I find it interesting how many different concepts of 'God' we have on Inward Quest.
The list goes on and on.
I have my suspicions that within ourselves we all have a different concept of what 'God' actually is but we act like others have a similar concept to us - and that's what makes the word God quite a tricky one to use generally.
So my question to you is this...
If you honestly think about where your own current concept of God first came from (e.g. a holy book, your parents, some wise person or anywhere else), and then you pretend that you had never come across that concept...
...would you still have arrived at your same current concept of God by yourself?
It is by letting go of the concept of God that I was taught growing up that I feel I am finally getting to know God. It has nothing to do with doctrines or theologies but rather that feeling, which can't be put into words, that I experience when I commune with him in quiet meditation. I do not have a visual picture and I don't have a clue if what I experience is similar to others (nor do I care) but I can confidently say that with all I was taught about God growing up, I never felt close. Only since beginning to look for myself have I gotten to Know that there is an amazing Presence always with us if we just let it in and you can call it God,Source Buddha, Universal Mind or whatever other title you desire.So to answer your question - without the teachings I had, I would probably have arrived at my current concept sooner.My concept now is not one I am being taught, but rather one that I am discovering for myself.
Thanks to those who have contributed answers so far. There certainly are some interesting and diverse perspectives on this website.
I'll add my own perspective here to further illustrate what a diverse bunch of people we are.
I am actually Muslim by birth and upbringing.
So, in today's post-9/11 world, my appearance marks me out instantly as a possible terrorist in most daily situations - since I live in a Western Christian-based country. Well, at least, that means I get seats all to myself on public transport whenever yet another Islamic extremist catches the global attention :)
Despite having been brought up in fairly strict (by today's standards) religious circles, I decided as a child that organized religion was not for me. I had Christian teachings at school and Islamic teachings at home and it wasn't long before I started to notice a large number of contradictory messages. And no-one on either side was willing to provide reconciling explanations that made sense to me. This led me to make the assumption that no-one really knew what they were talking about and I would have to find out for myself.
So already having rejected all available belief systems at a very young age, I took it on myself to gradually piece together my own view of what was really going on with Life, The Universe and Everything.
That journey has led me to spend time over the years with many unique and special people from a vast number of religious backgrounds and schools of thought. I have learned something from each of them, just as I learn things everyday from the people who post on Inward Quest...even the ones that assume that everyone here is Christian :)
I guess what I learned early on is that the word God is probably a word that cannot be used any longer to truly sum up what Universal Consciousness (for want of a better phrase) really is. Too many people just have too much personal and emotional baggage tied up in that word, so I rarely use it myself.
Even after many years of being involved with spiritual subjects, I'm still not sure I really have a firm concept of God myself. Everytime I think I am coming close to a conscious realization of what God represents, I realize it has already become a limiting concept.
I have felt much resonance with the Tao Te Ching for many years and I think the opening quotes from that book sum up the concept of that unknowable God the best for me...
answered 16 Feb '10, 14:23
As a child,the path I took was left upto myself.My mother or sibilings never influenced my decisions towards God or any one religion.I was free to explore every possibility and I did just that.Growing up in downtown Toronto,there was no shortage of Religious choice,so I bounced around from church to church, and while I stayed a while at some others I couldn't wait to get the hell out of the door.
I think that each and everyone of us has a different opinion of who God or Source is, and although we share some common beliefs we are as different as the days.
I Believe that we will all find a way back to the Truth (sooner or later) because it is built into each and everyone of us,no exceptions.
Each and every Awakening taking place on this planet right now will be as completely unique as the next.
So to answer your question Yes I have a unique concept of who God is.He helped me find it.
Love and Light
answered 16 Feb '10, 12:18
Well, I actually was brought up without being told that "God exists". My freethinking parents (not hippies BTW---a cop and a teacher!) really didn't follow any organized religion and neither did any of my Grandparents or other extended family. There was no prayer, no discussion about a Creator or Source.
The first time I saw anyone practicing religion or demonstrating a faith in God was at a neighbor's house at around age 6. The family hosting us were Catholics and said a prayer, as well as making the sign of the cross before dinner. I was baffled and had a lot of questions.
So... I saw that some believed in a Creator and even said prayers, went to church, etc.
Still, I grew up as an atheist. I took no thought of a Creator or God, the first twenty-some years of my life.
When my children were born though, I was awakened to wondering about where they had been before coming to me. Around that same time there were some deaths in the family and I wondered about that too. Where did they go? And thus began my spiritual quest.
I guess my whole point is, that even with no spiritual training or thought, turning points in life will eventually turn most people to wondering about Source. That just seems natural.
I still battle with atheistic thoughts at times. Not sure that will ever leave me!
answered 17 Feb '10, 02:45
Very interesting question! Really interesting!
Growing up I hated the whole God thing. It meant, on Fridays & on religious holidays we couldn't eat until we prayed to the Gods. On special occasions, my parents made the first offering of food (the best portions) to the gods. As we prayed we had to stare at all this food & couldn't touch any of it.
We had a special prayer room dedicated to the gods. When I was quite young (I may have been around 4years old), one day I was playing by myself & I felt something powerful, like a warm embrace or some very loving energy. I looked back at the prayer room & vaguely remember one of the gods smiling at me radiating all this energy. And then it was gone. I felt an intense yearning to re-experience what ever it was that happened. But I felt uncomfortable telling by parents about this. This is when I instinctively started playing with the consciousness within my self. I started trying to see who was inside the mind, if that makes any sense. Along the way, I got sufficiently distracted from all these adventures & would not broach this subject until much later in my teens.
I hated religion. It was all ritual and an excuse, to those who went to temple, to show off to everybody else how close to God they were. The richer you were the closer to God you could pretend to be. Many wealthy people would spend lots of money to dedicate a structure within the temple compound for the pilgrims as a donation in their own name.
After our family emigrated to the west, I re-discovered this God thing by trying to end my life. I had been trying to end my life for quite some time but lacked the courage to go though with it (thank God). I was waiting at the Subway Station at the beginning of the platform trying to gather the nerve to jump. Some gentleman that I have never met before or since walked by and said "Son don't do it, you have far too much to offer to this world" I was absolutely disoriented by this statement & took about 30 seconds to recover. When I re-focused my attention, he was not there. Seeing there were only a few people on the platform, I wanted to thank him & I quickly tried to find him. I ran up-and down & not seeing this person I ran up to the ticket counter & asked the attendant where the gentlemen wearing the black suite went? He said that nobody came up. No train pulled up during this entire time & the subway had only one entrance.
To this day I still don't know if I experienced a miracle or not. But I walked out from there in a state of confusion & went into a book store. Something took me to the back of the store to a drab looking shelf. I instinctively reached up to the 2nd shelf from the top on the right hand corner about 5 books from the end & reached for one specific book. The picture on the back of the book frightened the hell out of me & I wanted to put it back right away. But I couldn't. I was sure that it was a trick of my imagination. So I gathered some other books & slowly tried to abandon the first book. Believe it or not, I just couldn't get rid of it. This book was "Seth Speaks" by Jane Roberts; the very same book that changed Esther Hicks life. (As I discovered many ears after reading it)
When I read the first pages of this book I realized that it came to me through divine interference. I have never read a book or a series of books more powerful. This was back in 1985. It was my first introduction to the law of attraction, or now referred to as "The Secret". This book awakened me to the fact that everything in life is an attraction of choice, first made within consciousness. It seems that everything that came out later on the law of attraction was copied from these books. (Probably not so but it seems that way)
I applied the techniques right away & would you believe, it was true! What I held in consciousness with intent did manifest in reality. It is at this point that I really started becoming interested in God & how God fits into this whole equation. To me God and religion are two different things. When you turn to God it doesn't cost you anything. When you turn to religion it's a whole different thing all together.
I am still trying to figure out the threshold where one's individual consciousness ends & the presence of the divine begins. What began as a rather lonely adventure back then has finally become a mainstream fascination. It is a great time to be alive and to be interested in these subjects. I am finally living in a world where it feels normal to discuss these things.
P.S If you are really interested in the "Seth" books I would recommend "The Nature of Personal Reality" as a first read, and ignore all the italics, otherwise the flow of information is distracted (you will understand when you read the book). This book is designed to unravel deeper & deeper understandings within your consciousness each time you read it.
When I was 24, an angel covered in blue light came to me. I awoke to find her standing beside my bed. I kept socking my husband so he would wake up to see her, but he would not awaken. She was pure love, pure goodness and mercy. I knew instantly that she was Mary- but even if I did not know about God or Mary, I would have known her to be the Mother of all. We talked for twenty minutes or so, and then she left. I wept that I could not see her or her blue light any more.
The point of telling you this personal story is that God Himself wants us to know Him, and despite what people who have not been visited by angels or had Near Death Experiences may think about God, He is there. He wants us to know His Love and His Mercy. So I have come to my beliefs by direct contact with His Mother, Mary.
It's hard to ignore the knocking on the door of your heart, also. I have sensed God since I was three. I used to sing to Him, and say thank you to Him. I think my baby self remembered Heaven. (I know that sounds crazy, but it is true!)
Finally, I used to leave my body at will when I was little, and fly around and visit anyplace I chose. I remember the last trip vividly, because I cried when I was told that I could no longer "travel".
All of this tells me that God does not want to be kept secret, and that people who have experienced these things have a responsibility to tell of them to others so that they may believe, too.
Blessings, Jai in Hospital Mardi Gras 2010
I was personally introduced to God in my early childhood years by my parents and this is how I started to follow the Hindu religion. If I took the fact that my parents introduced me to God out of the equation, I would probably have to say that I would have had a lot more questions about the meaning of life and a lot earlier in my life.
I think in terms of the conclusions people would have reached, there would still be some who would have created a concept similar to God. I think that the idea that we create our own reality and that there is nobody out there that has total control and is out there to protect us would be quite scary to some people.
The fact that we are the creator of our reality gives us ultimate responsibility (sort of we have a lot on our shoulders) to the extent that it is a hard concept to accept and to be honest with you, I think people would probably come to similar God like concepts in the end.
I could be wrong. Let's see what others think.
I am a former catholic.Recovering. Recent events in my life this past year have given pause to really look back.And the theory of god I was taught I reject.
I Like that one, Michaela!
answered 16 Feb '10, 18:59
I changed my mind about God when I began composing and recording music. I had the distinct sensation that it wasn't I who was doing the creation. I didn't really believe in God before that, and revelation didn't come from reading the bible, or going to church, or listening to other people talk about God, or being visited by an angel.
Perhaps the feeling of being disconnected from my musical creations happens because my ego feels separate from my creative self. I suppose you could interpret it that way. But there is something about the act of creation that cannot be explained by mere effort. It requires inspiration (the "divine breath").
Which is not to say that I am into the whole church thing. I am a reluctant churchgoer; I feel like I have overstayed my welcome after a few months, and the rituals and pronouncements don't hold much meaning for me anymore (if they ever did). The notion of spirituality in a box just feels too confining for me. In the end, being at one with God is a simple thing, but not always an easy thing. The ego doesn't want to let go.
Eckhart Tolle is noted for being a modern spiritual oracle, in the same vein as Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and their ilk. I haven't read his books yet (I am getting around to it), but the thing I find most interesting about him is that he essentially (in a fit of despondence) killed his ego, and suddenly discovered God (or bliss, or whatever you want to call it). He then spent two years sitting on park benches, taking in the wonder of that bliss, and then writing about it.
This man doesn't strike me as particularly religious or spiritual, although he was curious. What does strike me about him is how ordinary he is. Yet many people envy him for what he says he found:
I think God (Generator Of Dimensions?) is an inbuilt thing. In.stinctual. In-tuitive.
My concept of God now is totally different to what I was taught. Now I know that everthing is God, but if I want to pull in the reins and have a personal type tete-a-tete I can quite happily have that conversation with a tea-cup or a cat or a pot plant .. or address an area slightly behind the heart. (Why do people instinctually put their hands on their hearts when avowing anything?)
answered 16 Feb '10, 23:22
Inactive User ♦♦
when we recognize the spark of life that vivifies our existence we begin to know the immanent beig; as we learn to know more of him our opinion no doubt changes.
answered 17 Feb '10, 03:06
ahah crazy question. but in regards to my beliefs?? differnt of course BUT definantly existent. the "feeling" alone speaks for itself. GOD be with you....or in you....or IS you. confusing....no?? hehe bye bye:}
answered 17 Feb '10, 08:02
...would you still have arrived at your same current concept of God by yourself?
The simple answer is no.
Even the idea that God exists is still only an idea. Yet here we are in our world today arguing and fighting about who is right or wrong, whose God is mightier, etc. The question many people, because of their conditioning and their beliefs, haven't even asked if there is such a thing as God or not. Thanks to places like Inward Quest, we can learn from each other, question and find out :-)
answered 17 Feb '10, 15:52
Hmm. I think my answer to this question would be a pretty definitive "Yup".
Why? Because I was raised in an extremely religious home, so much so that it drove me away from religion entirely (especially Biblical derivitives). Constantly having these loud mouth arrogant judgmental superficial people pretending they are pastors or priests and constantly telling me that God is gunna do this to me, or God is gunna do that to me, got really effing tiresome.
I got tired of all the hatred I kept seeing, all of the fear mongering, all of the hellfire and brimstone, the wrath, the damnation.. The problem wasn't that it was in the Bible, it was that these people [whom I am PRETTTY SURE GOD DIDN'T APPOINT HIMSELF] were trying to tell me that their interpretation of the Bible was somehow better than mine.
An excellent example of this is the "Westboro Baptist Church", the people who picket soldier's funerals with signs that says "God hates Fags", "God Hates America", "Thank God for Soldier's Deaths", "Thank God for IEDs", etc.
I saw stuff like this and thought, well, that.. is... wait a second. They have Bible versus to support everything they are saying. Wait wait wait, wait wait, wait. Why is it these people are able to justify their actions with the Bible?
Then I looked at all the Christians I was raised around. The racists, the SEXISTS (oh MY LORD Biblical faiths are misogynistic pricks. It actually says, IN THE BIBLE, that no woman is allowed to teach religion to a man because they are inferior.) And I realized THEY have verses to support what they believe too! And it also says that owning slaves is just oky doky. And that you can sell your wife for some silver pieces if you feel so inclined. If God is all powerful, why does he have to be so insecure that he attacks women just because they aren't as "physically" powerful as him? Well, that answer was one of the most important ones in my journey.
So I thought to myself.. Oh, OK. They're all the same. And I denounced Christianity and religion as a whole, because all I saw it create was EVIL.
That's when I finally realized the REAL truth.. God didn't write any of that God Forsaken Book. Man wrote the Bible as an excuse to do what he wants, in an attempt to justify his actions before God Himself. Bad news to anyone who got involved in that process though, cuz it does say in the Bible that the deepest circle of hell is reserved for those who dare to serve as false prophets or modify the Bible from its true purpose and meaning.
And so, I began searching out my own spirituality, trying to find the 'true' message God left, because I knew that if God was real he had to have left humans something, anything. No matter where it was I had to search for it..
Of course this search was futile, because I was looking in all of the wrong places.
So.. I came full circle back to a very similar religious belief that started me on my "path", so to speak. Not exactly the same, not exceptionally different, but definitely not what the fearmongers had to preach.
This answer is marked "community wiki".
answered 26 Dec '11, 20:36
If no one mentioned the concept of god, many of us would still ask the same questions. "where did we come from?" "Why are we here?" "what is imagination?" "Was there a creator?" eventually a concept of something will emerge from the questions we ask and the answers we get. Unfortunately, many don't think and contemplate and will only follow the thinking of others. Therefore, It might not be the same concept that we have formed currently. I would say we would end up with just as many or more individual concepts as we have now.
answered 16 Feb '10, 10:45
Well, I have always known about God the feeling was within me. Especially at 5 years old. When I was about 3years old I knew I could fly and I would try and try but I couln't fly and I did not undertand within my self why I could not fly now. But that was my memory of being back in heaven with God but at that age I didn't know that. His feeling was always with me I just always knew. I guess I always kind of thought of him when I was little kind of like an alandin lamp geni of asking and you would recieve. I would ask God for it not to rain or tell him I wanted some ice cream. Now this was when I was very small.
My parents carried me to many different denominations of churches all christian but different like baptist, methodist, non-denominational and so on. When I was 12 I became totally confused because all of them were preaching diffently about the same God and I did not understand why if they were all serving the same God than why not be preaching the same thing. Also I was noticing so many people were talking of God but were not acting of God they were not showing the love and kindness towards others. It all just confused me.
Well, I took my own self on a voryage of God re-discovery. I didn't go to church as much than and dive hold head into the reading of the Holy bible and asking God and Jesus Christ to give me understanding of what I was reading and they did. So I found out you must have a personal relationship with God and Jesus so that you know that you know that they really do exist for you have experienced them for your self. You feel it within deep down within your soul and your soul will acknowledge that it is true. You will have the spirit of truth within you, the holy spirit within you. The spirit of God dwells within you that is how man became a living soul when God breathe the breath of life into your body than man became a living soul.
If you really want to know God talk to him and ask he will reveal his self to your spirit and you will know. Ask Jesus Christ to come intoyour heart and life and he will he stands knocking at the door of your soul. No you will not know all of the answers but depending on your faith in God you will be feed more and more knowledge of him and his love and protection. He reveals different things to different people for his own reasons that is why.
While Jesus was upon this earth they said in the bible what he done upon this earth the times that was missing in the bible between 12 and 33years of age he was here if the knowledge was told it would fill up the world in books and that is a lot of books.
I think God reveal himself to all of the people of the world and that he may be called by different names by different people according to their language but in spirit they all know that it is God our creator. Yes there are false Gods and false religions out there to confuse people but if you will get alone and listen to your soul you will know and just simply ask God to help you find your way back to him or to him and he will.
I believe if I did not have my parents telling me about God would I know of him I believe I would for I had more of a personal relationship with God for I did not get a lot from what the preachers or pastors would say for they repeated the same thing over and over and I would ask them why not tell this story or that story that is in the bible it would really help the people out of this time to know that the people of ancient times were struggling too with how to serve God and believe in God and the problems that people have in the world.
God said that he was going to have to come back sooner than plan so that his very elect would be saved. Like for example there is an undercurrent now stirring that there really is no God, or given us a different God, or that God has no power or don't love you, That you are God, a lot of false religions and false gods, devil worships, a lot of things to stop believing in God. The anti-Christ you must have a number of the name of the beast in your hand or forehead or else you will not be able to buy, sell or trade and if you get that than you will surely go to hell. Now until the end you will always have a chance to go to heaven an believe in God but it will become so much harder. Gods love for us is real thrust your soul it remembers and knows God first hand.
Also the very elect are the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel consisting of the 12 children of Jacob according to the bible.
All over the world we are all apart of each other and God we may have different facial feactures, speak a different language, dress or eat diffently but we are more the same than different for we all came from Adam and Eve. Than you have Seth and Cain children. Cain commented the first murder for Cain killed Abel according to the bible. But there is so much more knowledge than what is written in the bible that is why God will reveal more to you as your mind can comprehend and hold onto. God inspireid many books to be written through Enoch. Whom God carried away.
There are so many people of all nationalities, religious, races trying to find the answers to the crisis of trying to know who God really is and who they really are and how to survive in this world of spiritual tormoil and physical tormoil and it is riping countries, families, and individuals apart reducing them down to hatred, greed, and killing and no love at all for anyone not even themselves. So, in my opionion there is a fight for the human soul on an individual basis some to search and destroy some to search an heal. So there is a side to choose to be on the side of loving, caring and healing, or the side of desroying, killing and devouring which will we ultimatly be on that is the spiritual question?
This is both a physical and a spiritual journey of self dis-covery of self within and of about God and of a understanding of our soul and its purpose of being here and what are we suppose to be learning of how, why and who and about enjoying and maintaining this beauty earth God intrusted us with and what we have made out of it.
Yes I would! I am from a christian background, and as I look deep into my heart, and soul I know that I am a child of God, and I will believe, and trust in him, until the last breath leaves my body; and that is how much I believe, trust, and love God!
As a christian, I leave all of my fears at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, and I know deep in my heart that I would be protected under the blood of Jesus Christ. And tha is how strong my faith is in God the father, and the son.
In reality, we are created by something that is greater than anything that we cannot even begin to imagine. I think it will be too much for our human mind to comprehend, so that is why it remains a mystery; or perhaps, God does not want to give us more than we can handle in our mortal state. Also, it might be too much of a responsibilty for us, and may cause more harm than good.
The name "God" is just a word, and in my opinion, people use different words based upon their religious beliefs to name God, but in essence there is, and can only be one God, regardless of what anyone chooses to name him.
In life you have to be yourself, and we are not here to judge, and condemn each other religious beliefs, but to fellowship in peace. We have choices in life, and we can all go freely where the heart leads. We are responsible for our actions, and behaviors, and as the bible teaches judgement comes from God; and we will be judged by the work we do in our life.
What would the world be like, if we only had one set of religious doctrine to explore, and learn from? We live in a very functional, and creative world, and God has given us the talent, and ability to create our heart desire,and to live a fulfilling life.
What a great God we have? What more can we ask for in life? God loves us all, we are all his children!
Attention: Mebb, mabe you and I are reading the question different, with different meaning. There are two parts to the question, so let us look at,"if no one told you that God exists." Now we all know that the Bible exists, but yet no ever told you that the Bible exists, and you learned about it much later, do you see where I am coming from with my answer. I also said the name "God" is just a word, so if there were no God, then of course there would of been another something for us to refer as ??? As you can see, everyone has a different approach to answering the same question, based upon their reasoning, experience, and understanding the subject matter. Thank you for asking. We learn from each other, and as you know not everyone believes in God, and it is a choice that we have!
answered 17 Feb '10, 07:18
Inactive User ♦♦
I was brought up in a strictly atheistic household where we were indoctrinated in how God is a man-made creation to alleviate mankind's fear of the unknown. And that religion was a man-made organization to control the masses for power and profit!
My love and trust for my family plus fear of ridicule kept me from seeking answers. My biggest problem was that the other side would try to pull me in. What I mean, is supernatural things that shouldn't have existed in my world. Like me levitating while playing at meditation, spirits repeatedly trying to contact me...But like most people with different beliefs, I chose to bury these things deep down and pretend like nothing happened for they had no scientific/logical explanation.
After the recent loss of a baby,I went to church and was advised to spend 15 minutes everyday with God. That's how I started to meditate. Then, the change happened so rapidly, I could barely keep up with it. It was as though my whole life had been waiting for this! So God is not the word. It is infinite intelligence,infinite energy, the one and only, the infinite creator that we're all within and a part of.
Thank you, namaste
answered 05 Oct '10, 10:27
In the distant history no one knew of the existence of God and yet at some point human beings started believing in a higher force. In the begining it was innate objects like mountains, the sun, rivers etc and later on it synthesized into the existence of a Higher Force i.e. God. I guess humans will always want to turn to something more powerful than them for protection and even if I wasnt told about God I think I would have found something to fill this need for protection.
answered 05 Oct '10, 10:57
I Think Therefore I Am
I believe in Thor, and not just because my parents indoctrinated me at an early age, but because he is the one, true God. I don't have proof of Thor's existence, but the fact that I told you he is God should be enough proof. To question my logic would be foolish.
answered 26 Dec '11, 14:28
Our concept of God has been past down from generation to generation so if this was eliminated then our concept of God couldn't be what it is now. If you were created eons ago, where do you think we would be in our development?
answered 29 Jan '12, 12:45
i am the living proof of this because i am one that experience. has a child i add see the church the bible and movie of jesus. and i have saw that the apple add falled away from the tree. and i have experience the truth. so experience and enjoy.
answered 26 Dec '11, 17:36
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