Thinking About God

-Fred Stock

          When my dear spouse and I met and married we had come from very different backgrounds. She had been raised in Southern California and exposed to Methodist and Baptist teachings, and perhaps some others on the way. I had been raised in Western New York and had had Roman Catholicism thrust upon me. I had already realized just how hypocritical and phony that set of activities – not really a belief at all for me – had been. But each of us had come away from our youth with a true belief in a God and the loving all powerful nature of that Being or Force. Now I need to say a couple of things. There are many conflicts in my understanding – I trust as I mature and experience, these will become less and my firm cognition will increase. I do not set myself before you in this piece as an authority or a wise sage. I am ruminating. I guess that’s OK. I also am not presuming to speak for my wife, who is fully capable and eminently qualified to speak her own mind and understanding. I consider her a powerful shaman and exceptionally bright spot in the dull spectrum of our lives. Thank you Father-Mother God for her.

          As Barbara Ann and I began our life together in the mid 1960’s, we saw a need for a common ground in spiritual things. Our experiences and “faiths” had a few rough edges which did not perfectly coincide. These also introduced a degree of doubt into our minds, of if not doubts, at least a hunger for a better understanding.

          As we searched and studied, we ran upon what we describe as Metaphysics. Our definition may not match the world’s so I will try to define; Metaphysics is a condition of study and testing of principles, often taught by great teachers of the ages whose philosophies can be dissected, filtered and chewed, eventually digested and infused. Metaphysics does not require a label or a building. There are certainly those; Unity, Religious Science, New Thought, more. There are teachers whose names may be familiar or foreign to you the reader; Joel Goldsmith, Jesus of Nazareth, Charles Fillmore, Ernest Holmes, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Troward, etc., etc.. Each of these has contributed to our beliefs, each has made statements which made us think deeply about a subject or aspect of faith. Occasionally they make assertions which do not ring correct in my ken. Some of their “quotes” may also have come down to us modified or amended and require screening before we can say “I believe that.”  Back in the catholic church of my youth, I was told repeatedly that I “MUST believe” in aspects of their misinformation. For instance, I never believed for a second in the “immaculate conception” they demanded I “believe” and likely never will. That does not make sense to me, nor does it in any way reinforce or detract from my understanding of the teachings of Jesus. Belief is a conclusion we reach in our individual minds, based on information we receive, and sometimes tempered by intuitive input – the God factor if you will.  “You gotta believe me!” No I don’t. Don ’t be silly! But that’s OK.

          But let’s go a level higher. There are those who firmly believe in God as a friend, or master, or lord high executioner, or punishing dictatorial overlord. OK, if that works for you, good. Does it make you a better person, more loving, helpful, genuine? If so, I support that FOR YOU. Do not try to drive it down my pipe, however. And I promise I will not do that to you, as well. There are also those who reject the idea of a “god” at all. They like to call themselves “atheists” in the same way so many others with widely differing beliefs call themselves “Christians” or “Muslims”. Are all Christians the same – not even! Nor are the atheists! But the atheists are OK. Most of them believe in what I call spiritual things even though they don’t accept that term. That’s OK.

          For instance, atheists absolutely accept and use energies and forces they cannot see. They will set their cup of coffee on the table firmly “believing” and expecting that it will stay there, containing the liquid inside it. They do not expect it to float off. They believe in gravity which they cannot see. They can “prove” it exists by setting their cup of coffee on the table. They use electrical things all day long and never see electricity. They know it’s there when they see the energy conversion in streak lightning or a spark at a switch. But they never see the electricity. But they depend upon the light switch and their message-texting cell phone without doubt that they can work given enough “signal” which by the way is also invisible. That’s OK.

          They generally also agree that they can change how they use or accept gravity and change the way they are treated by it. If they make the decision (mental process) to take a ride to outer space, they will reach a point that they can no longer set that cup of coffee on the table and expect it to sit still. It WILL float off. See, it’s just how they USE a force or principle, and it all starts in their mind. That is not a miracle and the force does not change with the delta factor.

          Often, not always, atheists accept “science” as their religion, though if you say that to them they will rail! “I have no religion! Religion is foolishness!” Well, perhaps but if you define religion as “what you believe in and depend upon for inner direction and decisions” then it is your religion. Either way, It’s OK. 

          If your experiences and understandings have brought you to be a “dyed-in-the-wool” Baptist, great. If you use it to create good in your life and those around you, I support that! If you are a Muslim or a Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic or Pentecostal or Jew or whatever belief, if you use that to create good and love and uplift in the world you have been blessed to inhabit, Great! If you are, on the other hand, using your religion as a weapon to beat your way through this world, then, “Hey, can we talk?” Years ago one of the golden girls on TV loved to say, “God will get you for that!” No, He won’t. God does not get you. Suffice it to say, Osama Bin Ladin and Adolf Hitler and the rest would not have lasted very long if God always “got you for that”. God says YES. We’ll talk about that more in a minute.

          It is my understanding, and my experience, that you are punished BY your sins, not FOR your sins. The times when I do the most harm and have the least happiness are the times when I fail to follow my own rules. I make myself miserable when I deviate from what I know inside me to be true. In the same way, the murderer may never sleep a peaceful night. I don’t believe there is some nasty horned red demon dancing around him doing evil things. That’s a creation of the ancient religionists who used fear and misunderstanding to promote their own causes and make the great unwashed tribes bow down to them and their selfish tomfoolery. No such thing! What is operating here, is the Energy – the divine power supply in the murderer’s own spiritual content which is uncomfortable and unsettled. That’s what makes sense to me. Maybe that’s wrong, or not your understanding. That’s OK. If you need to have a devil and a god facing off in battle for your immortal soul, that’s fine. If you use that to create good and love and uplift in the world you have been blessed to inhabit, Great!

          You don’t have to agree with me. That’s OK. I believe this: God says YES. If you choose to see demons and gremlins around every corner looking to snare you and drag you off the planet in some strange ritual, and that makes you a more loving and caring  person, trying to do what is right at all times, fine! God looks at that belief system and says “yes.” You believe it, you get it. If you think there is no way to “get to heaven” except by believing in Jesus or Allah or Ralph, and you really believe in old Ralph, great! God says yes, You’re direction will be to that heaven you believe in so strongly, and the Energy of the Universe in its entirety will support that. That’s completely OK. In the same way, if you believe that your god is punishing you for not getting to services on time, or thinking a sexual thought when you “are not supposed to”, then God says yes, and you hit stumbling blocks. “Hey, you asked for it and that’s what I gave you!” (Didn’t God create that sexual urge too? Hmmmm!)

          I have spent many years in a business in which I must constantly learn the wiring changes from year to year in vehicles. No two seem to be alike, and yet they are all the same at some level. It’s a frustrating arena at times. I get hot and sweaty and angry at my own lack of ability to solve the problems. But deep in my heart, I know there is an answer and God in whom I believe, will provide it to me if I but believe that is happening. I also know that when you are in the midst of a challenge, you can’t always see your way clear to trust as you should, in this inner power. But I have learned that my wife has a strong spiritual contact with which she works in the interest of the good of other people. She calls it “meditation” and when she prays that way, somethin g g ood ALWAYS happens. It may take a few moments or it may take no time at all, but the answer always comes, because she believes it will, and I believe that as well. Does prayer work? Heck yes! Not a doubt in my mind! If you are so conflicted in the moment to be unable to pray yourself, ask someone else. They are outside your skin and outside your confusion. They won’t pray any differently than you might, but they will be able to see over the blocks into the answer. You can do that for them too! It doesn’t take a candle in a church, or a donation to the poorbox or a special certificate on the wall. It does not require a priest or a minister or a group leader or politician. All of those things and people may be able to help because you believe they can. But they are not necessary.

          Someone once defined “metaphysician” as a person who ‘thinks he has all the answers to every question without the advantage of understanding the situation.’ Great! Works for me! The answer to all questions is “Turn It Over To God” (or if you’re an atheist, “turn it over to the fantastic power of your own mind.”) I don’t have to have an understanding of the situation in order to solve the situation. I only have to know with 100% conviction that God has the answer, and knows how to make it right even if I don’t have a clue. It says in the bible, if you subscribe to that collection of writings, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Note that it does not say “…pleasure to allow you to beat it out of the kingdom with a sledge hammer.”  You don’t have to struggle nearly as much as that. Just turn it over to God, and believe it will be done. In times of apparent shortage, we say with complete confidence, “The Father provides.” You know, it ALWAYS works! By the same token, if you completely believe there will be nothin g g ood in your life unless you sweat and cuss and effort the thing into your world, God says “Yes! Here’s your pain and suffering. Enjoy! Thanks for asking!” That’s OK. You decide! It’s OK, either way!  

          God is the Energy of the Universe, and is everywhere present. It loves you and always says yes. Don ’t like those statements? How about this, then; Nature supports the mental energy field you generate in your mind automatically. Nature rushes to perform tasks for you because that is the nature of nature. Who cares where it came from, it’s there. You can use it! If you are driving down the highway and decide you want to eat in an Italian restaurant, and you are a believer in the power of your mind, you will happen upon an Italian restaurant you never knew existed, and it will exactly fill the bill! If you can come to a belief in mental energy (which by the way is measurable and quantifiable to modern science) and the ability of the human mind to use it to direct events, you can test it this afternoon. And if you wish to call the answer to your prayer… er’ effort, a coincidence, that’s perfectly OK. God doesn’t have an ego problem. It does not care if you call It “It” or the answers to your requests a “coincidence”. That’s perfectly OK. But you will find It works! Why does AA work? Because people believe it does. Why does AA NOT work? Because people only say they believe, but they don’t. That’s OK!

          Let me add this, here; God is not the great vending machine in the sky. It does not grant you gold and your neighbor’s house and the beautiful girl married to that guy in the car wash. God (or nature or Mind) is a loving powerful source of all things good. But when you pray or mentally direct the power, which I believe you were put here to do, always use declarative prayer or directives. Say “this or something better.” Allow your powerful Mind to go you one better and don’t stand in It’s path. Emerson said pray, then “get out of the way of the divine circuits.” Don ’t pray for Charlie’s new job to be given to you; pray for “a wonderful fulfilling lucrative position like that new one Charlie has found, or something better!” Then  assume it’s done, and step aside. Watch Mind form the answers! You may be boggled by the results! That’s more than OK. Boggles is goot!

          Now don’t over analyze this stuff. Use it. A religious belief, and philosophy, and deep faith in something is only as good as the use to which it is put. You can use your computer for studying the great religions of the world, or to gather pornography. You can Google nearly anything and get opinions, ideas, explanations, plans, and criticisms of any subject, or you can use it to look at fish. You can get a business started and perhaps ruin a business with your computer. Now I’m here to tell you I believe your mind, my mind, and God’s are infinitely more potent than the computer, or even Google! Yah, that’s right! Great gooba-joobah! More than Google? Wow! Hey! Just Use it. Put this unlimited stuff to work! It’s already in there – inside of you!

          If you can wrap your mind around some of these ideas, what possible difference could it make if you are in the cathedral or standing in the stream fly casting Sunday morning? Do you really think God cares? He/She/It loves you. Why would you spend thousands of dollars and so much time arguing in a court room about evolution or creationism? Who cares? What possible difference would it make if you wore a berka or a bikini? Who cares what party or temple you join? How does it make a difference if my neighbor is Black or gay or Polish or drunk or Caucasian or old or Republican or “living in sin!” or Sikh or even (gasp!) Catholic! How much greater than all that is your mind? … your God?

          If you don’t believe any of this, or just partially disagree with me, that’s OK. I just wanted to put down on paper – or screen rather, what I think about religion and God. Someday somebody may find this and read it, when they most need it. They may not need to know what I held to, but that they CAN think a new thought and break the mold.  If that’s you, know you are so powerful, exactly as you are this instant! God says “Yes!” If you don’t feel I am correct, at least you have given it a bit of thought you otherwise might not have. God works that way. Bless you! -fhs