Reimagining God: May We Forever Burn Brightly & Let Us Always Share Flames
Let me begin by saying that I was not always comfortable using the name God when discussing my beliefs about the divine, creation, religion, etc. After many years in Catholic School, and witnessing first-hand the hypocrisy and dogma of most religions, I had long given up on “God”. This baggage began to fall away as I read ‘Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsh.
I can’t even tell you exactly how this shift happened only that reading this book changed me and something clicked. I have been, for as long as I can remember, a seeker of truth with a deep desire for real connection.
I have experienced enough in my life to know that there is something greater than me in charge of the “show”, whether you see this as the Laws of the Universe, Biology, or an Unknown, I simply cannot deny the existence of “Something”. And so I searched, and searched, and searched… you get the point.
Everywhere I seemed to look I saw a world bent and broken, people lost and some searching like me. I knew there had to be more but I was completely uncertain what that “more” could be. Nothing felt “right”.
Over time, and through life experience, I began to open to all possibilities of what might be out there, of why we are all here. I began to feel something deep within… like waking up from a dream. I felt connected to Something although I wasn’t entirely sure what this meant, yet. What I am able to see now is this, humanity walks around as if we are completely separate from one another, and not dependent or connected in the least. We hold onto a mentality of I am “me” and they are “them”.
In some ways, on the surface level, that perspective holds some truth. If we take a step back though and look beyond the surface, we can see that while we are each our own vessel in this vast ocean of existence we are also part of the same fleet. We are an interdependent network whose individual, every day, actions impact us all in ways we can’t yet understand.
Picture, if you will, a large candle in the center of a room (this I’ll call the Source), and numerous smaller candles each being lit by this central candle (each living being is one of these candles), the flame is the same flame only it burns in numerous “locations”. We are all the same flame. To illustrate our connectedness further, if one of the candles tips and burns down the room all of the candles perish.
Most of us are blind to the truth of that. Despite our apparent differences, we are, on a Soul level, very much the same. We all come from the same source. We are physical manifestations of a creator force (whatever you choose to call this).
Let me use another example to illustrate my point: we are each a piece of the same puzzle. We are, on our own, unique pieces of art but we not a complete creation without all of the pieces.
We cannot have the full experience, or see the entire picture, unless we are all accounted for. To put it plainly, we are all part of the same whole. No puzzle piece is better than another. No piece holds more worth. We are all vital.
This Source who some call God, others have differing titles and views, came into existence (a whole other story unto itself). This Source is All That Is and All That Is Not. Now, I know that might be a bit difficult to grasp immediately. I mean, how can something be both something and nothing at the same time…
Well, that’s the point entirely. The Source is exactly that… he/she/it exists everywhere and nowhere; he/she/it is matter and antimatter; he/she/it is all of creation and all that has yet to be created.
How we, as humans, choose to experience this Source is as unique as each individual person and, here’s the kicker, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to perceive the Source. “Right” and “wrong” are human-created descriptors made to fit into a human-created moral system.
Source (aka God) had nothing to do with any of it. I know that won’t sit well with some people, and I can almost hear them now, “Bit, what about the bible (or other religious texts)”? I do not discount any religious text, I also do not give them too much credit, as I realize that they were written, compiled, and edited by humankind. That is not to say that some of what is written is not true or real, only that time and people’s agendas have a way of changing things. But I digress.
Let me get back to our interconnectedness and the beauty of it all. Source wants to experience itself in his/her/its fullness, as all that is, and all that is not. The only way to do this, in essence, is to gain understanding through beings who can have experiences beyond simply thinking about or imagining them.
Since the Source is, for lack of a better descriptor, an “ethereal body” (although that doesn’t begin to capture the magnitude) he/she/it brought about the creation of humankind into which Source could connect and “transfer” portions of itself in order to experience the various feelings, emotions, sensations, etc. which occur in a lifetime… make that many lifetimes. Not to complicate things even more but, in order to truly know itself as all that is and is not, the beings in which the Source manifests (that’s us) would need to experience everything and its opposite… love and hate, pain and pleasure, loyalty and betrayal, and so forth. Source truly wants to experience everything… everything!
Now, to get to the heart of the matter and the reason I wrote this article…. Through my own conversations with this Source, who I now feel completely comfortable calling God, despite all the baggage the name has held in the past, I arrived at this understanding: if we are all, indeed, manifestations of the same force then we are all, essentially, the same being walking around in different “skin suits”. Crazy thought, I know, I’m still letting all of this sink in myself. Even crazier is the fact that if all of this true, and I personally feel that it is, it means we (as Source) chose to be here.
Think of it this way, imagine you’re in a waiting room. You are waiting to pick out your “mission” (or “assignment” if that suits you better). You read through some of the options and choose to experience x, y, and z this time around. You’ve already taken on missions/assignments which allowed you to experience a, b, and c… You even took an adventurous jump into the one that exposed you to j, k, and l… that one really packed a punch!
This new mission/assignment holds experiences that you (aka Source) has not yet had. Despite the fact that many other of Source’s manifestations may have gone on that same mission, only you can experience it in a new way and therefore Source has the experience as well.
What I choose take away from all of this is, I can no longer look at another person and not see the Source within them, and realize also that I have the same Source within me. You and I were lit from the same candle and we share the flame. So as I do unto you, I do unto myself, and I do unto all others because… we are all connected.
The only separation between us is that which is “man-made”. All the labels, the titles, the “differences” fall away when you realize that you all exist within one another. And, to know that I chose to be here and to experience all that this lifetime has to offer also teaches me that every moment, whether joyous or painful, is a gift because it allows me to know myself, and therefore Source to know itself, on an even deeper level.
What can be more beautiful and profound than that? We are all birthing Source as he/she/it births us. (Mind Blown!)
With Deep Love for all my fellow candles… may we forever burn brightly together and if one candle loses its flame may we reach out to help them relight it.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.