I’d like to develop a theme that Kathleen emphasizes: that of the Punishing God, or, as she puts it, “the entrenched belief that God is punishing.”
I’m becoming more and more surprised at the role this entrenched belief plays in our lives.
Let me start by illustrating the belief from our artistic representations of God.
First of all, do we accept the representation of God as an old man with a white beard? As Michaelangelo paints the picture on the roof of the Sistine Chapel:
The image seems fairly neutral. God creates Adam and vivifies him. Nothing very fearsome there.
But, when the early seekers of power corrupted the truth by talking about “original sin” (instead of “original innocence,” as some religions do), a broken identity was created.
We’re now originally broken and nothing could fix us but belief in this savior, this avatar, whom religious officials “represent.”
The way has been created to introduce the picture of a raging, punishing God:
Holy mackerel, this is some dude to watch out for. I don’t want to cross my God.
It leads to speculation of whether God is punishing our nation.
It leads to various officials claiming to represent God and being punishing too – from heads of state to judges to government officials.
In sin you were born and in sin you shall dwell. I sentence you to twenty five years without parole. I sentence you to the lash. I sentence you to death.
But none of this accepted version of God as punishing is true. Nor are all the corrollaries and related memes that are based on it.
Nor do those officials who claim to speak for this point of view speak things that are ultimately true. Their logic is based on the false assumption that we’re originally sinful when the truth is that we’re originally innocent. (Could it be any other way? Think about it for a moment.) (1)
The first step in transcending or eliminating an untrue, entrenched belief of great importance is to see what the truth of the matter is.
For me, the truth of the matter is that God lies beyond thinking, beyond what we think of as “feeling,” beyond action of any kind, simply emanating love to all.
There are no words in our language to describe God and there probably never will be (since we drop words at some point, when we begin to “know” God). Hence God is indescribable.
We cannot know what God is because when we come to know God “we” has disappeared and God is beyond “knowledge.”
All we can do is know what God is not. And so our lifetimes are an endless string of trying things, seeking satisfaction, and discarding them. “Not this. Not this. Not this.” Only God and the divine states emanating from God satisfy. It’s my speculation that we’ll come upon them when we stop pursuing the not-God and open to God. But not like I know….!
It follows, from strict logic alone, that the God who is partial is not God. It may be our projection of God, but it can never be the One itself which is All and indivisible. So representing God on high as being raging and punishing is implausible on logical grounds alone.
Moreover the only “thing” that also is everything is Love. Therefore God must = Love.
The corollaries that flow from this are many.
One is that God, being nothing else than love, would not want to dominate, rage, or punish in the first place. God would not be angry with us.
A second corollary is that the One would not be partial or have favorites in the outflow of its love. God being only love would not love some and rage against others. Its love would be free to all and universal.
A third would be that the One would not prevent us from making our own mistakes, from which we’d learn. Life is a constant learning experience and the ultimate lesson we learn, in my view, through the constant raising of our vibration, is that we are God.
I could go on.
Therefore the representation we have in our minds that God is punishing is most likely not true.
What might changing our picture of God do for us? Well, we’re released from spiritual imprisonment and all charges against us are dropped to begin with.
We’re restored to the truth of our existence – that we are originally innocent. If that’s the reward for so many years spent in prison, I’d be happy. As long as I’m not in jail (granted, a jail of my own making), I’m good.
We don’t have to worry about getting the Old Man mad and being punished for it. Life does not hold punishment for me any more if the punishing God is gone.
And, if God is not punishing, why should I be? Why don’t I let this whole idea of punishment go? It never worked. It only added to the problem.
The letting go of my attachment to punishment (pro and con, because I have both sides in me) has so many ramifications for my world view that I’d probably have to let it sink in before I get the full impact of it.
However, initially speaking, it does feel like a large glass window shattered. I now have direct contact with the world instead of having to go through the views of power-seeking religious officials.
God is not punishing…. Hmmm…. All the jailors go home. The prison doors are opened. The prisoners are free.
(1) I know this for a fact because I experienced the Self on Sept. 18, 2018. While being in the presence of it as a Light, deep in the heart, I experienced my own natural and original purity and innocence.
I no longer live in that experience and cannot claim to be or feel pure and innocent now. But the knowledge remains with me that we are, in our nature and essence, not originally sinful but originally pure and innocent.