Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity
“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.
It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.
Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”
~ Albert Einstein
“You are “gods”; you are all children of the Most High.”
~ Psalm 82:6
“Let never day nor night unhallow’d pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.”
~ William Shakespeare
Remember God, forget the rest.
Forget who you think you are,
to know what you really are.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Ron’s Introduction to his “Monistic Musings”
After my spiritual awakening I began wondering why many monotheistic religious fundamentalists – especially Jews, Christians and Moslems – historically espoused different, dogmatic and disharmonious views of their “ONE God”. And I reflected on why monotheistic fundamentalism had often resulted in religious crusades, inquisitions, and jihads against alleged heretics or nonbelievers in the one true God or Messiah.
Later, after my introduction to Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist non-dualism teachings (which I accepted as valid and consistent with Western monotheism), I learned that those Eastern religions also had violent fundamentalist sects; that for example Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by an opinionated Hindu fundamentalist opposed to Gandhi’s advocacy of egalitarian and nonviolent Hindu-Muslim tolerance and cooperation.
As I reflected philosophically, I rhetorically asked and answered the following musings about monotheism, God, and divinity which I’ve called “Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity”.
These rhetorical ruminations have increasingly helped me remember and revere the Divine Holiness of everyone, everything, everywhere, with ever expanding gratitude for this hallowed human lifetime.
They are shared with the deep aspiration that they may similarly inspire all of us, until ultimately we realize that everything’s holy; and, that nothing’s really Real, but Divine LOVE.
And so may it be!
Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity
Q. What is “God”?
A. “God” is a word – a noun –
with countless connotations,
different for different people –
all believing or disbelieving in “God”.
Thus, “God” did not create humans,
but humans created “God” – with thoughts from
ruminations, revelations, intuitions, and speculations.
For many monotheists
“God” is a universally Supreme Deity,
and sole Creator and Ruler of the universe;
and, “God” is a “he” word,
meaning an anthropomorphic male deity,
with supernatural yet human-like qualities.
But, in this duality “reality”,
gender is everywhere in everything.
So, how can there be just one such God?
Isn’t it so that for every such God,
there’s got to be a Goddess;
for every “he” God, a “she” God?
Thus, mustn’t any unitary Divinity,
be beyond gender and duality –
and so, transcend this polarity “reality”?
And if Transcendent,
though universally immanent,
mustn’t such a sole Divinity
be infinite, ineffable and inconceivable?
So how can we describe,
denominate, or depict THAT?
Even if we neuter it,
how can we name it?
Doesn’t any designation of unitary Divinity,
tend to divide and disrupt humanity?
What about atheists who ardently deny Divinity,
versus convinced theists and deists?
And what about religious fundamentalists?
Aren’t “God”, Allah, and Adonoi,
the same ‘Supreme Being’?
And if there is just one “God”,
how can that one God
be a different “true God”
for Christians, Muslims, and Jews
and their diverse denominations?
If one “true God” is the same
for all those religions,
what do they fight and shout about?
‘Methinks they protest too much’
because they really can’t conceive Divinity.
Don’t their fundamentalist shouts
disclose their doubts
about the identity of Divinity?
And isn’t there a connection between
and messianic fanaticism?
If one “true God” is the sole benevolent
Creator and Ruler of the Universe,
why did “S/He” create a world
with so much suffering and sorrow?
Why not a perpetual paradise without evil?
How can “S/He” allow holocausts
and other terrible calamities?
In projecting “God” as Creator,
don’t we just reify and deify
our doubts about Divinity?
Did “God” create karma and causation?
If so, why?
So, can we get beyond speculating and
arguing about “God” and Creation?
And can we transcend
dogmatic divisive designations of Divinity?
Can’t we be tolerant
of all benevolent religions,
moral codes, and philosophies?
Can we – as the Buddha –
avert theistic speculation
that “tends not to edification?”
Buddhists aren’t theists or deists.
They don’t believe in a Creator God –
but they pray a lot.
I wonder who they’re praying to?
And I wonder who’s listening to their prayers –
and to everyone else’s prayers?
Isn’t it the same universal Awareness?
If so, how can we ever know?
How can we infer, find,
and know “God”
only through reason,
rather than revelation,
inner insight, or intuition?
If there is a universal Divinity
transcending our “reality”,
what is it’s identity?
Can we ever know such Divinity –
mystically, experientially, intuitively –
while yet dwelling in duality?
Can we know the Immortal
before leaving “this mortal coil”?
Or must first we depart or die,
to be “born to Eternal life”?
To know the Immortal,
must we abjure desire
for earthly pleasures and ways
of this world?
Can’t we be “in this world
but not of this world”?
If so, how?
How, when and where shall we seek God?
Shall we follow doctrines, dogmas, or ideologies
from ‘outer’ authorities or theologies?
Or, as unique beings,
shall we each look within
and follow our Sacred Heart?
Doesn’t inner infinity ‘create’ outer “reality”?
So, isn’t inner infinity true Divinity?
And isn’t true Divinity
The Bible says:
“Ask, and it shall be given..; seek, and ye shall find.”
So, now that we’ve asked all these questions,
will “God’” answer them?
Ron’s Dedication of “Monistic Musings”
As explained in the above introduction, my curiosity and continuing reflections about disharmonious monotheistic views of One God and the true Messiah motivated the foregoing “Monistic Musings”, and have helped me increasingly experience the Divine Holiness of everyone, everything, everywhere.
So these musings are dedicated to inspiring all of us to see ourselves as “children of the Most High” [Psalm 82:6], until ultimately – beyond all illusory ego-mind perceptions of separation from each other and Nature – we inevitably realize our common SELF identity as Divine LOVE!
And so may it be!
Wonderful food for thought! Thank you so much for sharing and enriching my journey with your inspirational words…:o)
I like to think of God as a verb and not a noun. Like a feeling or emotion, not a person place or thing. It makes me feel connected to God through emotions of Love and I’m a much happier person because of it. :o)
Bless Your Heart and Thanks Again!
It appears fundamentally unsound and unfair to exclude womenkind (over 1/2 of our global population) from a primary concept of divinity. How did our evolution ever allow this as the endless branches of abusive behavior stemming therefrom are entrenched thoughout the world? Goddess as a verb must be instilled in our societies. Patriarchy has failed egregiously under the veil of religion and true spirituality demands a fair balance. On ShaktiOm!
Inspiring reading, and what a sweet drawing!
Thought you might be interested in the following lines by Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and student of Ch’an. They remind one of C.G. Jung’s comment about one of two main ways to go insane being worship a God outside oneself, as well as the biblical warnings on idolatry (for what else is a “God-object”?)
* * *
“Modern man, insofar as he is still Cartesian (… )is a subject for whom his own self-awareness (…) is absolutely primary. It is for him the one indubitable “reality” and all truth starts here. (..) Modern consciousness then tends to create this solipsistic bubble of awareness — an ego-self imprisoned in its own consciousness, isolated and out-of-touch with other such selves insofar as they are all “things” rather than persons.
It is this type of consciousness, exacerbated to an extreme, which has made inevitable the so called “death of God”. Cartesian thought began with an attempt to reach God as object by starting from the thinking self. But when God becomes object, he sooner or later “dies”, because God as object is ultimately unthinkable. God as object is not only a mere concept, but one which contains so many internal contradictions that it becomes entirely nonnegotiable except when hardened into an idol that is maintained in existence by a sheer act of will. For a long time man continued to be capable of this willfulness: but now the effort has become exhausting and many Christians have realized it to be futile. Relaxing the effort, they have let go the “God-object” which their fathers and grandfathers still hoped to manipulate for their own ends. Their weariness has accounted for the element of resentment which made this a conscious “murder” of the deity.”
From “The Self of Modern Man and the New Christian Consciousness” Montreal, April 1967