Psychic Visions Imagining God
I’ve never much liked the Judeo-Christian notion of “God”. I mean, the Father God of the Old Testament YHWH/Jehova was a real piece of work. Bad tempered, blood thirsty, jealous of other Gods and especially the female ones, intolerant, over-bearing, loud, and in general, a big bully who demanded to be worshipped in spite of his obvious spiteful nature. As if all this weren’t outrageous enough, he was cruelly capricious, inconsistent, illogical and vengeful. Now I ask you, honestly, what’s to like about this alleged “God”? For me, obviously there was nothing. So I rejected the whole notion of “God The Father”. Having been brought up Catholic, however, It seemed to me that the long-suffering Joseph was far more worthy of love and respect. He didn’t demand any sacrifices. There is no evidence of misogyny in his treatment of Mary or cruelty in his treatment of Jesus/Jeshua. Plus, his flower was a beautiful lily, the St. Joseph’s Lily. Now that was someone I could warm up to. Mary, on the hand was a less than believable person. And remember she was only human, not divine, according to the “Fathers” of the Church.According to her, despite being pregnant, she was still a Virgin. Yeah. Right. If I tried that one on my father, the results would not have been pretty. But, of course, as much later scholarship would show the Aramaic word for Virgin did not mean an intact Hymen; it meant an unmarried or independent woman, not attached to any man. According to the myth, Mary was affianced to Joseph but since they had not yet married, she was still technically a Virgin. By the way, when did they get married? The New Testament is silent on this issue…
Psychic Visions Imagining God
And then we have the “Son” of “God”. We are supposed to believe he was descended from the House of King David, sort of royal by association, although if he was already “God” why would he also need to be “King”? We’re told that Jeshua grew up Joseph’s modest carpentry shop. Not exactly Kingly material if you get my drift. But that, too, was turned into a virtue by making it possible for us non-royal nobodies to identify with him. He was flesh and blood just like us and grew up in modest circumstances. But what of his character? There were a few pluses: he threw money-lenders out of the Temple and its grounds. He won a debate with some old fuddy-duddies whose speciality was splitting semantic hairs. So far, so good. But he did disappear for 17 years between the ages of 13 and 30. Where was he then? He could have been enmeshed in a life of debauchery for all we know and then suddenly ‘saw the light’ and turned into a holy man. That would make him the prototype for today’s rehabilitated celebs which would earn him a mention in People, at least. But this was supposed to be a man who was all man and at the same time a ‘God’ who was all ‘God’. Wrap your head around that one if you can. All in all, Jesus/Jeshua might be tolerable as a potential deity but something more was needed to win him followers on Facebook: he had to perform miracles and then be persecuted for them and finally, in the ultimate act of love, become a blood sacrifice for the sins of all men. That I could live with if it applied only to men who like blood sports anyway. But what did Jeshua know of women? We’re supposed to believe he was always ‘chaste’ and besides he showed “mercy” to women accused of adultery and we were supposed to feel grateful for that. You notice that in this scenario, only women are associated with sins relating to sex? So what specific sins was he atoning for in men? Their disbelief even in the face of his unparalleled miracles. Not believing the evidence of their eyes was the sin of men. (Just watch an episode of “Haunting” and you’ll see how little that has changed.) Most of all, we were supposed to love Jeshua for forgiving his executioners who were acting on our behalf! Hey, I never asked anybody to do that for me. The sacrifice thing was entirely the idea of “God The Father” who instead of dying himself had his ‘only begotten Son do it for him’. Jehovah does it again – eliminates the competition before he can get more popular. How Zeus-like.
So what is my point in all of this? It is simply this: that our images of God are made in our own likeness and not the other way around. There is no ‘one size fits all’ image of “God” because there cannot be. If we are all unique in our genetic make-up and if we are made of the same “stuff” as the Universe – what Carl Sagan called “Star Stuff” and what Deepak Chora calls “Cosmic Soup” – we must conclude that if there is any “God” in the sense of a creator of all that is, it would either have to contain all of the “Star Stuff” (which would put us in the awkward position of worshipping ourselves) or it would have to be entirely separate from its creations and therefore unknowable by us. Either way we have no idea what such a Being would look like. But I’m willing to bet, it won’t be anything humans can imagine. Perhaps, rather than trying to create images of God we should love and care for our planet and its life-forms and learn as much as we can about the existence of all life-forms in the Universe so that we may appreciate what “God hath wrought” before we try destroying any part of it.
Image credits: Jehovah in Glory, Jesus Scourges Money Lenders by El Greco: Wikimedia Commons. Hubble image courtesy of NASA/ESA.