Who or What is God?

 
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Part Four of an interview with Craig Berry as an introduction to Modern Shamanism.

God?  Isn't the 'God Concept' a construct of religion and pretty far away from Shamanism?

No, not as far as you might think.  Please bear in mind that I am relating only my reality and my understanding here.  I can not speak for anyone else, just as I can not speak for all myotherapists when discussing myotherapy as I understand and practice it.  I can only talk about my personal reality and my personally held understandings.  Can you automatically insert, “As far as my understanding reaches…” in front of every statement on this topic, and anything else we discuss please?

Sure…

The reality I understand God to be is the sum of all experiences, perceptions, dreams; all that ever was, is or will be in our universe, animate and inanimate (by our current standards).  Hold on, I can see the questions bursting out, but let me extend this line of thought a bit?  Life as we know it, from single bacteria, virus and fungi to humans, birds and trees all has an ability to receive and perceive information beyond mere chemical interactions.  These perceptions are relativistic observations, meaning that they are observations, at one level or another, of factors or processes beyond chemistry (which the realm of autonomic observation; this is way too big a tangent to go off on now though). Chemistry is also a form of observation; one which also contains information, so the inanimate also fits into this list, but more on this later.

Sorry, this subject gets really big, really fast, so I will try to keep it brief.  The whole of existence's experience, the entirety of all thought forms and observations of a universe is most economically and most probably ‘contained in’ – or at least is somewhat congruent with – that physical universe.  This is a simple, first-level approximation based upon the presumption that if observations, thoughts and ideas exist beyond a momentary flash, they are not ‘momentary’; if not momentary, these though forms must exist outside of the moment of observation, therefore they are enduring.  Even Quantum Dynamics requires this, but we'll have to come back to this later on.

This combined pool of thoughts, experiences, observations and life ultimately shares a common container.  Within that quasi-infinite container – which is effectively infinite by our linear measure – experiences and observations are cohesive and enduring; this is why God is everywhere and knows everything. God has been and is everything in the universe, including you and me.

God is the cohesive, integrated sum of all that is perceived, observed and is, existing in energetic form.  The singular and infinitely powerful pool of reality and observation which is the ultimate mechanism of information preservation required by physics.

Without a mechanism of information preservation, our physics would fall apart.  One could say that in this example, God literally holds the universe together.  When religion tells us that their definition of God knows every hair on every person’s head, that is not too far from the data. 

If God is the conscious sum of all of our experiences, our observations, those of planets, galaxies, mountains and rivers, God is omnipotent and omnipresent, because each of us are a part of God, exactly as we are, here, right now. Every bit of everything is a part of the whole, and is therefore part of God too.

Personally, I actually resonate with the name of, “Great Spirit” as I feel that this is both perfect and respectful in description and name.  It tends to make me sound a little like a ‘would-be white American Indian’, so I tend to keep to the nominator of God in general conversation. Likewise, when I refer to the earth, in my mind it is said as, "{Mother} earth." and so on.

Do you pray to God?

I would say instead that I commune ‘with’ God.  If God has literally lived my life, in all its possible permutations and with every possible choice of every possible situation (as science holds in multiverse M theory), 'personally' remembering my entire lifetime's observations in the first person, I think that ‘with’ is a fair term.  When your intention is clean and you walk with awareness, you truly walk with God.  I use God’s understanding of the consequences of all my possible future paths to help me decide which is the one I should be following.  That gut feeling that one specific option of many is the right one, that irrational but required hesitation at a green traffic light which allows the unseen, speeding drunk to pass by harmlessly, this is, in my thoughts, one of the way’s you hear God’s voice.

Just to be clear, I do not "HEAR" God's voice in that way, so you can relax! The only 'voice' in my head is mine, alone. [we have a laugh]

I always try to be very clear on this point; any results, any thing that happens during or through any of my therapeutic work, myotherapy, shamanic or other, is between the client and God; I am at best a guide or switch-board operator.  All therapeutic and shamanic practices should aim to be the fulcrum, the pivot point. Never is the shaman the lever and never are they the source of force or power.

Is God male in your view?

I do not see God as male or female, but tend to apply my culturally relevant masculine pro-noun when discussing God.  This is another reason that I personally prefer the essentially genderless term, ‘Great Spirit’ by the way. God is neither male nor female.  Even organised businesses of religion say that God is all, so how can ‘He’ represent only half of a tiny minority of matter in the Universe at large?  ‘He’ and ‘she’ only apply to the sexually reproductive species we know of, and there is a lot more matter floating around in our universe that is without gender, by our definition. Even religion would have to agree that to represent the entire universe, God has to be more of an It than a He.  God is the sum of all so must equally and unreservedly be all.  Gender is irrelevant and is not applicable.

I do not personally see God as a big, singular and corporeal individual as commonly described by Orthodox Religions, God is way bigger than that.  God is not the supreme overlord of earth or any other title, God doesn’t need to be; God is bigger than that!  God is the supreme pool of life force, a quasi-infinite pool of observations, information and understanding.  Doesn’t it seem arrogant to think that we can personally 'offend' such a entity?  It would be like us being offended by the political opinion of a bacterium within our intestines!  That God knows us better than we know ourselves is in pretty much every scripture I’ve read.  How can we be arrogant enough to think we can trick, fool, impress or offend God, who has already lived our life, as us, in all of its possibilities and durations?

So what of sin and redemption?

Sin!  Sin is the stick of the [organised] churches; a man-made mechanism of control, a perversion of understanding and trusting in one’s own knowing.  If God is as religion describes, He is all-knowing, omnipresent and omnipotent.  If God understands us, made us and tells us we are Holy Children as many organised religions insist, how could it be possible to make a decision that would disappoint such a Being who understands our every thought and has personally experienced our lives?

We don’t need a religious leader to tell us what is a sin and what is not.  We all know what is right and what is wrong.  We instinctively recognise cruelty.  We know perversion when we see it.  We all understand what an altruistic act is when we see it, despite the concept that truly altruistic acts are impossible because a truly altruistic intent, acted upon, brings such warmth, love and personal reward that true altruism can’t really exist. We recognise beauty.  We recognise rhythm.  We know already how we should conduct our lives.

One could only think that taking the possessions of another is ok until one’s own possessions are taken and the resultant loss and injustice is felt.  Once you understand how your actions impact negatively upon another, you are now faced with choice, to soil your soul or keep it clean.  Understanding is gained. Kids learn this very young, just as puppies and kittens do.  If you know that your action will create negativity, but perform it anyway, you soil your own self.  You can not sin against God, but you certainly taint your own being.  Negativity is a stagnating agent of energy, slowing its movement, restraining it and making it more likely to become malignant in nature, inviting disease and further negativity.

That is why you ‘give’ love freely; the more freely you let your energy flow, the higher the level of energy you exist in.  That is why it ‘feels good’ to be in love and share time and space with loved ones.  When a person prays in a church, truly giving love, they feel better; their time in a state of love has literally lifted energetic stagnation from their spirit.  We all know someone who is a social vampire, holding dear their negativity until it seems to suck the life and love from a room.  We all know which state of being is more preferable.

So you only ‘sin’ against yourself?

Pretty much; though I really dislike the term, ‘sin’.  It is a judgemental, penal term which implies that we need someone else to tell us what is good and what is bad.  We know what negative acts, negative intent, negative thoughts and words are.  We know what things reduce joy, love or peace; these are the ‘sins’ you create and wear yourself, on your own spirit.  Karma is a semi-religious term which does not describe accurately what I mean, but is close enough for now.  When you carry negative energy, it is stagnant.  Repeatedly having the same negative affirmation creates a realised thought-form, a personal demon of sorts.  This is probably a good place to discuss redemption?

OK, let’s talk about redemption.  Is there such a thing?

Yes! Oh very much so.  Redemption comes in many forms, but all of those forms are underpinned by the same theme of peace, love, gratitude and acceptance.  Releasing desire is critical.  Buddhists call the suffering that is brought about by your deepest desires, “samsara”; understanding that without desire, there is no suffering because everything is accepted without judgement.

Understand that acting in a way which increases lightness, love, peace and happiness to all is, in and of itself, redemption at its purest. 

Living without judgement of the intentions and actions of others, surrendering judgement to the great accounting that they themselves are in process of at this moment.  Jealousy, envy and resentment stagnate a person’s energy; we have all seen it in action, watching someone turn in on themselves until there is a bitter overlay that repels everyone.

Acting to bring light to another, walking lightly upon the earth, not consuming in excess of your needs, spreading joy and love; these things mobilise a person’s energy which has been rendered stagnant through negative actions or thoughts.  When a person practices successfully a life of this nature, they bring light and their energy is mobile and dynamic; they are strong against illness and disease.  This is a difficult practice, and it takes constant thought and care to hold to.  This is the very definition of ‘Clean Living’.  Any practice from a place of peace and love and light will be clean practice.  Practicing from any other intent, seeking gratification, ego stroking, influence or power is dirty practice.

When a Shaman works with a person’s illness, they are working on an accumulation of negativity, a stagnant and sometimes even quasi-sentient accumulation of thought form and mal-intent.  If I am seeking to lift a person’s negativity, I do not attack that negativity, I release the energy, returning it back to a state of movement and dynamic expression.  It becomes neutral again.  This is a form of redemption, a nice stop-gap only.

To achieve true health and radiance, the person must learn to act in light and love.  Something our industrialised world is seemingly having difficulty even considering in the consumeristic rape of our earth.  Just look at the recurrent themes of our television programming to understand how sick it is.  Start a tally on a piece of paper and make a mark on one half for every negative thing you see and do the same on the other side of the page for the positive.  I challenge you; do it, tonight, on paper and consider the results. Run a different tally board for every show you watch in the week to really understand how negatively the TV can impact your psyche. Now you can see why you should be so very careful when selecting viewing material on television.  The same goes for your reading and listening material too.

I have to ask, do you have a problem with people going to church?

Of course not.  A personal faith based upon love and acceptance can only be a great thing.  A person believing in a concept of God, loving God, giving love and feeling loved; how can that possibly be negative?  It is the exclusiveness and superiority of organised religions in general that I object to and call negative.  A sense of self importance over a concept that is biblically defined as far too large for a human brain seems to be a bit pointless, doesn't it?  I do not see the point of nearly deifying a human as an incarnate representative of God as the go-between, your only way to talk to God.

Smile at a stranger, put a coin in someone’s expired parking meter for no recognition at all, give someone a heartfelt compliment with no ulterior motives and you are walking with God already. 

You do not need a building made of the carcasses of nature’s beauty, dead trees and captured stones; instead, go and meet God on His terms, under a living tree with an open heart and good will! Pick up a piece of litter, give a kind word, do a good thing and you are walking with God. Talking about good but not doing it is useless. Actions always speak the loudest and clearest.

Personal faith and belief moves mountains and is positive when coming from humility, gratitude, non-judgement and acceptance.  I only have difficulty with organisations that have hierarchies and fiscal obligations which deem themselves worthy of telling us what is right and what is wrong.  It is no coincidence that religion seeks to primarily control love, sex, food and death; to isolate God from the 'common' person; these are the ultimate coins of power and control.

Dogma, rules of man, doctrines of restriction, these are all negative.  Jesus (the person) encouraged those who sought to live in his image to be kind, considerate and reverent to all; yet evil, war, persecution and pain is performed by liars claiming the teachings of Jesus as their justification.  Jesus would probably ask them to seek deeply within their own hearts their motives, asking if they truly feel that their motives and actions are bringing light and love and peace.  Mohammed would be truly saddened to see what those holding his words do in the name of his message of love.  Every being who walks in the light understands that violence, envy and greed are negative and are not done to the glory of God, ever.  War, violence, restriction of freedom and power-seeking is negative, and can never be of God or good, never!

How on earth can the average person start to ‘walk in the light’, as you call it?

Easy!  Here is the final thought to have when dealing with, talking about, thinking about or interacting with any person; “May peace and love be with you.”  You do not have to say it out loud, but it helps.  It is a statement which holds innately positive intent.  When you wish a person peace and love, it changes the way YOU think; it changes the energy of your spirit.  The statement's intent brings a potential of positivity.

If you think that there is a person who does not deserve your true wish of peace and love for them, the only person you hold in darkness is yourself.  Even after the most major fight, the most bitter argument, any interaction you'd consider negative (or neutral, or positive), finish it off with your wish, "May peace and love be with you."  It changes you, and it changes the way you and they interact too.

I challenge you, try it for just three days.  Every time you are finishing off an interaction or thought of someone, wish them, “May peace and love be with you.”  I know that the difference will be felt clearly by anyone who tries it with the desire for a positive outcome.  The changes are all positive; try it for yourself.  It can’t hurt, and it might just help too!  Jesus pretty much challenges every one of his followers to do this too, as does Mohammed, Buddha and pretty much every other large spiritual leader. You will find yourself judging less and loving more; it is pretty much inevitable if done cleanly.

This is walking in the light, walking with God, living in God’s image.  It is not about God’s physical form, it is about acceptance and accepting that everyone is on their own path and all you can truly own is who you are at any given moment.  God has been both you and your enemy, personally, fully and completely; He understands the full implications of motivations you might not even be aware of; God’s basis for comparison is VAST!

Why would God judge?  Why would He bother?  There is no reason for judgement, each of us carries and continues our spirit in whatever state of grace we choose to exist.  If there is a final ‘Biblical’ accounting, I am pretty sure that how much money you gave away will be irrelevant; what counts is the intent with which you gave it.  Either way, wishing every person you think of peace and love, with clean intent, has to weigh in your favour, even if I am completely wrong and organised religion is completely correct in all details.

Next:  Reconciling Shamanism and Science

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  One Response to “Who or What is God?”

  1. I think the shamanic conception of God is better than the fundamentalist version of the story. I too think that Great Spirit is a better way of addressing the holy one than “God.” I wonder if it is widely known that fundamentalists believe that Shamanism is sorcery, and evil, not from God? I used to be one. I don’t think, however, that God should be reconciled with shamanism. I think the fundamentalist pretense should be dropped, and shamanic practice should encompass only what is necessary.