Many people carry negative or aberrant definitions of God. They believe that God is cruel, punishing, uncaring, critical, weak, a monster, an idiot, nonexistent, etc. Some people believe that God has gender (ie.God/Goddess) or age (old man with a beard). These definitions are caused by damage patterns such as traumas, layers of the Enneagram wound, or family or religious teaching. In every case that I have tested, the client’s deepest wisdom tells us that these negative or absent definitions of God do not serve them. Many people are unaware, ashamed or afraid to admit that they have these negative beliefs because they were taught to think of God as loving, forgiving, kind, generous, all-powerful, etc. Individuals may not relate personally to the positive representations of God that are present in the culture and feel guilty, pressured, or isolated when they don’t agree. Thus, it is important for people to find an internal representation and personal way of experiencing God that serves their highest good and to notice when a representation comes from a damage pattern.
I, myself, think of God as a giant semitransparent amoeba of energy in space. This amoeba contains the totality of life force energy in the universe spanning the matter/energy continuum. I think of all of us embodied folks as pseudopods, i.e. living extensions of God that act like fingers that receive and transmit sensory information to the whole organism through a nervous system of spiritual energy. I wonder whether this amoeba would be sentient without some part of it being embodied in physical form. I feel that the information we share about life while we are in the material world either contributes to or collectively comprises the sentience and ethical system of the Divine. I experience the presence of God when I feel excited about being alive, when I feel love and energetic connection with others, when my angel and guide talk to me, and when my clients heal before my eyes. On the other hand, some people simply experience God as the feeling they get when they are out in nature.
In her research of near-death experiences, P.M.H. Atwater describes several cases in which people met angels, Jesus, and other friends and relatives after passing through a tunnel (1). These beings dissolved into pure light when the people no longer needed these shapes or forms to put them at ease. As the people were absorbed into the light they experienced the ecstasy of unconditional love. I interpret this to mean that God is the universal energy of joy and love and that God is flexible in the forms It takes to establish rapport with individuals. So, don’t let anyone else tell you what God is. Find your own comfortable way of representing and noticing/feeling connection with the Divine.
Atwater, P.M.H., Beyond the Light, Avon Books, NY, 1994.
Copyright 2000 Judith A. Swack, Ph.D.
September 2000 Judith A. Swack and Associates, Inc. Newsletter