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The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness beyond that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they were talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is they are denying. This misuse gives rise to the absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as “My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false,” or Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead.” 

The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man in a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something. 

Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself toward some transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?

 – Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

I thought it apt to share here this extract from The Power of Now, because I use the word God in my poem below and it is possible that my usage of the word will be misconstrued. My aim in bringing this to light is to show transparency and to avoid seeming hypocrisy. I wrote this poem some years ago – at a different stage of my development – when I was not as careful with the word. Today, I do not believe in God in any traditional or religious sense. How liberating it is for me to write that here.

There are other words which bother me now in the poem, because I know of their traditional or religious meaning – sin, miracles, angels, heaven – and my usage of them does not reflect these interpretations. I am aware however, that sharing my words relinquishes any assumed control over them, and while I offer them here with Tolle’s above quote, I know that each individual will only see them as they are.

Salvation

I need for God to come and hold me
To shelter me from rain
I need for God to take me in his arms
Allow me to lie there once again
To follow on from whence I came to earth
To separate the twin of fear
I need for God to come and save me
From this echelon of clear forbidden waters
In which I find myself submerged
I need for God to take me from my sin
And wrongful actions purge
I need for miracles and angels
To deliver me from harm
I need for purity and innocence
My useless weapons to disarm
I need exquisiteness and splendour
I need magnificence defined
I need an opening of heart
And a cleansing of my mind
I need for love to wrap me under
Its wings of consequence
I need to take into my arms
My single troubled aberrance
I need to find myself a castaway
On an island filled with calm
I need to listen to the silence
And hold its lessons in my palm
I need to sit and look at nothing
But a sky and sea of blue
I need to lie upon a shore
My salvation to imbue
I need to rest and be immersed
In the remedies I find
I need for God to fill me deeply
To experience mankind
I need belovedness and honour
I need an incident of truth
I need for God to hold me close
Until my bleeding I salute
I need for God to come and hold me
I need for God to take me near
I need his hand upon this journey
As I face his heavenly sphere.
 
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