Sunday, July 18, 2010

A God Shaped Hole

A God shaped hole has always been an interesting phrase commonly used by pastors, preachers, and pulpit pounders to win the souls of the lost. It assumes that we all have this gap within us that only God can fill, and by accepting Him (not Her, remember God is male!) into our lives we will be transformed into the beings we were meant to be before the Fall. At least that's the idea except our descriptions, images, and parameters of God are shaped by us. The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. We forget that when we speak of the eternal, we speak of the mystery not the image or manifestation of the eternal. Yet God as completely mysterious and unknowable makes the divine too distant and non-personal for billions yearning for an intimate interaction with the divine. So what does mankind do? We dress God up and create our personal image of the divine. Some of us even go as far as knowing what God loves or hates having intimate knowledge of God's mind. So how does our image of the divine line up with our God shaped hole? Is it shaped in a fashion construed to our beliefs and ideas of God, or does it transcend all definition? Does the God shaped hole change shape from religion to religion, from person to person?

The divine is shaped to the mortal limits we place upon it. It is not inherently limited, only the manifestations in which the divine pours itself from itself. In Christian terms this would be equivalent of putting on the Mind of Christ, the Christ Consciousness (Philippians 2:3-11) all Christians struggle to emulate. To be Christian is to be Christ-like, to allow the transformation within to overtake our bodies being filled with the Holy Spirit. But I am using Christian terms to describe a human experience, a natural experience. The label, the terms, the symbols, and story are merely the vessel into which the divine pours itself. Some may ask why would the divine bother with different types of containers, why would God allow for different religions to spring up. I believe this question is equivalent to asking why nature would bother to produce more than one type of species. The universe is infinitely creative and for the cosmos to not create diverse life would be an incredible waste of energy. The diversity of faiths along with the people who hold them are representative of that creativity.

The phrase A God shaped hole relates to the symbiotic relationship between the sinner and God described within a Christian context: what is a God shaped hole without a God to fill it, and what is God without a God shaped hole to fill? We may feel distant from the divine during times of suffering and loneliness, but it is at these times where we find the divine all around us, permeating throughout all things, all people, and all places. If God is Love manifesting itself through creation then God has never left us, nor will ever leave us.
Psalm 139: 7-10

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.


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