WHO IS GOD?
Who is God? A question I asked myself when I turned 10. I remember asking my Sunday school teacher that question and I saw panic flash through his eyes then rage. He raised his voice in anger at me and to the rest of us who were present and forbade us from asking such a question ever again because it was a sin. I grew up with that mentality of never questioning why? I grew up in a box life, never had the chance to think or act outside of the box.
My mother is a church woman, so absorbed in theology although she never attended any course maybe that’s where I got my interest in theology too except I have specifics that I like dig in a little deeper like the dark supernatural world, witches ,wizards, black magic, demons, ghosts etc.
I have always gone to church like a good girl, always have been a church girl and always loved going to church, I still do but not as often things have changed. I never questioned my mother why we decided to be Christians or why we worshiped a Christian god or why did we decide to convert ourselves into born again Christians. I lived a question less life. I thought all my questions were answered and that is why I never doubted anything or anyone until I read my first book on religions when I was 14 years old, I did not understand much of what I read but I still liked it all the same. I re-read the same book a year later and I understood more than I had before but that was not enough. I started taking interest in astrology when I was 12 and I focused on the horoscopes which I found quite interesting I still do except when they start predicting your days and weeks that is when they kill my vibe.
Growing up in a Christian family and attending the same church for 8 years and being taught the same things over and over I had kind of gotten used to the idea that Christianity is the one and only best religion that will ever be.
Attending to an 80% Muslim, 15% Christian and 5% Hindu school was not a problem for me because we were all one big family and this was a great chance for me to learn and live with people who had a different religion from mine and it felt great. I learnt so much from the Muslims and found out that they are not different from Christians they just have a few different rules from the Christians but the rest is the same. The Hindu’s from my school were a little preserved and so I knew very little about their culture. But later on I watched documentaries and read books about them, which was the 3rd time I was reading the mystical maze the book that I read two times and did not quite comprehend quite well. When I read it for the 3rd time I understood better and that was when I can say I had “enlightment!” I know that happened like in the 17th C and I am here still living under a rock, anyway my point is that I started having my opinions in religion.
The second time I questioned myself who is god? I was in church in an overnight prayer session and I remember being warned to never ever ask such a question again, I was a bit disappointed but I never had bad intentions for questioning, according to their mentality questioning who is god and where god came from is a sin or signs of becoming an anti-Christ. I finally gave up asking that question until 3 years later I am in a philosophy class and I am faced with the same question except this time I was not the one asking, I was the one being asked. I remember getting really offended because somebody had dared to ask the ‘taboo’ question. I remember sitting there trying to define who is god but I had no words to describe who god was.
I learned in school the ideas of who god was according to different philosophers but I never accepted their theories and found them all offensive and disrespectful until when my boyfriend questioned me the same question and I felt like I just got punched in the heart and got rained on, not because he asked, because I did not know how to answer and the worst part was that I believe in god whole heartedly but I did not know who god is or why I believe god or why god exists, I realized that I knew nothing about god all I knew about god was the Christian god, I was so buried into Christianity that I did not let myself broaden my mind, I was conditioned to think that Christianity is superior than any other religion and nothing is better than it but my greatest mistake was that I never questioned why? I do not blame myself much although I could have been a rebellion but I decided not to because that is not the kind of person I am.
Also being in a country where people have different cultures and beliefs and also a broader mind set made me realize a lot of things. I remember the churches in Africa used to forbid doing certain things like drinking or partying or whatsoever because they were all sinful deeds. I grew up with that kind of mentality that not socializing with people who drink and smoke or had tattoos was a clean life that I lead and that going to church every single Sunday made me a good Christian in short all I could say is that I led a boring life back in Africa . It took me a while to understand all of this being in Europe.
People in Europe have a different mentality I do not know about other parts of the world but for now I have only experienced two. A large amount of the youths here are not believers but the very few who believe know how to live their life, you may find a group of teenagers in a bar sipping beer and talking about god and there is nothing bad about that because they are having a good time while sharing ideas. I live in a house full of Christians, we are all believers but not all of us go to church only 2 out of 3 do but that does not make us anti-Christ’s or pagans we just have a different mentality or let’s say a different point of view in god.
I have read the bible numerous times and every day I learn a new thing from it. I remember once reading a verse that said any one can drink alcohol but not to the extent of not being able to reason properly (being drunk) the bible verse does not exactly say as I wrote it but I have decided to elaborate it. I do not encourage people to drink because it is not good for the health but it sure is not a sin. I timothy 5:23, Ecclesiastes 9:7, proverbs 20:1, john 2:3–11.
These are just a few verses but there sure are many others that also forbid but if one tend to read carefully they will understand. These scriptures should not be miss-used.
Same applied to other religions, drinking alcohol is certainly forbidden but everyone still does. I have friends from different religions and who happen to be very religious but they also drink but they drink responsibly. What I am trying to make clear is that everyone can have fun but to a certain limit.
A lot of people tend to miss-interpret the bible but I try my best to understand what it says and not interpret it into my own words.
My mother has always wanted me to date a god fearing Christian guy, one who is devoted to god and goes to church every Sunday and reads the bible from Monday-Sunday, very ambitious, handsome should also be white (here we go with the stereotyping)and what not. With time I have learnt that such a guy does not really exist. Maybe they do but they sure are far far far away from my reach or maybe they are married men or probably even unborn. I have searched for such a man but reality is no one is perfect, I have found a few guys with those qualities but not all of them because we all have demons in us and at some point they have to come out.
One day I was reading the bible and I stumbled upon a scripture 1 Corinthians 7:14–15 that also said: for the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; god has called us to live in peace.
Surely my mother would shoot herself if she ever read this, she is a devoted woman of god. Now I know I have only done references with the bible it is because I haven’t read other holy books as deep as the bible, it is not because I do not want to but it is hard to get a copy in English that has not been modified into a million times, the bible also has been but it is very easy to get the old version too.
I have asked a few people from different religions on what they thought about marrying an outsider (one who is not from their religion) and I was pretty much expecting the answers they gave me.
Muslims: 70% of them told me they wouldn’t marry an outsider.
20% told me that they would only marry an outsider if they agreed to convert to their religion.
10% told me that they would marry but each one of them gets to hold onto their religion.
The 30% percentages of the people who are bound to fall into these categories tend to face a lot of challenges during their relationships, some do not last and some end up being outcast from their families.
I am not writing as a professional who has done the statistics but I write this out of life time experience.
And so I move on to the next group of people and these happen to be Hindus, they are very interesting people because they are very much reserved. And so I asked the same questions that I asked the Muslims and this is what they said:
80% of the Hindus would never marry an outcast.
15% would marry an outcast but has to be a Muslim.
5% would marry an outcast out of love.
But also here the 20% would face a great challenge in their relationship, not because they do not get along but their families do not.
The Christians are quite open but rarely they would also rather marry or be with a person from their same religion.
50% of the Christians are willing to marry someone from their own religion
30% are willing to marry an outsider but convert them into Christianity.
20% would marry an outsider and chill. J
I am not defending the Christian religion but usually their relationships do last long sometimes, they actually prefer marrying outsiders than from their own despite the valuations. The reason why Christians are so open is because the rules are not strict unlike other religions.
I am still young to decide whom to get married to.
Now back to our main question WHO IS GOD?
The god that people fear, the god that people judge, the god that people love and hate, the god that people try to describe, the god that people claim to have seen, the god that people worship, the god that created the universe.
Who is god? Is god human? Does god have a sex? Where did god come from? Why do we believe in god? Why do all the bad things happen if there is a god who loves good doings? So many questions to be answered but very few know the answers to these questions and these few people who do too might also be wrong in their theories and that is why we are allowed to have our own opinions on what we think.
For the Christians god is a single divine being who governs the universe of Jesus as god’s earthly incarnation.
Although that’s not how everyone sees the divine.
For Indians (Hindus) there is not one god. There are millions. In India every corner of the street there is a shrine or a picture of one of their million gods.
Example: Ganesh is a god that removes obstacles.
Hindu gods come in many forms, some are male, some are female and some are half human and half animal each one has their specific role.
Since Hindus have got millions of gods each family gets to choose their own god and it is passed from generation to generation, or sometimes in times of distress they invoke a god and once helped they serve them for life.
-Lalita: is the highest Hindu goddess, she was created to kill a demon and that is the power of a 16 year old virgin and all the power is still in her, it is the highest form of energy and she passes her powers to other gods to fight off the demon. For her devotees Lalita exists in their rhythmic form of chanting a divine energy that empowers their lives.
On the surface Hinduism looks like a religion of many gods but underneath the surface there is a single divine energy.
- Where did the idea of worshiping one single god come from?
Stonehenge, the culture that had to build Stonehenge had to endure long cold winters; their survival depended on crops so it would make sense to focus on one single source of energy that drew all of that… the sun.
After the Stonehenge was made they brought it down again and built it up in the direction of the rising sun, where they could focus more on the sun for worship and religious interest, the builders were trying to establish a particular connection with the sun.
The people of Stonehenge may have been the first to worship the sun as a single holy powerful god but in focusing on the sun. I wonder if they had lost something.
When gods were rivers and mountains they were more accessible, easier to connect to, to speak to. How do you speak to a god that is so remote?
Let’s move to Egypt… more than 1000 years after Stonehenge was built an Egyptian man also decided to worship the sun. his idea was considered so dangerous that his memories were almost wiped from the face of the earth.
Akhnan, he thought there were too many gods and not enough focus was on him and there needs to be an important god that he could channel, he closed down many temples and said there was a special god. A sun god and those they could worship the sun god through him.
1350BC Akhnan declared in Egypt that the sun was the only god and by doing so he would found the first faith in recorded history with a single deity. But it did not last, as soon as he died the old priest hood came back.
Despite Akhnan’s failure it did influence on the up rise of another religion, it is said in the Jewish tradition that on the banks of river Nile that mosses was found and from that period belief in a single god began to spread around the world.
How did the belief of a small band of Israelites spread so far and wide?
Today almost 4 billion Muslims, Christians and Jews worship the same god. What was so special about this god?
According to Jews and Christian they believe or refer to when Abraham had to sacrifice his sin but god told him that he shouldn’t and he would no longer shed any human blood ever again and co-memo rating that ever again the Judeo-Christians decided to build a temple near the mountain mosses had to sacrifice his son making it the most holy place in history.
This is the invincible god that is a single force that gives physical orders and moral orders to all of mankind, there is no representation because there is no local power, because according to the Judeo-Christians even if the temple is destroyed the god cannot be destroyed.
The god of Abraham was the god that you could communicate without any temples, without idles. For Jews, Christians and also Muslims the invincible god is always with them no matter when or where they turn onto him.
But how do you connect with a god that has no physical form?
How do you know what’s divine and what isn’t?
Islam believes in the same god as Jews and Christians, for the faithful the song of the monishing is the manifestation of god himself, according to them a prayer is a meeting with god. Prayer to Allah seems like a conversation to a person, but how do you speak to a person who has no human form? According to them, you cannot imagine god, god is beyond the imagination of the human mind. mosques are designed to be filled with beautiful sounds and images that delight the senses, from elaborate architecture to verses of the Quran written in the finest calligraphy, many Muslims see this kind of beauty as a manifestation of god himself.
Islam sees god in all things that are beautiful because god has no physical form and he can be experienced anywhere with any of the senses.
But these experiences have only aspects of the divine, god is always more than we can imagine. Across so many faiths around the world and throughout time people have immolated the divine and the beauty of the temples and glimpsed god in the splendor of nature but some faiths believe god can take place in a physical form and that form is a person.
If we believe that god not only surrounds us but also has the power to move inside us can we perhaps discover what god is by looking inside our minds?
For thousands of years to people god has been invincible, intangible, a presence that believe that we can sense but not see and touch but science may be about to change that.
What happens to our brains when we have religions inside us?
Neuro theology also known as spiritual neuroscience, attempts to explain religious experiences and behavior in neuroscientific terms.
In short neurotheology looks into our physical manifestation of god.
The process begins with an injection of radioactive dye, this helps to measure how much blood flows to various parts of our brain. The more you use a part of your brain the more radioactive dye you will accumulate, according to scientists and experiments done the patient or subject has to meditate for at least 10–12 mins and before the radioactive substances crashes from the patient’s system the patient has to be scanned in a 3D scanner and see whether the patient’s brain has changed because the patient meditated on god.
Usually the patient’s radiography from the before and after the has to be different. The first radiography taken is when the brain is at rest and no meditation is being done and so the front lobe will differ the before will show less radioactive concentration compared to the after because you tend to increase the activity in the frontal lobe.
For any believer they are able to activate their frontal lobe and meditate for a while on god or any religious thought compared to an atheist.
Regardless our practices are the key point is if we believe.
It is possible to see physical manifestation of god inside us.
Whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or any kind of spiritual believer experiencing the divine can actually changes the brain it changes the way we see the world.
The evidence that experiencing god changes us on the inside will come as no surprise to believers.
A question that I asked many and got different answers: Who is god?
Some said it is what you choose to believe through faith; some said they did not know, others said it is a complicated matter to talk about some said god is the creator of the universe and some said they do not believe in god.
A philosopher named Aquinas Thomas tried to prove god’s existence.
He was a medieval saint who claimed to have gone in trans and had a vision of virgin Mary . He was much concerned on explaining how angles speak and move and yet he continues to matter because he helped us with a problem that continues to be-devil us.
How do we reconcile religion with science and faith with reason?
Thomas was both a philosopher and a saint, refusing to either loose his mindless faith or belief so he created a new understanding of the place of reason in human life.
His ambition was to teach that any human being not just a Christian could have access to great truths whenever they made use of god’s greatest gift to human beings ‘REASON’ Aquinas broke a log jam in Christian thinking the question of how non-Christians could have the wisdom and at the same time no interest in knowledge of ‘Jesus’
Aquinas universalized intelligence he opened the Christian mind to the inside of all of humanity from across the ages and continents. According to him the universe operates according to two kinds of law secular natural law and religious eternal law. For him the world follows natural laws. His ideas unfolded during the time Islamic culture was going through the same dilemmas as Christianity in terms how one can reconcile reason and faith. For a long time the Islamic religion had flourished by being open to knowledge form all over the world generating a new wealth of scientific ideas and philosophy , however due to the increasing influence of the fanatical religious leaders Islam had become more dogmatic and oppressive , it had reacted violently against a Muslim philosopher who tried to rise.
Though Aquinas was a man of faith he tries to prove god’s existence:
- St. Aquinas argues that there are things in the world in motion (this simply means that things are changing) and that whatever is in motion must have been put in motion by another thing in motion. Aquinas holds that, “whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another,” and that, “this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover.” Hence St. Thomas argues that in order to eliminate the infinite chain of motions, there must be a first mover and source of all motion, God.
- The second way is very similar to the first. It argues that,” In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.” By this he means that anything, circumstance or event cannot change itself, but can only change something else (concept of efficient cause). Since there is a string of causes in which the string cannot be infinite (see premise #1), then all causes must attribute themselves to a first cause: God.
- The third way also argues using the notion of a chain of causes. St. Thomas notes that things in our world owe their existence to something else in the world. Aquinas calls this the way of “possibility and necessity,” meaning that all things made possible, necessarily attribute their existence to some per-existing thing. Only God can be the source of all things since he is a being having its own necessity and does not need a per-existing thing to cause him to exist. All things existing can trace themselves in a chain back to God.
A second shorter version of the cosmological argument can be formulated as:
1. Every being (that exists or ever did exist) is either a dependent being or a self-existent being.
2. Not every being can be a dependent being.
3. So there exists a self-existent being.
Finally, a third rendition of the cosmological
1. The existence of something is intelligible only if it has an explanation.
2. The existence of the universe is thus either:
a. unintelligible or
b. has an explanation
3. No rational person should accept premise
4. A rational person should accept (2b), that the universe has some explanation for its being.
5. There are only three kinds of explanations:
a. Scientific: physical conditions plus relevant laws yield the Event explained.
b. Personal: Explanations that cite desires, beliefs, powers and intentions of some personal agent.
c. Essential: The essence of the thing to be explained necessitates its existence or qualities (for example, if you ask why a triangle has 3 sides, I would respond that it is the essence and necessity for a triangle to have 3 sides by its definition.
6. The explanation for the existence of the whole universe can’t be scientific because there can’t be initial physical conditions and laws independent of what is to be explained. Even the Big Bang theory fails to explain the existence of the universe because modern science cannot explain where the original Big Bang singularity came from. The universe as a sum total of all natural conditions and laws cannot be explained unless we have an Archimedean reference point outside the system.
7. The explanation for the existence of the universe can’t be essential because the universe cannot exist necessarily. This is because; it could have been possible for the universe not to have existed (if the Big Bang had been slightly different it is possible for large-scale structures to not have existed). Thus the universe is not something they must necessarily or essentially exists.
8. Thus a rational person should believe that the universe has a personal explanation.
9. No personal agent but God could create the entire universe.
10. A rational person should believe that there is a God.
According to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the challenge begins on how to pronounce his surname the first bit should sound like “knee” then the second bit like “cha”. Then we need to get past through his extraordinary and provocative statements like: God is dead and we have killed him.
Friedrich had a hard life at the age of 44 he had a mental break down. During one of his visits in Turin he saw a horse man beat his horse and he ran to him and tightly hugged the horse man and said “don’t worry I understand you”.
He wrote many books, but his work was mostly based on to teach us on how to become we really are.
One of his theories was “DO NOT BECOME A CHRISTIAN” in the entire New Testament he wrote “there is only one person worth respecting Pillet the roman governor. He resented Christianity from protecting people from their envy, Christianity during his time had emerged during the late roman empire in the minds of timid slaves who lacked to get of hold of what they really wanted and so clung onto a philosophy that made a virtue of their cowardness he called this slave morality.
Meaning that they denounced what they wanted but they were too weak to fight for while praising what they did not want but happen to have.
Nietzsche dramatic obsession that god is dead is not as it’s often taken to be a some kind of celebratory statement. Despite his reservations about Christianity , Nietzsche didn’t think the end of belief was anything to cheer about religious beliefs were false he knew but he observed that they were very beneficial in the sense of helping us cope with the problems of life. He felt that the gap left by religion should ideally be filled by culture.
Although I have been educated from childhood in the accepted beliefs concerning scriptures, I have felt bound in the end to embrace other views.
God is not a person who stands outside of nature; there is no one to hear our prayer, or someone to punish us for our miss deeds, there is no afterlife, the holy books were only written by men. Every representation of god is a projection of the imagination and everything on the religious calendar is pure superstition.
I am not an atheist although my concept about god is nothing from what is compared to the holy books.
God is your inspiration your power God is so many things to so many people. The one light of the sun, the sound of sweet music, an inner voice that drives us forward, a friend. If you ask me who god is I would say god is truth, god is reason, god is the universe and its laws, god is the nature around us whatever is, is in god and nothing can exist or be conceived without god. God is the best version of me that I strive to be every day.