, in the typical sense of the term, and I never heard her discuss God, Jesus or the Bible. She went to church every week, and sang beautifully in the choir, but I do believe her attendance was a social instinct, rather than a need for "religion" per se. She was highly respected in our small but gorgeous town, and to this day there are those who remember her fondly. Unfortunately, my beloved mother passed away in 2004 of ovarian cancer.

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The word "God" comes from the German "gott" and the proto-Indo-European "*ghut," meaning "that which is invoked." The related Sanskrit term is "huta," which means "invoked" and which was an epithet for the ancient god Indra. "God" may also be derived from the proto-Indo-European "*ghu-to," which means "poured," as in a libation. The Germanic word "God" did not become masculinized, i.e., a male, until the advent of Christianity. "God" is deus in Latin and dios, dia, zeus and theos in Greek.

The term "God" is defined as:
"A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions." (Dictionary.com)
Over the millenia, it has been widely believed by billions of people that there is a dominating force in the cosmos that controls everything we experience in life. This dominating force - which even in polytheistic cultures such as Egypt was conceived as overarching - has been deemed omniscient or all-knowing, omnipresent or everywhere present, and omnipotent or all-powerful.

In some cultures, it has been believed that this power - called "God" in modern English - was the architect or orchestrator of both good and evil, while in other cultures and religions "He" has been separated out as wholly good, with an evil being (of "His" creation) responsible for all the evil. There is no escaping the fact that life on planet Earth is beset by evil, yet this dualistic and simplistic explanation of a wholly good God and a totally evil Satan, found particularly within Christianity, is unsatisfactory, for the very reason that the definition of God includes the qualities of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. If God is omniscient, then he surely knows what Satan is up to and is going to do. If God is omnipresent, then he must be Satan. And if God is omnipotent, then he can readily stop Satan. Yet, none of these things appears to be true, as Satan often seems to reign supreme, unopposed and unrestrained.

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We humans have spent many centuries attempting to explain why, if there's a good god in charge of everything, so much suffering and evil occurs on planet Earth. We have come up with an immensely complicated yet childish perspective of reality that includes assorted afterlife scenarios such as heaven, hell, limbo, purgatory, etc. When something bad happens to us, like the passing of a loved one, we want answers that make the heartache less painful, the memory more vivid and the death less final. Hence, we have created these elaborate systems and explanations, including excuses for the supposedly omnipotent God who must have allowed these tragedies to occur in the first place.

Nevertheless, these explanations have been found wanting by countless thinkers over the millennia, and it has been eloquently pointed out by numerous people that the existence of such a god is not a done deal in the first place. To be truthful, therefore, we cannot assume a priori that such a god exists, and then work from there. We must clarify that there is great doubt about the existence of an all-powerful, benevolent god who would allow such trauma and tragedy to go on day after day, relentlessly, around the globe. No other position is truly honest, and that fact constitutes the bottom line. Those who righteously question this assumed position will not be satisfied by the pat explanations designed to make the pain go away. They will continue to be haunted, possibly until a more honest and profound exploration is proffered.

The old adages tell us that "God works in mysterious ways" and that "we cannot know the way of God." But are these musty mottos really true? These antiquated assertions assume, and are often accompanied by the declaration, that we humans cannot know God because our minds are small and finite. Yet, there can be no concept greater than infinity, and the human mind can conceive infinity, even though the concept may spin us off into a parallel universe. We nonetheless can understand it. We can also fathom omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. Hence, we can understand the concept of God, and we are capable of judging whether or not the concept is intelligent, logical and rational.

In the final analysis, our quest for the truth is neverending - and has not been set forth once and for all in any manmade book or set of beliefs thus far created. Despite the profound investigations and the fervent desires of so many for so long, we simply cannot say for sure that God is with us.

15 comments:

Daniel D. Ziegler said...

This blog is a great idea, Acharya. I'm looking forward to following it. Dan

Jas Pierce said...

Isa 38:19
The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I [do] this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

I love Acharya S and her work. I am her biggest fan. Once you read her book(s) you will know the facts that speak for themselves. I love 'Suns of God', but the classic novel that I enjoy the most is The Christ Conspiracy. Being an ARTIST, I have devoted most of my paintings to the Zodiacs and their symbols. When I saw the cover to the Christ Conspiracy, I knew I must read it. All of the symbols of the Zodiacs were on the cover so opened the pages. Talk about a surprise ending. I had not clearly read the title, but when I got inside the first couple chapters I knew that the book was full of information, which I verified as correct.

Thanks Acharya S. aka Teacher(S),

Jas Pierce

mikemike said...

Great Blog A.S. Going to follow your blog, "religiously". :-)

Patricia said...

Ce pourrait-il que ce ne soit pas avec notre intelligence "humaine"telle que nous la connaissons en ce moment, que nous puissions comprendre ce qu'est ,ce que,nous humains, appelons "Dieu" ? Peut-être que nous possédons d'autres outils d'apprentissage,dont nous ignorons l'existence,lesquels lorsque explorés et développés nous permettront d'accéder à des niveaux supérieurs de connaissances et de savoirs...Se pourrait-il qu'une infime portion de la notion de ce que nous appelons"Dieu" soit "perçue" par les quelques rares personnes ayant réussi à pénétrer davantage au-dedans d'eux,dans le silence le plus complet,qui explorent de nouvelles avenues,qui "glissent" dans cet autre espace où des portes s,ouvrent sur des réalités extatiques dévoilant des dimemsions prometteuses jamais explorées parce que les religions ont limité et fermé ces portes en limitant la "vérité" aux soit-disant livres saints de la bible ou autres de ce genre....

Balu said...

Nice Beginning Acharya and my best wishes to you.

One Point though. Huta and Hutashana are words associated with Agni, the Fire god and not Indra.



Balu

skullnboner said...

Could God and Goth or Goat have a similar origin? Or how about the words got, get or good? Just messin around a little! Happy bloggin Acharya!

Dr. W. Sumner Davis said...

I will be following this Blog AS. And I will make every effort to keep from correcting any "issues" I might find, assuming there be any. If you get the chance, check out my own blog... I think you will be amused.

Anonymous said...

great blog, and NO "god" is not with us "he" does not exist. god is imaginary, the bible is boring, vile, ugly, and not to mention just plain stupid!

Anonymous said...

great blog! keep up the good work acharya!

louis said...

no "god" is not with us, what's wierd is bible cheerleaders claim god is everywhere, well, is he in hell? and what about that song they sing that means "come by here" because acording to them god is everywhere, if he is everywhere he can't "come bt here" he is already there.

louis said...

i know i spelled that wrong up there, sorry.

louis said...

acharya, i love your work and website, my mom still makes us go to church and i hate it, how can i show her that god and the bible are imaginary? look forward to hearing from you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

As a child my interest in the Christian God was fueled by the stories of David and Golith, Daniel in the lion's den, Shadrack Meshak and Abendigo walking unharmed in the furnace and more, and I ended up devoring the whole King James version of the Bible except for all the begats and linage lists by the time I turned 11. Never was very enthusiastic about church attendence though. Wanted to argue with the Pasters too much.
For me, growing up I never really doubted the existance of God for the simple reason that I would pray and what I prayed would happen or be given to me. I also had dreams of the future that would come true. while in the Air Force I ended up praying for a friend that was a warlock (a type of male witch) in order to drive off a demon that was after him and strong enough to be felt by the two others of our group present. I have walked in God's spirit all my life and for me there is never any doubt. But if you do not know for yourselves of whether he exists or not, perhaps you might wish to start with the vary basics and ask "is there a supernatural or not?"

Watch Ghost Hunters on the scifi channel.
Keep an eye open and you might see one of those objects we call UFOs making a not so natural path through the night sky.
Maybe your intuition for some reason tells you not to board a plane or boat....
Is it not better to heed the warning signs than to ignore them?
Explore yes...question yes...by all means as there is a lot of deception going on. But it is not wise to throw out the baby with the bathwater and blame God for our societies own evils.
Our ansestors wanted self rule and were given it...would we not curse God if he FORCED us to do his will?
For now heaven and God exists in our hearts...and I would recomend a book for any that wish to understand the true meaning of Christianity and Gods will, Cori Ten Boom's "God's Smuggler".

White Eagle

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Anonymous said...

I want to comment on the Ancient Egyptian pantheistic beliefs. I think her article oversimplifies things. Akhenaten, a pharoah, tried to create a single deity, but that only lasted as long as he ruled. The belief concerned a battle on earth between two forces: cosmos and chaos. There are levels of being on either side and we are squarely in the middle. Different gods and goddesses ruled different aspects of life and the universe. It's quite complex a theology - cosmology. They did have complex rites to these forces because the ancient egyptians believed strongly in creating BALANCE that was the key. Apparently from what I have read the forces of CHAOS (create disorder) are gaining ground at an alarming pace and this is why we see so much insanity going on on this planet.
My religion now is pagan and I was born and baptized Episcopalian and Sunday School really made me realize it was all made up nonsense. I never looked back though I do feel I have many beliefs based on Christian upbringing that are not rational but deeply ingrained in me.

I appreciate your article series and I am thinking of purchasing your book to read more. I think it is wonderful how you present your argument.