Daily Zen

Who Or What Is God?

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Depending on the language and culture, there are many different names for God, including:

  • Creator of the Universe
  • Source
  • Tao
  • The Great Mother
  • Supreme Being
  • Unified Energy Field of Consciousness
  • Om
  • Shiva
  • Shakti
  • Brahma
  • All-Glorious
  • Shangdi
  • Akal Purakh [Timeless Being]
  • Allāh
  • Hu
  • YHWH
  • Elohim
  • Jehovah
  • I Am
  • Jah
  • No term or concept such as in Buddhism, Jainism, Atheism

Does This – Whatever It Is – Exist?

The existence of God has been debated throughout time. (Does time exist?)

Some cosmologists and neuroscientists say the evidence points to God as an imaginary entity with no basis in reality. Sigmund Freud called God a projection of one’s father. Other neurologists and scientists say God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved by science.

Scientist, astronomer, and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton said the magnificent grandeur of the Cosmos is proof that a creator exists. “Blind fate” could never make all the planets move the same way in concentric and eccentric orbs.

St. Thomas Aquinas argued that if there are gradations, such as ‘hot’ to ‘cold,’ there must be a perfect or most true existence of a thing; thus, God.

Whether God exists or not, and whether God is personal or impersonal, theistic, deistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, or a trinity… and whichever term you use or don’t use for whatever that is…. who or what is it?

Who Or What Is God?

Religions and theologians might say God is the immanent foundation of everything, a divinity without form that is transcendent over all of reality.

Others equate God as an eternal, immovable, unchangeable essence or conscious energy at the source of everything and/or that permeates everything.

Some have said that God is anything, nothing, and everything.

In other words, it sounds like God really can’t be described at all, much less summed up in a single word.

Can ‘God’ Be Experienced?

The question of ‘God’ or the answer to the existence of ‘God’ may come through the form of experience. We know the physical realm or material reality exists through empirical evidence of the physical senses such as sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

Could there be another existential dimension or dimensions which can be determined through a sixth sense or extrasensory information? If so, might God then be more easily understood?

Some call this sixth sense a faculty of intuition or the Third Eye or the pineal and pituitary glands in the brain. For those who claim an experience of ‘God’ in a real way through higher order parts of the brain, what do they say?

Enlightenment

Many neuroscientists and cognitive scientists are beginning to accept and research ‘consciousness’ or awareness of one’s own conceptual thoughts, behaviors, and existence as a possible theory for the vast amount of information scientists simply don’t know.

Until scientific research advances, the most reasonable or self-evident understanding of ‘God’ seems to be most available through a mystical experience of consciousness called enlightenment, illumination, or divinely inspired revelation which may or may not come through meditation. Also, temporary experiences of consciousness may or may not come through the use of entheogens such as Ayahuasca.

Enlightenment is known as pure experience which includes but simultaneously transcends intellectual or conceptual activity in the brain. It’s the pure experience of everything from mindfully handwriting a single elegant letter of the alphabet to experiencing the sight of a mountain range throughout a person’s entire being. Taking a simple sip of tea can open the “heavens of the universe” to one’s conscious awareness, resulting in a unified experience described as eternal, immovable, unchangeable, and transcendent – the very words commonly used to describe ‘God.’

Enlightenment is said to be available to anyone, regardless of religious belief or moral ethics. Many of us experienced moments of enlightenment in childhood through the perfectly imperfect carefreeness of simply being before cognitive and social conditioning into adulthood. As adults, what we might consider a simple moment in time is simple indeed, yet also profound, genuine, and full of wonder.

That realization – or enlightenment – can happen any time and for any person.

Either way, a numinous or nirvanic experience – or being a newborn baby – may currently be the only way to know and understand what is meant by ‘God.’

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