The Identity Of God
By James Donahue
When I was a young man
I gave up my status as an agnostic after reading a book by the Rev. Billy Graham in which Graham pointed out the power required
to keep all of the stars, planets and galaxies in our solar system spinning in such perfect order.
Graham also pointed to
the similarities between the way our solar system operates and the way atoms within single cells appear, with electrons spinning
around a nucleus. There is a clear harmony within all things, both from a finite and an infinite level. This, Graham argued,
is proof of the existence of an intelligence in the design of all things as we perceive them.
Thus I had to agree that
there had to be intelligence behind all of creation. But just how can we understand this force from our own limited three-dimensional
perspective? It is called God by most people. But merely giving it a name does not help us understand or even clearly come
to terms with it.
Nineteenth Century mathematician
Edwin Abbott in his book, Flatland, once offered a brilliant example of what I am referring to. He described a man who existed
in a two-dimensional world that merely made him a drawing on a sheet of paper. In his world, there was no thickness, and no
way to understand a third dimension or depth of perception. Put ourselves in such a world, and such a man, although possessing
intelligence and the ability to reason, would perceive us as a god. From his perspective it would be impossible to describe
us even if he could see us because all that he could see is one side of us at a time.
While we may question
the possibility of life in a two-dimensional universe, there is evidence all around us that many of the animals, and even
the trees, co-exist with us in multi-dimensions. Attempt to describe a tree, for example, from a three-dimensional point of
view. Or explain how flocks of birds in flight can stay in perfect formation and never collide, even when the flock shifts
left and then right at great speeds.
Other life forms appear
to not only exist in multi-dimensions, but in altered time warps. The aboriginal
people of the world, and especially the shaman or medicine men of the tribes, who use so-called hallucinogenic plants to reach
an altered state of consciousness, are well aware of parallel universes that appear to exist not only around us, but possibly
interacting with our own. They talk of trees that breath and experience pain. They describe an artificial sky filled with
unidentified flying objects. They see the earth as a great living mother, the creator of all life that exists on it.
Does that mean the Mother
Earth is the great creator god? Absolutely not. What the shaman sees in his altered state becomes a proof, at least in the
eyes of the aboriginal, that our planet is a living organism. And this suggests that all things on our planet, even the rocks,
And if the Earth is a
living organism, should we not believe that all of the planets in our solar system also are the same? And what about the sun?
Is it not also a living sentient being?
If our solar system is
comprised of living entities, all in constant communication, should we not also think of our universe as alive? Are we not
but a fragile portion of the very body of the creator god who not only built this universe, but perhaps is the universe?
And where do we as individual
and intelligent humans fit into this picture? It is believed that the soul, or light that exists within each and every one
of us is but a spark from the creator. Thus the god we seek is not an external being, but rather a light and energy that exists
within us. This is what the shaman means when he or she instructs us to look within ourselves to find god. It thus is incorrect
to look outward and pray to an imaginary grandfather in the sky who exists only in the minds of those who think such a deity
It is interesting to
note that the images in the art work at the Vatican point to continued worship of a solar deity, which is a belief system dating back
into the dark ancient past from which little historical record remains. Similar gods were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians
and numerous other cultures.
The concept of an external
creator god who created “man in his own image” appears to be a product of the Hebrew writers who produced the
Book of Genesis and then expounded on this theme.
Ezekiel claimed a vision
of god, or possibly an alien on a space ship, whom he described as “the likeness of a man” and “from the
appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of
fire, and it had brightness round about.”
Daniel wrote of his own
personal vision: “The Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure
wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”
Artists William Blake
and Michelangelo painted God as a venerable old man with a long white flowing beard. We suspect that it was the artwork left
by these and perhaps other painters over the years who planted the images of the god figure who looked down on humanity from
a heavenly platform in the sky. Unfortunately, that image has stuck in the minds of most Christian believers, even though
astronomers have looked deep into space and never found such a place, or observed such a god figure looking back at them.