God ― The Most Abused Word

God is a powerful word.  It means different things depending on your worldview.  Let’s all take a breath and relax.  We need to talk about how this word affects our lives.

The Affects of The Word God

God is a word which creates division between people.  In some cultures, to speak of God as a metaphor is a taboo. To question the origins of the recognized Supreme Being is a serious issue.  In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s a crime punishable by death.  So, let’s be brave and discuss the word, God.  So, we tread carefully on this sacred ground.

The most logical place to start is with the Abrahamic religions. There are the religions of Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  These systems aren’t new.  They are the result of combining Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Assyrian mystery religions.  Today there are over 10,000 versions of these religions.  Beliefs differ depending on the sect and the teacher.  Western organized religion has over 3 billion members.  So, they have a critical mass effect on many cultures.  That means even if you aren’t a follower you are still very much under their influence.  But, among believers, there are also a variety of beliefs.  Everyone has a unique approach to the subject of a higher power.

“Gods are metaphors transparent to transcendence. And my understanding of the mythological mode is that deities and even people are to be understood in this sense, as metaphors”…― Joseph Campbell

However, some mistake the metaphor for a fact.  When this happens belief overcomes reason.  For the most part, it is not their fault.  Many people have indoctrinated into the dominant religion of their culture.  This is possible through the process of groupthink manipulation. This is a brainwashing technique which is the basis for Western theology.

Loving God more than People

“Man’s inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow-man. The love of God means wasted love. ‘For God and Country’ means a divided allegiance — a 50 percent patriot.― Joseph Lewis

What happens when we elevate an imaginary being above the people and the planet?  That is obvious.  Organized religion is the root of much of the world’s crimes against man.  It seems to contradict the message that the creator wants us to love one another.  Instead, we use various forms of mythology as an excuse to hate.

When word God becomes meaningless

The most abused word in the language of man is the word, God.  The reason for this is that it is subject to so much abuse. There is no other word in the human language that is as meaningless and incapable of explanation as is the word ‘God.’ It is the beginning and end of nothing. It is the Alpha and Omega of Ignorance. ― Joseph Lewis

Since the word God can mean anything, it becomes the reason and excuses the exercise of hate.  The word God becomes the excuse to commit unspeakable acts of violence. It spawns racial, ethnic and religious genocide.  It’s the reason for gender discrimination and subjugation.  Knowledge is the enemy of ignorance.

Opinion without substance

It has as many meanings as there are minds. And as each person has an opinion of what the word God ought to mean, it is a word without premise, without foundation, and without substance. It is without validity. And, It is all things to all people and is as meaningless as it is indefinable. So, it is the most dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous and is the joker that trumps the ace. It is the poisoned word that has paralyzed the brain of man. ― Joseph Lewis

The nice thing about metaphors is they are capable of expressing any meaning we choose. Perhaps this why there are more than 2,000 different supreme beings and almost 50,000 variations on this theme.

Overusing any word makes it meaningless.  This applies to the word God.  Semantic satiation makes it confusing, divisive and volatile all at the same time.  It is a figure of speech.  It’s a term for something to which we infuse with meaning. And, the meaning is contradictory and unsupportable by logic or reason. This is why all religions have priests, ministers, and clergy.

Overcoming Reason with Belief

‘The fear of the Lord’ is not the beginning of wisdom; on the contrary, it has made man a groveling slave; it has made raving lunatics of those who have attempted to interpret what God ‘is’ and what is supposed to be our ‘duty’ to God. It has made man prostitute the most precious things of life—it has made him sacrifice wife, and child, and home.  ‘In the name of God’ means in the name of nothing—it has caused man to be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life because there is no God.” ― Joseph Lewis, An Atheist Manifesto

Fear is a primal motivator.  Our fears become our limits.  We become comfortable living out life stuck in the clutches of a dualistic framework.  Faith becomes the trap for our intellect.  It is not just a worldview without validity.  It’s a worldview which prompts followers to violently protect their God.    

Overall, this manifesto is a bold statement against the concept of theism and for a humanist approach.

What is Humanism?

Humanism is not a religion.  Humanism is a philosophy emphasizing critical thinking.  This philosophy has three guiding principles.

  1. See all living things as equally valuable.  This includes all human beings, all living things, and especially the environment.  Profit should not take precedence over preserving the health of people or the environment.
  2. See our role in the world as caretakers of the future. Look to science and reason instead of mythology and superstition.  Champion the use of the scientific approach to solving the problems.
  3. Promote the fair and equitable flourishing of all people, championing human rights for everyone.
Don’t Confuse Spiritual Exploration with Religion

Spiritual Exploration is the practice of processes for expanding awareness and opening the doors to other states of consciousness.  These processes have absolutely nothing to do with religion or belief in God.

In Conclusion

Thank you for reading this article. We welcome your opinion. We hope it provides some food for thought.  You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog. Also, please take a few minutes to learn about our mission at the “about” tab.  If you have questions about spiritual exploration, then click on the frequently asked questions tab FAQ.

Our blended learning process at the core of our mission.  This makes it possible for people to learn several techniques at the same time.  And, it aligns perfectly with the phases of the Hero’s Journey.  This is the term Joseph Campbell uses to describe the universal pattern of consciousness development.

Finally, if this inner quest is of interest check out the virtual learning sessions link.  It mirrors the curriculum in our face-to-face workshops.  And, please consider donating to support our mission of providing these ancient spiritual development tools.

Image by Unsplash.

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