Photo: Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash
Let me begin by saying I am using the term God in the most generic term here. I realize that God is called many different names. Some believe in him/her as a very personal God, and others believe in a divine energy.
Provided you do believe in a higher power, something beyond us; we’re on the same page.
To continue, God and the universe have a lot in common.
For one, they are massive and seemingly eternal. We will never know all there is to know about either, or even what we don’t know we don’t know.
They are vast, ancient, and timeless.
Their natures are a mystery, though the universe is seldom referred to as divine.
We can see the universe much like we can see the beauty of nature here on the earth.
We are in awe of both.
This is where God and the universe intersect, the creator and the created; although we can see the universe, we can only sense a God.
The universe is easier to describe.
The Universe includes the Milky Way Galaxy, the sum of all existing matter, space, time and their contents, in other words, the cosmos.
We don’t know where it ends. We can only see the “observable” edge of it.
The observable edge is simply as far “as the eye can see.” The eye needs light, and beyond that edge there is no light or no light we can see because it is just too far away to travel back to earth. But the edge of the universe is by no means the end of the universe. When I look up into a dark sky scattered with stars, it’s hard to imagine that this is only part of the universe. But it is.
And the space between galaxies is just that, space! But there’s lots of it, thus adding to the size of the universe. Scientists say the universe is expanding, so there’s more we don’t understand every day.
Something that expands doesn’t die.
Roll that one around between your ears.
And what about God?
Many call God the creator of everything, the Supreme Being, divine, the ruler of all, love, the giver and taker of life.
A term I like is “All That Is.” And that is also a description of the universe. God, in essence, is energy, felt but not seen.
God is to be praised, obeyed, and worshiped.
I can’t describe God any further without assigning limiting human terms, and God is neither limited nor human. But whatever God is or whatever we call God, God is neither enhanced nor limited by the name we assign.
God is infinite. The universe is expanding. And God created the universe.
If all things are a reflection of the creator, wouldn’t it stand to reason that God too is expanding?
The thing that appears not to change are those things called religions.
Religion is a belief in, worship of, and commitment to a God or gods. There are many religions and many names for many gods or supreme beings. It represents attitudes, beliefs, and practices. It is a system, and sometimes a business which exists to benefit itself.
I realize I’m not digging into the nitty-gritty of the many world religions, and not all are the same. There are good people and good messages in religion. I don’t deny that. Religion has helped many, but it has also hurt and destroyed through its inability to accept, adapt, and change.
It is a harsh judge.
Religions have rules. These rules, whose best intentions are to guide, are passed down from generation to generation, unchanged. Face it; things need to stay in motion to remain viable.
Even in your physical body, if you’re not moving and changing, you become stiff, inflexible, not only in body, but in spirit. This inflexibility has caused wars. It looks like a small word, but wars are not small.
When a long-held belief is questioned, some will immediately retort that “the Bible says…” (most likely the New Testament) or quote from another holy book. It’s as if once something is written, it cannot change.
It was said, it was written, end of story.
I was raised Catholic, and when I express my beliefs, I often hear those three words, “the Bible says.” The voice of whoever is speaking fades and the sound of white noise fills my ears. Their words meant to control, to tell me what I’m doing wrong.
These words of the Bible were written down 40 years after the speaker's death, Jesus Christ. And these words were what someone remembered AND from their point-of-view. Prior to that, his words were passed on as stories by word of mouth.
The first gospel wasn’t even written down until 30 years after his death. Historically, they were written by those that knew Jesus Christ, or followed him, but again, they were written from recall. And even if your memory serves you well, it is open to your interpretation and point-of-view. This is why meeting minutes are recorded and notes are taken at the time of meetings.
Even if the words are accurate, they were written thousands of years ago for people living at that time. Things have changed a bit since then.
Right and wrong don’t change and I’m not saying they do. All you have to do is follow the Golden Rule to stay on the right track. The Four Agreements can also offer some guidance.
I am attempting to examine, not criticize, long-held beliefs. We all need to feel we have some control and know some of the answers; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to make any decisions. But maybe those answers change from time-to-time.
We are, all of us, stumbling around trying to find our way as best we can. I believe most of us, or at least many of us, are trying to do the right thing.
We make mistakes. We adapt. We move on.
It’s what helps us expand, like the universe.