OK, let me clarify that question. I’m not asking about your negative experiences with religious organizations, or people. We’ve all had enough of those. I’m asking where you stand on the idea of a creator. Does that concept have meaning for you? I’ll get us started.
I practice the ancient African tradition called Ifa. I believe that there is an infinite consciousness that underlies everything that exists in the Universe. In Ifa we call this consciousness Olodumare, the best English translation is simply God. In my view God is an impersonal force of creation. The Creator exists beyond all dualities and therefore cannot be defined as male or female, light or dark, etc.
From this perspective the only way to honour God is by honouring all of creation. Each of us, in fact everything that exists, is part of the greater whole that is responsible for the unfolding of the Universe. Some of you will disagree with that. That’s fine. This is about mutual respect. I’m not here to question your beliefs.
Regardless of how you understand God I think we can agree that everything that is/was/will be created originated from that source. Of course if you’re an atheist please feel free to share your thoughts about why you don’t believe.
In Ifa we do not believe that human beings are flawed creations in need to redemption. We believe that we are all part of the unfolding Universe. Each person playing a role, however small, in the ongoing creation story.
It is important to separate God from religion. All of the world’s religions started as means to transcendence. But, when the original systems became politicized religions were less about spiritual development, and more about control. The intimate relationship between created and creator was superseded by dogma. A convenient control mechanism for the religious, and political, elite. In every faith subgroups have survived which preserve something closer to the original teachings of that system.
In Buddhism this means freedom from the cycle of birth and death, or enlightenment. In Ifa we speak about sitting at the right foot of Orunmila, or ascending to the point where we move beyond our human consciousness. Perhaps it is a union with the creative principle. I don’t know. I don’t claim to be an enlightened being.
I have always felt that heaven is more about blissful union with God than hanging out with harp playing angels, or scores of willing virgins. But that’s just my opinion.
However you define, or deny, the existence of God it is crucial to remember how deeply personal these beliefs are. The most important thing that we can do to set an example for humanity is to respect each other’s beliefs even if we happen to disagree.
I hope that this brief post can start a dialogue within the community. All I ask is that we all be respectful of one another and tolerate points of view that differ from our own. So please share your thoughts and your beliefs.
i beleve in God he is alway there when i need hem and he is in my hart
I also believe in God, or whatever name he or she is called. I think we all are part of him as he is part of us. I like so many of us fought him when I was young. Then I realized I was fighting organized religion. I now know I have fought a good fight in changing church goers as well as non-goers on gays. I think that was God’s purpose for me. well at least one.
I believe in God always have. God created us in his image so we are a very diverse creation of God.
I believe that God created men to love other men on a personal and sexual leve. Our bodies were made to fit together which makes it very special and beautiful when two men have beautiful sex together.
I believe in God and come from a strong Christian background. I’ve inwardly known since puberty that I was gay, but a 13 year-old boy in a southern bible belt town was terrified at chancing something he didn’t fully understand in himself yet. I didn’t come out till 2015. I was 58. If I tried to stay in my former religious circles, me being gay would go over like a turd in the punch bowl. I don’t blame God for that. God is God and I ain’t, but be damned if I won’t be me.
Good for you Gary.
I completely agree Doug.