Comments from an “unbelieving” friend (since deleted by him) on an essay I’d written recently (“On the Persistence of Real Memories” on my Facebook page or here, as "Memories of Hurt") made me realize I’d made,
once again, the common but somewhat foolish mistake of “projecting my insides on someone else’s outsides”. By that I mean: I assumed he understood what I meant by “God” and further assumed (obviously incorrectly) that his
challenging question about an assertion I’d made about God referred to the same God I know, personally.
It did not. I think my friend was thinking of something or someone far more limited and anthropomorphic than the sentient being I had
Risking yet another, possibly incorrect, projection, I think my younger friend, like many other people (maybe even the majority), believes, as I once did (I remember clearly), the universe is like Caesar’s erroneous description
of “Gaul” (“All Gaul is divided into three parts…”), although in most of our cosmologies there are only two parts: ourselves and everything else.
In this assumption, we are like fish who don’t know we’re
wet; we don’t know that we are permeated, sustained, and nourished by the water. But we are, nevertheless, thoroughly and completely, inside and out, wet. We are also not even able to survive a moment in and other condition.
But that analogy is incomplete: the fact is water, earth, air, space, the stars, the galaxies, and all the things associated with and in them – all the material universe (or universes), both seen and unseen -- and its/their inhabitants are
as to the God I was speaking of – the God that I have glimpsed in intimate interaction – as the fish is to the water.
It’s not that my God IS everything, my God CONTAINS everything. Nothing that is exists without
His will or forbearance.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life,
and that life was the light of all mankind.” (John 1:2-5)
“‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’” (Acts 17:28 – the Apostle
Paul to the Greeks of the Areopagus -- a council of aristocrats -- on Ares'/Mars’ Hill in Athens, quoting the Cretan philosopher Epimenides & the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus).
It’s a kind of schizophrenic, but, sadly, not
uncommon mad idea that we can be something somehow apart from God, but He himself so loves us that He will let us remain in that delusional world we’ve made for ourselves until the second death we’ve chosen for ourselves in the lake of fire (Rev.
21:8), or until we become conscious of and obedient to the Loving being that created and surrounds and penetrates our innermost being.
We have no secret spaces, thoughts, memories, dreams, nightmares, plans, or ideas that are unknown to Him.
The remarkable and utterly good news is that He loves us anyway and will transform all of those in ways that our currently “fishy” consciousness cannot encompass if we seek to become more lovingly aware of Him that we swim with and in and more
lovingly considerate of all of our lesser fellow creatures of the seas; we can become “seeing” creatures.