Father

Well, It happened again. It was bound to. It’s the way my life works. Last night I got into another discussion about God. This time my wife started it. It’s all her fault.

She’s fascinated with historical novels taking place on and around the time of Jesus’ life and was telling me how many divergent concepts about the meaning of the word “God” that she’s running into. We were laughing at some of the silliness of thought that some people bring to it, so many are stuck in this anthropomorphic concept of what I like to call God in man’s image as opposed to man in God’s image.

michaelangelo_god

After a good laugh or two, we plunged right in. There I was, yet again, grasping at straws, trying to build a house to contain the unattainable. I went to bed with the unanswered on my mind and had to really concentrate on ‘things other than’ in order to get to sleep.

So I just woke up with the unanswered begging for attention.

On one hand I go much more these days towards the concept of God as ‘being’ – not “a being”, but rather just ‘being’. Perhaps intelligence… being. Or to get even more specific, perhaps God is the pure truth of the way it is. I like to think of God as Law, the law of spiritual life, not necessarily this mortal existence.

I try to un-humanize God as much as possible. I like the quantum physics approach where there is a connection running through all things (whatever ‘things’ are) – perhaps this connection, this allness is God. I try to un-see God as any kind of anthropomorphic being.

Michelangelo painted a beautiful picture on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of God and man, but I like to think of that as a pretty old-fashioned and, in fact, ancient human misunderstanding – the result of some pretty limited thinking and perhaps the result of some pretty egotistical thinking – God in man’s image.

If you really think of the magnitude of time and space, knowing that even these concepts are probably far from the truth, it’s pretty hard to put God there in the middle of it all with arms, legs and a long white beard.

I often go back to my original training wheels in Christian Science to Mary Baker Eddy’s definition. “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.” Break it down and it’s inarguable. These days I tend to gravitate to the synonym that is the least ‘human’ among the seven – Principle. I think this is what I mean by using the word ‘Law’.

Strip away the human layer by layer.  Get to the heart of the magnificence of its being. I used to try to get my Sunday School class kids to consider the word ‘It’ in place of ‘Him’ or even ‘Her’. I used to ask them “what’s listening to your prayers” rather than “who’s listening to your prayers”. I still ask myself that when I pray.

My way of praying changes all the time as I consider the act, the purpose, the listening ‘ear’. Prayer, for me, has become an act of acknowledgment – acknowledgment of truths, of gratitude, of principle, rather than an act of begging. “Oh please God, give me…”

I turn my back on the anthropomorphic concept. I do not want that image of God in my consciousness. I try not to consider it.

And yet…

And yet I write this song with the divine assistance of Ludwig Von Beethoven who crafted the music. In a moment of deep personal need it popped out of my consciousness full-blown in its intention. It too is true.

Father
Music Adapted by and Lyrics by Peter Link

Father
I am lonely for you
Are you really out there somewhere
Loving me
Sometimes when I try to find you
Everywhere I turn well it’s just
Only me

If this life is what we are here for
Help me make sense of all I see

Father
We thy loving children
Wonder what’s the point
Of all this misery

And this world of confusion’s
Sometimes all I know

Lost in the shadows
But I can’t let go

Father Father Father
No I can’t let go

Teach us how to
Step from these ashes
Into the light of
Thy pure grace

Father
We thy loving children
Look to find our joy today

Father Father Father

And yet again…

I turn back to a scientist, a great mind and profound thinker for guidance.

The prescient words of Albert Einstein:

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages.  The child knows someone must have written those books.  It does not know how.  It does not understand the languages in which they are written.  The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is.  That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”

And also…

“To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.” – Albert Einstein,  The Merging of Spirit and Science

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6 Responses to “Father”

  1. jenny Burton Says:

    I think it is a great blessing to grapple with these thoughts at this time in one’s life or at any time. For every one of us that goes through this process, we become changed by the mere act of doing so, thus becoming more humble, and more grace filled. This blesses the whole of us. I think we have for too long dilly-dallied in the fields of “Every Man for himself and God for us all”. We’re all so afraid of losing ourselves. Perhaps to lose one’s self would be to grain a greater more expanded sense of self and have a greater more personal sense and awareness of God.

    I borrow from an earlier blog:

    “A human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

    I think part of our journey here is to cast off our confusions and to become willing to become undeluded.

    The scripture offers this:

    1 Corinthians 13:12

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I believe through a surrender to time spent in mediation, quieting the mortal mind of its constant chatter is where we will find a higher information that can possibly quench our heart’s and soul’s desires. Through the acknowledgement of something greater than the ego, we can drink from a deeper cup of knowing that supersedes our human knowing.

  2. Carol Jay Says:

    Ms. Burton’s comments and phraseology are mesmerizing as those who have seen in her in performance know right well. I would only say that to have that “higher information” that can can quench our heart’s and soul’s desires and to acknowledge and drink from a deeper cup of understanding takes that ultimate leap of faith — faith that there is a surety of things that you do not experience with the five senses. That faith belongs to anyone who is willing to go out on a limb for a just cause.

  3. Deb Offenhauser Says:

    Interesting thoughts! In my quiet moments, I go through 7 synonyms of God: Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind, Principle. I often start with something like this: God is Life itself, and I reflect this Life. God is Spirit, incorporeal, and my life must reflect, or “image” this in everything I do. God is Truth itself, and this Truth crosses all boundaries, cultures and passages of time. Everyone I deal with must reflect this Truth, and I will express honesty and integrity with everyone I meet.
    And so forth….. Really takes one out of oneself and into the Greater Infinite of Being!

  4. Peter Link Says:

    Great thoughts. Thank you, Deb.

  5. Joy Severinsen (Adle) Says:

    Hey Peter, I just had a class on this very picture look again: do you see where “God” is? He’s sitting in the middle of a human brain, right on the pineal gland — and pointing forward for creation. This may be Michelangelo’s take… that we create our experience through our thoughts. Also the point was made that the naked Adam figure resembles the Cardinal that was in charge of this painting project that historically caused alot of grief for Michelangelo, and that this character looks rather clueless. Maybe there’s more political and metaphysical thinking behind this picture than taken at face value…
    Just a thought…

  6. Peter Link Says:

    Whew! Them old guys were some jokesters! If there was anybody back then who “got it”, it was Michelangelo. When I was in Rome visiting the Missus (wife, Julia Wade) while she was singing at the Rome Opera, I read The Agony and the Ecstasy and actually became Michelangelo for about 2 weeks wandering around Rome waiting for Julia to get out of rehearsal. :o) I do that sometimes when reading a great novel. He was some Dude! Go Mike!

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