I love following thoughts down their rabbit holes.
When I was about 7 or so, someone gave me a book of christian bible stories. Over the months and years, I’d keep returning to them. Eventually I wondered, from these stories given to children, why this god was so cruel. Why this god would part the sea for one group of people… and drown another. Why this god lacked compassion for humanity… even if humanity was unkind. Why this god punished Moses after years of devotion. Why this god played cruel games of life and death just to see if humans were devoted enough to him. Not quite that articulate, but the general gist was there.
By the time I was a teen, most of my peers were distinct atheists which I hopped on board with, easily, and left my childhood deep in the spiritual closet. Now I think the age of enlightenment and science in the 18th century… was necessary in pushing back against religion… in particular, when I refer to religion, I’m mostly thinking of the church with its dogmatic worldview, where god is an omnipotent presence that is fair, yet cruel. That the abrahamic religions teach obedience to a power outside of ourselves under threat of death or retribution. Not so much the latter anymore, unless you wanted to listen to someone preach about damnation in hell.
Science too, is a worldview. An empirical one, mostly. In the learning of it, I learned it was better to think, than to feel. Not that there is anything wrong with thinking. But there is so much to be gained, by dropping into the heart, by connecting the mind with the heart. At some point, science and religion felt ironically similar to me – that they could both be dogmatic about what the truth was.
But they are both worldviews. Every domain offers its worldviews. Psychology might be my favourite because of the way it straddles the known and the unknown. In other words, it seems to be firmly rooted in what is valuable today… but it looks for answers that we can’t easily see and measure.
We all have a shadow. That’s Jung’s idea. And to believe religiously in an identity… any identity, would suggest an unexamined shadow because we repress that which threatens the identity we’ve inherited and constructed.
The ancient greeks and romans knew that their deities were archetypes that existed within themselves. That’s Jung as well.
So where is god’s wife? Where is god’s counterpart? And is she… a goddess in her own right… or is she only god’s wife? Where is the feminine? Where is the archetypal symbolism for the feminine? What about the other faces of god?
When I began engaging with spirituality, taking it out of the closet because life had dealt me a traumatic experience, I would feel uncomfortable, taking it on as an identity and distinctly repelling of the notion of god. Not unusual. What I could accept, however, was replacing god with the notion of the Universe, because unlike this concrete yet abstract concept of a man in white robes sitting in the clouds, the universe was fathomable in its immensity and its mystery.
And so I realised, if I’m spiritual, if I came from stardust, romantically speaking, if reincarnation and any wild concept that I engage with, is true on some level, then so is everyone else’s reality, and that being the case… is there a difference between a spiritual reality and a non-spiritual reality… except for the way we see it? We’re in the same soup, the same milky way, the same universe, the same planet. And what I know will always be surpassed by what I don’t know, except that I’m human and I’m totally flawed.
There are genuinely, so many paths to walk and no right or wrong way because all of them lead to self-discovery, some paths more feminine than others. Feminine… in the energetics. I’m uncomfortable with god with a capital G because it’s not a path.
There are, have been, persecution and wars, that are fought in the name of this god. Generations of women have died, in the name of this god. Anyone, once of a different opinion, have died in the name of this god.
Why do we still hold him up on a pedestal?
Not really a question… but rather, why do we naively continue to perpetuate this god? I used to feel mild about this… but the more I understand about history, the stronger I feel about it. And even so, I understand the why. When people turn away from the church, they are turning away from the dogma but what’s left is disillusion.
I will acknowledge the masculine deities that exist, otherwise known as archetypes in psychology and even more so, I will acknowledge the feminine.
I will go where there is a focus on self-discovery, on finding the answers within, on understanding or accepting ourselves as we are, on opening the mind and the heart… on honouring the feminine as equally powerful, and in a vastly different capacity.
And so, I don’t have a god.