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Friday Inspiration - 6 November 2009
By Melissa Bult

The God Word

Hello everyone,

Over the weekend while running a workshop I had to ask the participants if they were comfortable with the word God or not.  You see the word God has lots of stigma attached to it for many people and can trigger all kinds of responses.  I had also recently been listening to best selling author Caroline Myss talk about her book ‘Entering the Castle’ and heard her talk about how much we have used ‘our God’ as leverage and how attached we are to whose God is the right one.  All of this got me thinking about what one of the most loaded words in our world actually means.  So today’s inspiration is what I have discovered.

There has been fighting over spiritual or religious ideas since the beginning of time.  Many people have been tortured, killed or even sacrificed in the name of gods or thee God.  We have everything from the original polytheism where multiple deities were worshiped, to the birth of monotheism (one true God) religions.  Both types of religions still exist today as does the disagreement of who is right. 

I have been watching some TV drama’s recently which are based on the Tudor period of England and Europe.  What I still find so astounding each time I reflect on this part of history is how much blood was shed and how much suffering occurred in the name of God.  Kings and Religious leaders ruled over the lesser classes and took advantage of their ignorance to hold power and riches, claiming of course that this was God’s will. 

If you bought into the very clever marketing of the Catholic church of the time which created the very scary demon/hell concept then you were too scared to do anything but abide by the rules even if you were educated enough to know you were being abused.  Sadly, this still seems to be rampant in areas or countries of lesser education and wealth and has been purposely taken to these areas by apparently well meaning people. 

Now my intention here is actually not to run down religion.  There are many good things about religions but the damage that has been done in the name of God is incredibly sad to me.  Hearing of the behaviour of Brian Tamaki – (founder of Destiny Church) being brought to light so that people can see it clearly, seems very relevant to the awakening we are experiencing on the planet right now.  People are waking up and asking questions and are no longer willing to take things at face value.  Sadly, the damage that has been done has pushed many people away from the spiritual nurturing and support that can come from a connection with God. 

I myself attended a Catholic school (a choice I made) and found that it pushed me away from using the word God for several years.  It was a long journey back to feeling comfortable enough to connect with the word and ideas it brought about.  When I changed my mind about what the word meant to me, it changed the way I felt about it.

So what does it actually mean?  Well I did some research and found they do not know where the word originates.  There is much debate over where it was derived from and it has many meanings depending on who you talk to.  It is thought to be a relatively new European invention and may have come from either the Sanskrit word hu which means to call upon, invoke or implore or the words used for Buddha – Gotama, Godama, Gautama.  From my research in general I found no one seems to know and a definition is also hard to agree on.

Some have ruled out that it has anything to do with the word ‘good’, although maybe the word good comes from the word God, I’m not sure.  The American Heritage Dictionary quotes the word God as meaning - A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, originator and ruler of the universe, the principle object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.  This probably sums up what one would typically expect to hear as a meaning.

What is so interesting is that the word means so many things to different people as so it is really hard to define it and for some it means nothing at all.  It can stir a wide range of feelings in us and cause everything from great joy to great anger.  Words of course hold no power unless we give meaning to them and so it is up to the individual which meaning they wish to attribute if any at all. 

Various religions of course have different words to describe the same source like – Hinduism which has a long list of options including Bhagwan (God), Ishvara (Cosmic Controller or Lord) and many more.  In Judaism they prefer not to use the sacred name of God which is widely debated due to translation of Hebrew but generally thought to be Yahweh.  They believe you should not write or speak the word but if you do then whatever it is written on must be kept sacred.  Instead they use the words ‘Adonai’ (meaning Lord) or ‘Hashem’ (the name).  Islam use ‘Allah’.  Traditional Chinese religions use Shangdi (king above) or Shen (God, spirit, deity).  Native cultures such as the American Indians used terms like ‘the great spirit’ or ‘father sky and mother earth’ (representing the feminine and masculine aspects). 

Today I find in spiritual circles where the word God is considered uncomfortable things like ‘Source’, ‘The All’, ‘The Divine’, ‘The Great Divine Spirit’ are all used as alternatives.  Many have taken to using ‘The Universe’ as an alternative but really the universe is only a part of the All and not the All itself so it is not entirely energetically accurate if you want to get technical.

I think the whole point is that we benefit from having some kind of connection with a spiritual source however that feels right for us and if certain words are either misunderstood or have negative connotations you can choose how you wish to feel about those words or find one that works for you.  Many wonderful teachings have been misused for power and money rather than their original intention and through poor understanding.  For example my understanding of the word ‘sin’ is to forget yourself (to forget your divine soul self) it does not mean to do bad or evil things (although we do those things when we forget ourselves).  The idea of turning to God when you have sinned means to be reminded (by returning to source energy) so that your pain of forgetfulness might be lifted, for your sake, not because you need to appease God.  Interesting huh?! 

I do not see God as a man in the sky looking down and judging us.  We have placed humanistic qualities on the God concept and tried to label and pin down really something that is way too big for us to conceptualise correctly.  Seeing it as separate from yourself also brings a sense of pain that is unnecessary, you are a part of the All and therefore have the option to reach for the god-self (higher self) in you rather than feeling like you are worshiping something outside of yourself. 

So take some time to contemplate what your beliefs are, how you feel about them and whether you wish to have any at all.  For most of us in Westernised countries we have the power to choose our beliefs and we must choose wisely for where you place your faith is the foundation for your life in many ways.  You belief structures about yourself, life and the concept of a God, all contribute to what you create and how you respond to life.  Choose the beliefs that nourish you! 

‘As I searched for God, I found my Self. Then one day as I searched for my Self, I found God’ - Sufi Proverb

Love and blessings

Melissa x

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