Searching for God – but what does the concept of “God” mean? What properties do we attribute to God? How can we talk about any kind of transcendent concept by using language that belongs to “our” world? And perhaps everybody has a completely different concept of God anyway, including the notion that “God” is just a man-made, naïve, imaginary fantasy? Whatever meaning you attribute to “God”, I feel it is quite difficult to grasp the idea of God by using words.
Words are great for describing people, animals and things that we see around us. We can use words and linguistic structures to communicate our human feelings and thoughts to our fellow beings and to structure events in time and space. But in relation to God, words seem inadequate, or perhaps words are just insufficient tools for defining any experience that goes beyond our horizon.
Throughout history, many religious mystics have pointed out how difficult is to describe their contact with the divine by using our human languages – and still those mystics have written about their experiences many times. And many great thinkers such as philosophers, novelists and poets, have wrestled with the concept of God, with different outcomes such as Nietzsche’s famous “God is dead”. But thinkers continue to think about “God” even after Nietzsche.
In today’s Scandinavia, many people would claim that they don’t believe in God. The Protestant Church of Sweden (our former state church) is rapidly losing its members. Religion has hardly any influence on today’s politics in Sweden or on the organisation of our municipalities, and most people (including myself) certainly prefer it that way. At the same time, more and more people define themselves, not as atheists, but as believers in “something”. The belief in “something” has even been defined as the “largest faith” in Sweden today, according to a recent radio show (“I believe in something, but I am not religious”)
So why do so many stick to the idea of believing in “Something”? Why don’t we just let go of it all? Why do many people who experience pain and bereavement still turn to priests in order to find spiritual comfort in an existential crisis? In spite of all our doubts and intellectual wrestling, there still seems to be an instinct within us which makes us turn to Something – Somebody – God? – when we feel completely alone and there is absolutely nothing left to do but to ask for help.
Martinus would say that human beings (and animals) have a religious instinct that makes us instinctively turn to a Godhead when we are in need for help. As time goes by – in the endlessly long chain of incarnations that Martinus describes – this religious principle develops through different stages, from a stage of belief through a non-believing stage of materialism and finally to cosmic consciousness, which he himself experienced and wrote about. But even the non-believing stage can be characterized as a stage of belief – a belief in nothing or a belief in death. You can find an illustration of this development in Martinus’ Symbol No. 4: The Road Towards Light.
But today, in 2018, God is a probably a difficult topic to talk about for most people in our part of the world. It might even be a taboo subject, as Jens Christian Hermansen explains in this podcast with Mary McGovern entitled “Is God Coming Back to Life?” (see below from The Martinus Cosmology Podcast). According to this episode, current research in consciousness seems to point in the direction of a new, modern understanding of God or a “God Coming Back to Life”. Jens Christian also tells us about Martinus’ concept of God as an entity that consists of all living beings in the endless universe. According to this view, nothing exists outside God and we cannot really experience anything that is not a part of God – whether we believe this or not.
This notion of God may be new and old at the same time, and equally difficult to describe with words today as it was for medieval mystics. But for me, the question of God – and how we can communicate with God – becomes more important every day in my life. Sometimes I feel as if I am quite certain that God exists, but that he/she/it eludes me somehow, as if hovering behind a curtain. I cannot really communicate with God the way I want, the way you would communicate with your most intimate friend, as Martinus has written.
But I remember once hearing a lecture about small children running away from their parents and getting lost. If a small child gets lost, the expert told us, the child would probably not react if you call out his or her name, since the child doesn’t think that he or she is lost. Seen from the child’s perception, it is Mother or Father, or any other adult that cares for the child, that has disappeared and is out of sight. I keep thinking that it may be the same for us in our relationship with God. We are lost, but feel as if God has disappeared – or is dead – or has never existed. But children instinctively miss their parents. I myself miss God and I am searching for God in my real, daily life. I believe Martinus’ writings is a great resource in this search, which is also why I want to write this blog.