Sunday, August 29, 2010

Those who know God in their hearts also know that there is a dimension to existence that cannot be rationally expressed. There is a knowing that cannot be defined by words. A truth to every experience that is undeniably self evident; a consciousness in the world that pervades and connects everything.

Why are some blind, and why do some see? What stops a person from fully submitting to the experience of God? And what makes a prophet -- simply one who is overly moved by the Spirit, or is there more, is there a greater level of spiritual knowing than what is evident in the lives of so many believers?

There is a difference between belief and knowing.

There is a difference between analyzing and accepting.

The mind is our greatest tool, and our greatest deceiver. It is not by our thoughts that we come to know God, but through our actions. If we could know God by thought alone, it would imply that God exists in our thoughts alone. But that is not true. God exists far less in our minds, and far more in our physical reality, but we do not see it because we are too limited. We are trapped by our concept of man as "master of nature," but man is master of nothing. Man is blind. Seeing God requires that we look past what our minds perceive, and experience God's presence in the deepest chambers of ourselves.


  1. This point has often caused me to struggle with Jewish writers. In Judaism God is incoporeal and has no body. Christianity molds us to read life and faith carnally. Christ became flesh, so in a sense to know him we have to be thinking in physical terms. But the mental piece is still crucial.

  2. Theresa: What you just wrote is very profound and beautiful.

    I have met many people who call themselves Christians who study and study and study Scripture, yet reject Christ--these people are Pharisees.

    Someone can study and study the game of hockey, but not know how to play hockey. God is meant to be known experientially--not just in the head. We are meant to commune with God spirit to Spirit: He reveals to us what we must do and then we do it. Revelation from God is the Rock on which the church is built upon.

    "There is a difference between belief and knowing."

    "There is a difference between analyzing and accepting."

    Absolutely positively Amen.

    We are here to accept God into our lives, NOT to analyze what we think God is. Before you can analyze a frog, you have to kill it first. Too many people kill God because God is in their heads and not in their spirits: these are white-washed walls, clouds without rain, barren ground that bears no fruit, theological aesthetes. You will know them by their fruit.

  3. Hi Dr. Lopez,

    I could write a very big response, but I'll spare you. :P In my experience of faith, God is both. God is at once beyond body, beyond time, and all the other things that omniscience implies. However, God is also physical, for often our answered prayers come through the hands and feet of other believers.

    In Buddhism, it is emphasized that where the mind creates division, there is none (somewhat like deconstructionism). There is no separation between the spiritual and physical world. We are living on a spiritual plane. Christ expresses a similar thought, "The Kingdom of God is inside of you." We live in the spiritual realm of God, but because of our own limitations (caused by sin, bad karma, etc.) we are blind to it.

    I agree that it is important to dwell on God in the mind. But the mind will fail, because our perceptions of the world are built upon contradiction. Only the heart has the ability to simply be, and to simply know.

    “In love all the contradiction of existence merge themselves and are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance.”
    -Rabindranath Tagore

    Thanks for reading and responding! Obviously feel free to share any contradictory thoughts you might have. :)

    Hi Tim!

    I have to run to class now, but I'll reply to your comment when I get back tonight. Thanks for reading! Been thinking about you. :)


  4. Hi Tim,

    As a writer, I find it extremely challenging to describe what God is, and I feel like so many metaphors an analogies are cliche. It's too easy for people to not listen when we say that God is to be experienced. I remember talking to my father about it when I first came to know God, and trying to explain to him that it was a presence, it was more than just a feeling of "comfort" and "love," it was a consciousness, a different awareness of the world. My family was always atheist and he never really listened until the end of his life. After eight years of trying to tell him what God was, he finally said "I believe in God, as long as God is Love." He died of a sudden heart attack shortly after, almost as though God has been waiting for him to say it (or maybe, for me to hear it.)

    I guess why I'm dwelling on it is because even many "churchy" people I know seem oblivious to the presence of God in their lives. The God they worship through frantic singing, shouting prayers, and other emotional catharsis is not really the experience they need, because that passion fades as soon as they go to work on Monday. I love singing as much as the next person, but I think we reach a point on our spiritual paths where every act is a form of worship, and when that happens, the catharsis that so many experience in church seems unnecessary, and overly forced. There is power when we worship in numbers, yet I do not think that is where we meet God. We meet God when we are alone.

    I wish I knew a better way to show people what God is. I wish that there was a faster way than leading by example. I wish I knew better where God was taking me, and why I feel like there is a great, looming task ahead. As a writer, how do I express any of this to a cynical world without sounding crazy? And yet this is my experience of reality, and just as valid as anyone else's.

    Got off on a tangent. Thank you for your insightful comments. Hope you're doing well!


  5. Theresa: Your life IS the sermon. Abide in Christ and many people will be affected by your life and you won't even know it. You are already bearing much fruit. You are a gift from God.

    Just hitchhiked from northern California to Winnemucca, Nevada to Ontario, Oregon to southeastern Washington. I am staying with some friends here for at least a few days.

    I did some work for some friends in the California Outback (Modoc County): I did some painting, a little carpenter work, we drove some machinery out to this field; they own a motel and have a cow-calf herd. They always say that I can stay as long as I want. I stayed for a week and then the Lord told me to hit the road.

    The Presence of God is more real than life--it is more real than death (really, the Presence of God IS life). The last three days in California, the Presence of God was not burning me up as usual, so I enquired of the Lord and He told me to hit the road. When I am not obeying the Lord there is spiritual dryness in my life. When I obey the Lord, the Presence of God is very strong.

    Remember in the Old Testament when King David would enquire of the Lord about the Philistines? David would wait on the Lord and then the Lord would say, "Go up, for I have given the Philistines into your hands." We need to wait on the Lord and then go--in the Presence of God.

    The Presence of God IS Zion. Zion is my home.

  6. "The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits."

    --G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

  7. Sounds like you're hitchhiking through familiar territory. I grew up in WA and spent half my childhood road tripping between WA and CA. Beautiful country up there. How is the weather?

    My faith has been burning me up as well lately. That "burn" comes and goes, though it's been pretty intense this past year. It drives me nuts with all this waiting, but as much as my soul cries out, at the same time, I know the timing isn't right. This calling is eating me alive, but I don't know where to focus all that passion. It's one of the reasons why I started this blog. I have to get it out of me somehow. I wonder if it's a "youth" thing. But I don't write this blog for anyone to read, really. I write it because I have to. I've got journals stacked up since I was 12.

    Been taking a Buddhism class this semester. It's pretty interesting. The Buddha also went through a period of isolation and temptation before he reached "Enlightenment" and began teaching. The parallels between his life and that of Christ are pretty astounding. I wonder if that is the path we all walk, whether we know it or not, and when we reach the wilderness, no matter how it presents itself, we know we have reached the last leg of the journey.

    I wonder what Enlightenment will be like, and that moment when I find myself exactly where God has called me.

  8. The weather here in Dayton, Washington has been perfect. Warm during the day and cool at night. The local farmers are now harvesting wheat. The Palouse Hills are very beautiful; Dayton is near the Blue Mountains.

    I may be hitchhiking south into Oregon in a few days.

  9. We know God in our selves. In our hearts and souls. with Love, Forgiveness, and patience. The actions then fallow later. We are all prophets. we are all saints. No one is Greater or lesser than another. We within us all have the same capably to bring light unto this world. yet often enough we resit it and clame only to believe in the reality in which we have created for our selves which is simply an illusion or a shadow of the truth that lies within EVERY being in this place. we must recognize this within ourselves and in the selves of others so that the light may grow and dispel the dark where we currently reside.