Sunday, October 11, 2009


God cannot be a being beside other beings. To insist that he is a being “above” or “below” all others still makes him a being apart from all other beings, some ‘greatest being’ we posit in the universe existing among the stars. If he is a thing, some other things in the universe must be outside of his control, and he must be subject to the structure of the whole. A whole hornet’s nest of absurd problems is opened up, such as the question, “How did God spend his time before he created the Earth?” Paul Tillich told us once the answer for that given by his students in Germany: “Thinking up punishments for those who ask such questions.”

Rollo May was a 20th century existential psychologist and a close friend of Paul Tillich a 20th century theologian. May defined certain stages of human development like innocence, rebellion, decision, ordinary and creative. They are not stages in the traditional sense; all of these stages can be experience during any phase of an individual’s life. May emphasized caring for each other and believed that anxiety was the result of a threat to a value, which an individual holds essential to the existence of the self.

May’s words about God are not meant to change anyone’s beliefs about the consciousness we call God. Everyone will choose a belief within a basket of religious and scientific beliefs and make one or more of them a reality to be experienced. Humans have been fighting about God long enough to realize that our separation is the issue, not the association of being right or wrong about the nature of God’s physical existence. It seems separation creates independence. Independence is the opposite of dependence, which is viewed as something with little value. Independence is associated with freedom, but rarely are we free by being independent; there is always a lack of freedom in independence.

Independence is more about separation than it is about freedom or dependency. Separation is the catalyst that fuels conflicts and wars. We fight for independence and we find ourselves more dependent on something else, which creates a plethora of contrasting perceptions to experience. What we need to sense and to cultivate is our interconnectedness, not our independence.


Elizabeth said...

The thought that seemed to pervade my thoughts as I read this was that the biggest challenge of separation that presents itself in my life is the separation within myself.

How can one hope to feel unity and connectedness when one is separated within oneself? Self acceptance and love is where connectedness to God and other has seemed to begin for me.

Hal said...

Exactly Elizabeth! Filling the cracks within the self with love creates other realities and we then begin to experience them. The separation really doesn't exist, but it is our method of expanding in awareness using our ego consciousness.