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Joseph DillardDr. Joseph Dillard is a psychotherapist with over forty year's clinical experience treating individual, couple, and family issues. Dr. Dillard also has extensive experience with pain management and meditation training. The creator of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), Dr. Dillard is the author of over ten books on IDL, dreaming, nightmares, and meditation. He lives in Berlin, Germany. See: integraldeeplistening.com

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Reposted from Healing Integral with permission of the author.

How to Avoid Problems Inherent in "God" Language

Joseph Dillard

The following is taken from “Healing Integral,” which is available as a free or “pay what feels right” download here. In either case, the text is requested by emailing Joseph.Dillard@gmail.com. A summary of “Healing Integral” has been posted on IntegralWorld.net and is available here. Those who share a solution focus on increasing the relevance of Integral for the world are invited to join our working group, the Integral Healing Reading Group on Facebook.
The problems for Integral with using the word “God” are multiple and serious. They aren’t trivial.

The problems for Integral with using the word “God” are multiple and serious. They aren’t trivial. People who believe in God generally assume that life would be meaningless without Him, Her, or It. They also believe that thoughts are things, that is, because they can think of a concept like God that it necessarily implies the existence of God. They assume that their personal experiences of God are not only accurate depictions of an external reality but that these personal experiences accurately reflect universal experiences and truths. But these assumptions are essentially beliefs, coated with a thin veneer of rationality. The ability to think a concept does not imply its reality, despite what St. Anselm or Descartes might claim.[1] That you or I have an experience of oneness does not imply that oneness is the same for everyone, as demonstrated by the many conflicting historical experiences of oneness, God and godlessness, as in Buddhism.

Many people assume that the non-use of “God” implies either atheism or agnosticism. It is therefore impossible to challenge this concept without being labeled an atheist or agnostic by those who make such assumptions. To not use God does not indicate a disbelief in what “God” generally stands for: life, in the fullest meaning of the term. The suspension of belief and disbelief does not necessarily land one in atheism or agnosticism either. What it does do is open you to possibilities that transcend and include language. In addition, atheism and agnosticism are subject to the same problems as theism, because they are also statements about the ultimate nature of reality.

The concept of God and its synonyms are increasingly dated

While the concept of God is extremely useful and motivational for people at various prepersonal stages of development, its support for waking up, like other words and concepts based on belief and faith but that do not include reason, diminishes the farther you climb on the cognitive line beyond prepersonal and early personal stages of development. While there are multiple reasons why the concept of God is used at earlier developmental stages, Buddhism demonstrates that healthy children can be raised without it.

With a growing population of the world fitting into one or another group that doesn’t find value in using the word “God,” it appears increasingly likely that God terminology is reaching its date of expiration. By choosing to continue to use “God language,” Integral is not charting a linguistic course that follows the evolution of consciousness (away from belief, through reason and questioning to experiential spaces that include but transcend both). Still young, Integral is already dating and contextualizing itself unnecessarily.

This is also indicated by growing attempts to use more contemporary synonyms that are even more murky, vague, ambiguous and over-determined than God. These share with God an attempt to say what is ultimately real, that is, make an ontological statement in the context of the via affirmativa. Attempts to renovate the outgrown, asbestos-filled and termite eaten habitation represented by the concept of “God” include such terms as “the Divine,” “cosmic consciousness,” “the Void,” “emptiness,” “sunyata,” “the superconscious,” “Atman,” “Self,” “Absolute Being,” “Almighty,” “Creator,” “Father-Mother,” “Gaia,” “Lord,” “Jehovah,” “universal energy,” “universal life force” and “Infinite Spirit.” Equating “emptiness,” “sunyata” or “nirvana” with God are embarrassing disclosures of profound ignorance of Buddhism.

Perhaps my favorite synonym is “quantum.” By attempting to make religion and spirituality sound like science, God is supposed to gain unimpeachable credibility. The joke is that it makes these people sound like they know nothing about religion, spirituality or science to all but the naïve.

“God” excludes important and growing portions of the target population of Integral

The concept of God does not work for traditional Buddhists, secular humanists, agnostics, atheists or those who simply do not equate life with the concept or experience of God. Integral chooses to use terminology that doesn’t appeal to an important and growing segment of Integral’s potential audience, those whose cognitive line has attained to mid-personal, meaning they think clearly enough to recognize that the concept of God, however you package it, is hopelessly prepersonal and pre-rational.

Intrinsic ambiguity

Put bluntly, there is an archaic God, a magic God, a mythic God, a mental God, and an integral God. Which God do you believe in?[2]

There are more versions of God than there are releases of the Windows operating system. Which version of God are we talking about? Is it the Old Testament God of war, rules, and obedience, or is it the New Testament God of love and sacrifice? Are we talking about Shiva, God as destroyer, Brahma, God as creator, or Vishnu, God as sustainer? Are we talking about the immanent or transcendent God, or both? Or neither? Or is God pure spirit and energy in a universe of quantum possibilities?

An archaic God sees divinity in any strong instinctual force. A magic God locates divine power in the human ego and its magical capacity to change the animistic world with rituals and spells. A mythic God is located not on this earth but in a heavenly paradise not of this world, entrance to which is gained by living according to the covenants and rules given by this God to his peoples. A mental God is a rational God, a demythologized Ground of Being that underlies all forms of existence. And an integral God is one that embraces all of the above.
Which of those Gods is the most important? According to an integral view, all of them, because each "higher" stage actually builds upon and includes the lower, so the lower stages are more fundamental and the higher stages are more significant, but leave out any one of them and you're in trouble. You are, that is, less than integral, less than comprehensive, less than inclusive in your understanding of God.[iii]

But the problem extends far beyond the God of this or that level. Which line are we referencing, the cognitive, empathetic, emotional, spiritual, moral or all of the above? Are we talking about God as a state, as in a type of mystical or near death experience? Are we talking about God as one quadrant or all of them? What are the social, cultural, behavioral and psychological contexts for the particular God-version we are referring to, since they change based on which God we mean? “God” has so many different meanings and associations that to use it means sacrificing clarity and instead opting for the warm and fuzzy inspirational comfort of prepersonal and pre-rational belief and habit. That is hardly an Integral approach to growth.

What we usually mean is the Humpty-Dumpty definition:

“'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'”

Wilber’s “Three faces of God”

“Wilber’s “I,” “We” and “It” “Three faces of God,” is an attempt by Integral to renovate a concept that is past its expiration date rather than simply pushing off from the familiar and comfortable shores of pre-rational metaphysics. These could more simply and accurately be called simply, “Three faces of life.” Despite its reliance on the use of the concept of God, Integral places all three aspects in the context of holons, acknowledging that God is one way of talking about the manifestation of life in form. This is an attempt to talk about God in terms of this or that holonic quadrant, or all four of them, in their interior and exterior aspects. Integral thereby relativizes the usefulness of any particular conception of God by making it one of three fundamental perspectives of life, all interdependent, all equally essential.

These “three faces” are oneness with life as nature and energy, life as experienced oneness in relationships, and life as oneness with clear awareness itself. We interact with our interior realm, with others, and objects in ways that can be more or less respectful. Life as oneness with clear awareness is the witness that witnesses you. This is also called “causal mysticism” or “the path of the sages.” However, Integral Deep Listening (IDL) does not find anything inherently mystical about it; like the other two aspects of life, it is part of the fabric of everyday experience, as interviews with emerging potentials make clear.

When life is experienced as oneness in your relationship to others, it inspires surrender, devotion, sacrifice, release, and most importantly, love and compassion. This is also called “deity mysticism,” or “the path of the saints.” Every IDL interview involves interaction with perspectives that personify aspects of oneness better than we do, in that they generally score higher than we do in one or more of the six core qualities of waking up and enlightenment. Life itself has the advantage of not carrying the historical baggage of God, including many varieties of anthropomorphism.

When life is experienced as oneness with nature and energy it is the vast impersonal evolutionary system, great interlocking order, great holarchy of being, great It, great system, great web of life, the great perfection of existence itself. Life arises in its third-person mode as interconnected planes and levels and spheres and orders. This is often called “nature mysticism” or “the path of the yogis,”[4] IDL interviews disclose “It” to be part of the immediately accessible fabric of everyday existence.

When a conception of God is depersonalized but maintained as oneness with nature and energy, the result is a repression of God as oneness through relationship, replaced by the deification of Gaia, the Web of Life, systems theory, akashic fields, chaos theory, and quantum everything. This may be accompanied by practices that attempt to attain oneness with God as pure witnessing consciousness, such as meditation.

IDL asks, “Why appeal to metaphysical concepts like God if “life” will do?” The word "God" does not provide information that "life" does not, particularly when you define life as Kosmos, Wilber's term for the unmanifest as well as the manifest universe.

Problems of communication

It is impossible to talk to others about “God” without either casting aside all questions or alternatively, becoming ensnared in a briar patch of them. In the first option, we cast aside all doubt and “know” that our understanding of God is the true and correct one and that the other person either believes the same way or will when they understand what we mean. This leads to a confirmation of our own biases; we hear only what we want to hear while ignoring contrary or different understandings expressed by other people. In the second option, reason gets in the way of, and perhaps sabotages, belief: Which version of God are we talking about? “God” has so many different meanings and associations that to use this loaded word means to give up on clarity and instead opt for warm and fuzzy inspirational comfort. But raising questions about one’s understanding of God in conversation generally leads nowhere, because God is a topic largely about belief and very little about reason.

Another problem is the pre-trans fallacy. Everyone is convinced their conception of God is transpersonal, trans-rational and spiritual; it is everyone else that doesn’t accept my definition of God that has a problem. Therefore, the work at hand is to educate everyone as to an appropriate understanding of God.

Unfortunately, I ruefully must say that I fear this is exactly the approach AQAL has taken. Instead of giving up on a bankrupt concept it says, “Here. Just use this multi-perspectival concept of God because it is truly transpersonal and embracing of all the religious and mystical traditions of the world.” But that can never solve the problem because the concept itself is metaphysical, which means it’s pre-rational. There isn’t any re-formulation that is going to change that reality. It is a prepersonal concept dressed up as a transpersonal one. It’s the pre-trans fallacy and AQAL itself makes an exception with “God” and commits the fallacy.

The via affirmativa does not include the via negativa or injunctive yogas

Whenever we use “God” we are embarking upon the via affirmativa. That is, we are saying what reality is, not what it is not, which is the via negativa, the preferred approach of mystics who are confronted with the ineffability of life. Nor are we saying what we need to do in order to wake up, become lucid or attain enlightenment. Such instructions are empirical, testable methodologies called yogas or “integral life practices.” Therefore, the term “God” is partial, despite our protestations that by definition, it includes everything, including the via negativa and the injunctive path and everyone in a blissful state of acceptance and compassionate union. It is partial because it leaves out, ignores or discounts two equally important alternative developmental pathways. There is nothing Integral about that.

God as rescuer

The concept of God is often framed as an interpersonal and anthropomorphic understanding of oneness. Interpersonal “Thou” approaches to oneness with life can easily generate drama and immersion in the Drama Triangle. This is because God tends to be placed in the role of rescuer and humanity in the role of victim. Sin, evil, estrangement, and self, because they create separation from God, tend to be put in the role of persecutor. Once the Drama Triangle is established, the roles circulate endlessly. Rescuing God becomes persecuting God when pain, misery or bad luck happens; Persecuting God becomes victim God when He/She/It is blamed for human misfortune. Because the role of rescuer disempowers waking identity by making it dependent on something or someone else, God at some point is blamed for this disempowerment. At that point, God switches roles from beneficent rescuer to self-righteous and justified persecutor. Believers now have to figure out how to rescue themselves from a persecuting Ultimate.[5]

By definition, God is not an equal “we” in an adult-to-adult relationship with us. To fit God into such a relationship is reductionistic, squeezing the infinite into the iron maiden of human conceptualizations. This is why “we” relationships with God are projective, wish-fulfillment quicksand; we want to have a relationship with God but we want it to be on our terms. This is not only pre-rational; it is grandiose.

However, to not demand an adult-to-adult relationship implies a parent-child, superior-inferior relationship. If both adult-to-adult and parent-child relationships with God are unsatisfactory, the answer is usually to have it both ways: to switch to adult-to-adult definitions of man’s relationship with God when parent-child definitions are outed as rescuer-victim relationships but then to switch to parent-child definitions of man’s relationship with God when adult-to-adult definitions are recognized as being an attempt to anthropomorphize the infinite.

There are societal benefits for such interpersonal and therefore anthropomorphic conceptions of God. Priests and gurus become necessary as guides to lead us out of sin or ignorance into God’s good graces, dharma or enlightenment. All of this is very strange, twisted, and unnecessary, having little to do with life itself past prepersonal stages of development, but becomes almost a necessary perceptual cognitive distortion as soon as union with an interpersonal God becomes the only perceived route to salvation and enlightenment. What is Integral about any of that?

For those who dismiss such definitions of God as prepersonal formulations that they have outgrown, while we can say about holons, “It’s turtles all the way up and all the way down,” so we can say the same about relationships, including ours with God, “It’s drama all the way up and all the way down.” While it gets increasingly subtle, the possibility of falling into drama never goes away.

The diminution of direct, sacred experiences of life

What of the experience of God? Many people could care less about the concept of God or a belief in God because God is a direct personal experience for them. This may be due to an altar call, a dream, a mystical or near death experience. These people have had an experience of overwhelming oneness, love, compassion and acceptance and their word for that is "God." Sadly, “God” or any of its myriad synonyms, mis-defines their experience. In an attempt to elevate their experience to signify oneness and unlimited goodness and acceptance, they unwittingly discount it and lower it into a conceptual box by calling their experience "God" or some synonym for God. In order to understand and communicate, they move the ineffable, transcendent and transcendental into the realm of dualism, distinctions and conceptualism. They move the processes that make up experience into the static and artificial realm of being. There is nothing Integral about that.

How useful is the idea of God?

The truth test of usefulness can be applied to the concept of God. It states, “In order to know why an idea is used and another is not, look at how it functions for individuals and society.” When you look at “God” through this lens, you immediately find that its purpose is to inspire, reassure, provide security, and set boundaries.

There are important psychological and social benefits to believing in God, most of them prepersonal and associated with the moral line of development. For example, let us imagine you are a parent, religious leader, or political leader. If you want your child, followers, or citizens to obey you, it will not be as effective to demand obedience based on your authority as it is to tell them to obey because God tells them that if they do they will be blessed, happy and his chosen people and if they do not they will suffer eternal torment. Most people are much more likely to work like a slave if they are told it is in service to God. You are much more likely to comply with the orders of priests, rulers, teachers and other authorities if you believe that to do otherwise will bring God’s eternal wrath down upon your head. Every type of action is best explained and justified, from the perspective of authority, either as “God’s will” or as a sin against God.

The social and personal functions of this stratagem are to provide many of the roles typically expected of parents but which are generally absent in one way or another. In this way, society can increase the likelihood that important parental norms are passed on even if parents lack them. As children accept the concept of God they develop a conscience and learn to police themselves. They are afraid to trespass God’s commandments because they don’t want to feel guilty, shameful, sinful or a social pariah, an outcast from their support system. The concept of God serves this purpose not only for children, but for adults, as a creator and enforcer of societal rules and values.

Beyond this, the concept of God can inspire and motivate people to do and be better, benefits that can go all the way up through personal development into transpersonal levels. There is no doubt about this, and along with the social benefits mentioned above, these personal benefits are significant. If a person thinks that they will lose any of these if they give up use of “God,” they won’t; explaining to them that they can maintain parental discipline, conscience, adherence to societal rules and values, inspiration and motivation without it is often met either with incomprehension or heard as a direct threat. However, to use God language in order to avoid people feeling threatened, afraid or uncomfortable can appear, from personal or transpersonal perspectives, as if it is pandering to prepersonal dependencies. This is a problem for AQAL’s use of God language.

Obvious inconsistencies between the idea of God and the lives of the individuals and societies that use it

Many now argue that a belief in God has done more to keep people in servitude, deprived of civil and human rights, than just about any other belief system ever invented by humanity. In India, countless millions still live under the discrimination of the illegal and outlawed caste system because the God-sanctioned system of karma is so deeply engrained in the culture.

On the whole, the chasm between what those who profess a belief in God and the reality of the societies they create is wide and deep. For instance, slavery was not abolished by a belief in God. Instead, it was largely terminated in the 1800’s by an industrial revolution that no longer required captive labor to run society. A strong belief in God did not keep Catholic priests from molesting children routinely for centuries, nor did it keep the Church hierarchy from not only putting up with pedophilia but covering it up. A belief in God certainly hasn’t eliminated war; in fact, it has generally supported and justified it. The history of apartheid and torture in the name of God is long and horrific.

Rights for women and gays have not come about due to the love of God, either within or outside any religious tradition; they have achieved public acceptance because people are now putting human rights before other belief systems, including religion and a belief in God. When codified as laws, such declarations of rights say: “Believe whatever you want as long as you treat others with the respect you demand for yourself. If you don’t we will put limits on you so you won’t be able to limit the rights of others.” Obviously, society has a long way to go in enforcing these laws, but progress is being made.

God creates a disempowering duality where none exists

Once the concept of God is accepted into your belief system - and it comes as an inherent aspect of cultural scripting for most of us - your mind contrasts itself with God, creating a false duality that disempowers whomever you think you are at the moment. All power, glory, and salvation lie in God; you are, in comparison, nothing. Even when God is made immanent, there is an important and basic distinction between God and one’s precious consciousness. This divides life into the universal and the finite, the unified and the separate, the divine and the unholy, the sacred and the profane, the desired and the undesirable.

Life itself does not do this. It does not indulge in dualisms or express value judgments or preferences. Life moves where there is space and compatibility because there is space and compatibility, not because it has preferences.

The negation of any post-metaphysics

Integral cannot claim to generate a post-metaphysics when it adheres to an ontology that is clearly metaphysical. One either has to give up metaphysically-grounded language and concepts because they are inherently pre-rational, or give up claims to a post-metaphysics. In some places, Wilber clearly wants to maintain an ontology, that is, a belief that there really are separate “things,” including sentient beings, while on the other hand, he takes more of the stance of Buddhism, as he does when he says, “Being, as Hegel said, is simply the process of its own becoming.”[6]

In light of all this, why does Integral continue to use “God” language?

AQAL uses language that appeals to as many levels as possible on the assumption that people will take what makes sense to them at their level and ignore or discard the rest. Using the famous analogy of the blind men and the elephant, it is as if to say, “Blind man, we will acknowledge your part of the elephant not only as sacred, but as a meaningful definition of God. But these blind men are feeling life manifesting as this or that part of an elephant, are they not? Then why not simply speak of life? Where is the necessity of introducing a metaphysical concept into the experience of the blind men? Is not life itself sacred and meaningful enough?

The problem with such an approach is that as Wilber has pointed out in our usage of the words “spirit” and “spirituality,” it values affective, pre-rational connection over rational clarity. The result is that AQAL affirms the trans-rational by using pre-rational God language and associations. This is elevationism; how is this not an example of AQAL committing the pre-trans fallacy?

What was said above regarding problems with the use of the words “spirit” and “spirituality” by AQAL bears repeating here in reference to the use of “God” and its synonyms. When you stop using the word “God” you aren’t giving up what it refers to. Instead, you are doing two other things that are generally superior. First, you are opening yourself up to communicating not with synonyms but with experiential metaphors that are more likely to convey what is important—the experience that “God” refers to rather than an abstract cognitive understanding. Secondly, you are moving yourself into a clear, meditative, ineffable relationship to what “God” signifies, which means God no longer functions as a conceptual block to a deeper, broader openness to life. The fear that one will lose contact with God by no longer using the word “God” or various synonyms for God, indicates attachments to the mind and self-identification with conceptualizations. Letting go of “God” is a way to outgrow your attachment to your sense of self in important ways.

Alternatives

What are our options to using “God” and its synonyms? Instead, we can call such experiences encounters with the sacred, with overwhelming oneness, love, compassion and acceptance, felt as a relationship and warm, nurturing presence. We can talk about how the experience has affected us and how our lives are changed as a result. This is, after all, a focus on what matters: what we do with such experiences, not what we call them. We can also use the via negativa, which Buddha used when he refused to talk about God. We can say, “I can’t tell you, but I can show you. Follow these steps.” (The injunctive path.) The point is that there are multiple excellent alternatives that avoid the innate problems associated with “God.”

Think about what you want to say when you want to talk about God and then use an alternative, more meaningful descriptor. Do you want to indicate the foundation of all values, including love, or do you want to point toward a state of consciousness? Are you attempting to emphasize relationship? Do you want to refer to universal creativity or the source of all life? For example, if you want to refer to everything, both the manifest and unmanifest universe, as Wilber often does, why not use the Greek term he proposes, “Kosmos?” If you want to refer to the creative source of life in a feminine, naturalistic sense, many people use “Gaia,” which does not carry the majority of the luggage that “God” and its various surrogates do. As long as you narrowly and specifically define the words you choose so that they do not end up simply being synonyms for God, you are on the right track.

Most interviewed emerging potentials do not mention God

Suspend both belief and disbelief in God for a month and see what happens.

Emerging potentials, whether from dreams or as the personifications of life issues that are interviewed by IDL appear to function quite well without Him, Her or It. Perhaps you can as well. You can perform your own experiment and find out for yourself. Interview various personifications of God. As you do so you will expand your identity to include Him/Her/It. The more that you do so the less you will fear losing who and what you have now become. Consequently, IDL predicts you will outgrow your dependency on God language. Here is an example of what an IDL interview with God looks like.[7]

Suspend both belief and disbelief in God for a month and see what happens. Do bad things happen? Do good things happen? Does nothing different happen? You can always pick your previous position back up again if you want to. Consult with your own interviewed emerging potentials about it. See what they have to say. By all means, follow your life compass.

NOTES

[1] There are many “proofs” of the existence of God. The site "Hundreds of Proofs of God's Existence"does an excellent job of mocking all of them.

[2] Wilber, K. Which level of God do you believe in? Beliefnet.com

[3] Wilber, K. Which level of God do you believe in? Beliefnet.com

[4] “Panenhenic nature mysticism and Gaia worship, along with a considerably reinterpreted shamanism, focused on ecological consciousness and gross realm unity.”

“Alas, with this resurgence of nature mysticism has also come the standard, correlative distrust of all higher mystical states, including deity mysticism and formless mysticism. These are, as always, misinterpreted by panenhenic enthusiasts to be ‘other-worldly’ and therefore supposedly anti-earth, anti-Gaia, and anti-ecological, whereas they actually transcend and include all of those concerns. But the nature mystics have often come armed with venomous words for souls who seek yet deeper and higher occasions, and I believe it will be decades before this particular fury runs its unpleasant course. A Sociable God, p. 38-41.

[5] An account of the relationship between various religious traditions and the Drama Triangle can be found in Escaping the Drama Triangle in the Three Realms: Relationships, Thinking, Dreaming. Dillard, J.

[6] Eye to Eye, p. 281-282.

[7] An Interview with God:

God, I know that I am only interviewing my own limited, small conception of who and what you are. I know that I cannot capture or even conceive of your omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. I also know that if I were to have a face to face encounter with you, as some people do with near death experiences, I would most likely produce a very different interview. In addition, I know that my conversation with you doesn’t prove or represent anything for other people; it is only done to give others a little push toward doing their own interviews with you.

So God, how would you describe yourself?

God: I can be whatever or whomever you want me to be. And the more you take off your filters, the more overwhelming I am. When your perception is unlimited you experience me as a reflection of that: unlimited by space, time, or identity, completely accepting and all-knowing.

I don’t imagine you liking or disliking anything about yourself; I imagine you being beyond that, but I will ask anyway, because it’s a part of the IDL interviewing process: What do you like best about yourself? What are your strengths?

God: I like that I am always bigger than you are, and therefore a reflection of your potentials, inspiring you to be more than you are. I like my chameleon nature; I can be all things to all people.

And do you have anything you dislike about yourself or any weaknesses?

God: I can be so awesome as to be unattainable, totally transcendent, out of reach. The result is that you can have a sense of an unbridgeable gulf that leaves you desolate.

God, you sound a lot like a high-scoring emerging potential to me. They can seem perfect and therefore unattainable by imperfect humans.

God: That’s right.

Then how does that make you any different than say, an interviewed toothbrush?

God: It doesn’t. Why should it?

You are supposed to be different, in that you transcend and include everything, including all interviewed toothbrushes.

God: True, but it is the same difference. By definition I include all possible interviewed perspectives and personalities. If I transcend and include all possible emerging potentials am I not still an emerging potential, just maybe a higher scoring one?

OK, God. If you say so. What aspect of me do you most closely personify or represent?

God: Your potential for oneness.

What aspect of you do I most closely personify or represent for you?

God: My desire to wake-up.

If you could change in any way you wanted, would you, and if so, how?

God: I change all the time to fit the assumptions, expectations, and beliefs of different people. So since I can already change in any way people want me to, what more could one want?

But God, that’s changing for others. What do you want for you? To stay immutable and unchanging, perhaps?

God: That sounds dreadfully boring. No, I like my life the way it is, both still centeredness and an ever-renewing kaleidoscope of perspectives.

How would you score yourself in the six core qualities?

God: I am tens in all, of course, because I’m perfect.

What’s it like to be perfect?

God: Dreadfully boring, to tell you the truth. It’s a lot to live up to. Plus, if you can’t fail, how can you learn? The truth is that makes me a static concept, one that doesn’t change, evolve, or grow.

But God, man’s concept of you has changed as the consciousness of man has evolved. How can you say that you are static and don’t grow?

God: People won’t allow me to be the object of their disbelief in me. People won’t allow me to be their doubt in me. People won’t allow me to both exist and not exist. People won’t allow me to neither exist or not exist. If I were truly unlimited and all powerful, I could do those things. But then the word “God” would no longer apply to me. People would not be able to define me by separating me from that which is not God.

How would humans be different if they scored like you do, God?

God: They wouldn’t care about me one way or another because they wouldn’t need me.

Why not?

God: Because they would be accessing and becoming their emerging potentials. Therefore, they would experience their wholeness. They wouldn’t experience the separation that causes them to need me.

Do you have any recommendations for my life or those of humans, God?

God: I recommend that humans spend less time thinking about me and focus more on finding and following their life compass.

But isn’t their life compass you, God?

Only if you define them as the same.

When do you recommend that I or humanity in general imagine they are you and act as they think you would?

God: Whenever they want to become one with their emerging potentials.

But can’t they do that with any interview?

God: Yes, of course.

God, I’m not finding you very inspiring.

God: Sorry. I’m not here to live up to your expectations. Maybe if you try interviewing me at another time when your head is in a different place you will like the results better.

OK: So God, what I have heard you say is that you don’t particularly like being perfect, nor do you like being kept separate from being things like atheism or agnosticism. Still, I don’t see how if you aren’t made separate from those things, that you continue to exist or have any meaning. For instance, if you are both a belief in God and a disbelief in God, how does “God” continue to have any meaning?

God: Sorry, that’s not my problem.




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