I, for one, am very grateful for my evolving beliefs about God. I have found peace in believing that it is not God’s primary intention to test us–nor to solve our problems once we’ve “dotted all our i’s and crossed all our t’s.” In things both spiritual and temporal, I believe he waits for us to think things through, to try things out, to ask questions, to seek meaning, to learn from our experience, to determine what is good, to fill our lives with joy –which is the very purpose of our being here.
Having one’s understanding of God gift-wrapped in the revelations of a holy book or a living oracle may be comforting, but it tends to keep one from a free, responsible search for truth, goodness, and meaning. Relying on (i.e. fully trusting) the received wisdom of one’s prophet, guru, or holy book as the “Answer” to all of life’s questions is the very seedbed for stagnancy and susceptibility, for it diminishes one’s inherent wisdom/conscience/perception while also thwarting future personal growth and enlightenment. More troubling, however, is that blind submission to authority can lead individuals to do atrocious acts which they would never have considered without the religious indoctrination fueling the flames of hate.
Enslavement of the mind via religious tyranny is a pathetic condition, a tremendous opportunity cost for the oppressed, and I cannot believe it is a divine principle. My experience is that God does not force us to see things his way! I imagine he delights in our strivings but also accepts us at whatever spiritual place we “rest” or “abide in” for a time. How different from religions who attempt to force their adherents to accept and follow their “Way” to salvation, who hold up the threat of eternal damnation for those who cannot believe. Exercising coercion with fear-filled threats is diabolical, in my view. How ironic. I worship a much more benign God, a god of complete understanding, who is thrilled at our wonder, ambitions, and growth but who also sympathizes with us when we are simply not ready to change.
I have experienced the great blessing it is to wonder, to inquire, to open the door to my heart. The Inner Search– seeking the “light within”–is a process I’ll never tire of.