This title evokes a reaction in us. Atheists will say; “I don’t believe in God.” Believers of every denomination will push back because their system of faith distinguishes between “innies” and “outies.”
Jews worship Yahweh. Christians worship Jesus. Muslims worship Allah. Buddhism is non-theistic so one wouldn’t usually say they worship Buddha. Buddhism is an incarnation of Hinduism which has thousands of gods that are worshiped. These are only a broad swatch of main world religions, but there are thousands of tribal gods, historical gods, and mythological gods to which people are fiercely loyal. Atheists are not exempt, they are loyal to their faith in no God.
This is why religion is not discussed at dinner parties. For many, the topic of God is so subjective and unprovable, that it has been relegated to the sphere of personal preference, not unlike interior paint color. Yet it’s deeply personal and people get defensive.
Faith is a byproduct of Truth. It is impossible to define any aspect of truth without a faith commitment. Thus we are all people of faith because we all know something of the truth, but none of us know all truth. Faith is fidelity to that portion of truth we possess.This levels the playing field. We only differ in the object of our faith.
Interfaith organizations strive to diminish the differences between faith systems by reducing things to semantics. While I appreciate their goal of unity, I think larger problems emerge. When an organization validates certain shared truth claims, but invalidate others, they become the arbiters of truth and we get no further than the single religion claiming they are the only true religion.
So is there a God for everyone? Or many gods for many personalities? Is it one God with many names? Many expressions? These are common conclusions, but if we lack wisdom, we end up in a semantics quagmire again, or believing God is a conception of mankind.
If there is a God, then he/she must be accessible to all people of all times in all places. A God that loves a few and hates everyone else is the antiquated story line of ancient people who made God into their own image and then passed it down to us. A religion that plays “Red Rover” with the culture in hopes of making a convert is not promoting God so much as their system and I think modern people are wise in their skepticism. Face it, many faith based tribes are not that different than a multi-level marketing plan. Yes, religious systems can do a great job of introducing us to God and spirituality, but none of them can get us all the way there. Religion is not the same as God, it’s too small of a container. This is why so many people describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. I attribute this to a raise in collective consciousness.
This is our clue to finding the God of everybody. The moment we grasp God consciousness, we enter into common ground. God is that which is behind all things, beyond measurement, beyond words, beyond our systems, but not beyond our consciousness.
I will now use mathematics to prove that we all share some amount of God consciousness..
Toddlers know experientially the difference between one cookie and two cookies and as such has a rudimentary math consciousness. A quantum physicist also experientially knows math. The mathematical reality of numbers going on forever proves something infinite exists and we intuit life everlasting. Math is required for our banking, our building, our hiking, or cooking. No one on earth is exempt from experientially knowing math, yet many don’t know it formally. None of us know it equally.
We need to rethink our God categories which are likely too small. Mathematics is not empirically provable, but all empiricism is based upon it. Mathematics is not a convention of man, but an ongoing discovery. It’s infinite, unfathomable, but learnable for all comers. What truth we gain from it on day one, is true at our greatest understanding.
If this can be true for math, this must also be true for God. David said “The sum of your word is Truth.”(Psalm 119:160). God and Math share the truth framework. This helps us see the advent of God into the world. I’m not saying God and mathematics are the same thing, only that the presence and function of one makes the other a valid possibility.
When it comes to God, we all start somewhere. We all know something of math and Truth and thus God. None of us know all of it, but we all benefit from knowing more. And there is so much more to know, but at least this is a place where the whole world can begin their inquiry. Next week, we will explore what knowing actually means.