Alternative terms for “God”
“I say God. I am not sure that is the name. You will know whom I mean.” Thoreau
Some basic general categories for these terms: this force is “out there” separate from us.” or this force is inside us, or we are inside it. Or this force is both inside us and other than us.
This force is male. This force is female. This force is both male and female.
This force is benign and loving. This force is indifferent. This force is judgmental and punitive.
-The Source. The Source of All Life. (my terms)
-The Tao / the Way
-“Ultimate Reality” (per David Finke, Quaker friend)
-The Real Presence “To them the – unanswerables are no longer pools of terrible drowning. They are the depth and body of the sea, the lifting presence beneath the keels of their vessels” – Alan Patton
-Yahweh, Jehovah the Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament
-The Father, per Jesus. “Not a hair falls from their head but their heavenly father sees it.” However, also Jesus: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
-The Holy Spirit (Ghost) the feminine aspect of the Divine ?
-Nuos/ World Soul. Greek: all are connected through Her. Earth= Her body = a part of Her
-Shekhinah: Kabbalahassociates the Shekhinah with the female.:128, n.51 According to Gershom Scholem, “The introduction of this idea was one of the most important and lasting innovations of Kabbalism. …no other element of Kabbalism won such a degree of popular approval.”The “feminine Jewish divine presence, the Shekhinah, distinguishes Kabbalistic literature from earlier Jewish literature.” [Wikipedia]
-Amaterasu, Japanese Sun Goddess, still honored today in Japan as the major deity of Shintoism.
-Brigid, Celtic highest deity, Source of all Life, the Great Mother.
-The Growth Drive: impulses to grow and survive and adapt that make it possible to survive.
– Wakan Tanka: “The Lakota completed their spiritual duty as willed by Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery.” “That Which is Mysterious” – Quentin Young, Native American teacher in the Chicago Area.
-The Everywhere Spirit,” Native American who cursed Custer if Custer was dishonest
-“What Gives Us All Life”
-“The Bigger System” – Eugene Gendlin, founder of Focusing, a body centered psychotherapeutic technique.
-“That Which is Larger”, Joseph Campbell: “We are not separate from That Which is Larger; we are in it.”
-“The Atmospheric Presence” – William James, in The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher, a Jane Roberts book New Awareness Network, Inc., Manhasset N.Y., 1978.
-“The Benign Indifference of the Universe.” -Albert Camus
-Paolo Coelho: “The World Soul”: Is fed by all experience, has no preference for “good or bad”. e- “The hand that wrote all” Paolo Coelho in The Alchemist.
-I pray to “Everything I don’t know” – Steve Walsh, Quaker friend
-The Center from Which we come and to Which we go”
-the Absolute, the Universal, the Divine.” –
“If prayer is not for asking, what is it for? I asked him.
“It isn’t ‘for’ anything,” he said thoughtfully. “It only reminds me I’m not alone.” …It is…our tie to the Absolute, a reminder of our nonlocal, unbounded nature, of that part of us that is infinite in space and time and is Divine. … our origin and destiny: the Absolute, the Universal, the Divine.” ? Larry Dossey, pg. 290?
-The Life Force: “A sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man: a motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things.” William Wordsworth, in Tintern Abbey.
– The life force: “Deep in meditation, it is possible to become aware of the life-force itself. You can see it if you learn how to look within. To describe it as electricity, or power, or light, or consciousness is all somewhat correct. But such descriptions are inadequate. You have to see it for yourself. You have to feel it for yourself. Yu have to know it for yourself.
To be in its presence is like being in front of something primeval, basic, mysterious, shamanistic, and profound. To be in its presence makes all references mute and all senses slack, leaving only deep awe. One is drawn to it in utter fascination. It is the mighty flame to our mothlike consciousness.”
(365 Tao Daily Meditations, by Deng Ming-Dao, Harper San Fransisco, 1992, p.273)
– The Field. The Zero Force. Lynn McTaggert, The Field,
– “Emerson points us toward a unifying force greater than ourselves.” Thoreau
– Birther of Creation Aramaic translation of “Our Father”
– “the origin” Rumi, Afghani mystic, in “Moses and the Shepherd”
– The Magic, The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Then I will chant” he said. And he began, looking like a strange boy spirit. “The sun is shining – the sun is shining. That is the magic. The flowers are growing – the roots are stirring. That is the Magic. Being alive is the Magic – being strong is the Magic. The Magic is in me – the Magic is in me. It is in me – it is in me. It’s in every one of us. It’s in Ben Weatherstaff’s back. Magic! Magic! Come and help!”
– “The Powers That Be” common phrase
– God” is the aspirations of humans, what we wish we could eventually become! 5/9/18 me!
– Plus: the “sacred” is an escape from reality. All this after a visit to Temple el Zedek, a Jewish temple near me in Indianapolis
– God = “The Eternal Witness” according to something read by Eliz. Valencia on Fathers’ Day 6/17/18 at U.U.I. Indianapolis
– The Great Mystery -Albert Einstein “Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we are born.”
– The Absolute, the Causeless Cause, The Theosophical Society
From Theosophy, Wikipedia
Absolute is a term derived from the Latin absolūtus which means “loosened from” or “unattached.” As such, the word “Absolute” points out a negative concept meaning non-relative, non-comparative, or without relation to anything else. In philosophy it refers to an unconditioned reality which transcends the limited, conditional, everyday existence. It is sometimes conceived of as the source through which all beings emanate. This, however, is not an accurate expression. Beings and objects cannot be emanated from the absolute as if there was an “outside” to it but, rather, they are aspects of the absolute reality itself.
In the Theosophicalview, the ultimate reality of the universe is regarded to be Absolute. It is atemporal, meaning that the absolute reality was, is, and will be, whether there is a universe manifested or not. It is boundless and omnipresent, being the essence of spirit, matter, and energy. It is immutable, which implies that it cannot grow, change, or evolve. Being absolute, it transcends any opposites (such as fullness and emptiness, good and evil, being and non-being, transcendent and immanent, etc.) It cannot be grasped by the mind, though it can be sensed by the spiritual intuition.
Mme. Blavatsky postulates that the Absolute has two aspects: the absolute abstract motionand the absolute abstract space. There is also some mention of “duration“, a kind of absolute lasting, as a third aspect.
This Absolute reality is the first fundamental proposition found in The Secret Doctrine, described as follows:
An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought—in the words of Mandukya, “unthinkable and unspeakable.” To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause—dimly formulated in the “Unconscious” and “Unknowable” of current European philosophy—is the rootless root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be.” It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “Be-ness” rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation.
Elaborating on the fact that the Absolute is “beyond the range and reach of thought,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote:
The “Absolute Consciousness” . . . “behind” phenomena, which is only termed unconsciousness in the absence of any element of personality, transcends human conception. Man, unable to form one concept except in terms of empirical phenomena, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the liberated Spirit is able to faintly realise the nature of the source whence it sprung and whither it must eventually return. . . . The highest Dhyan Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and . . . even in that culmination of conscious existence—“the merging of the individual in the universal consciousness”—to use a phrase of Fichte’s—the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it apply to it its own standard of mental experiences.
Although it is regarded as the “Causeless Cause” of the universe, we should not think the universe is produced “out of the Absolute”. Both manifestation and dissolutionare facets of the Absolute reality, which nevertheless remains immutable. As Mme. Blavatsky wrote:
The first lesson taught in Esoteric philosophy is, that the incognizable Cause does not put forth evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only exhibits periodically different aspects of itself to the perception of finite Minds.
The “Causeless Cause” of the universe,however, does not correspond to the usual concept of God in monotheistic religions:
We deny the existence of a thinking conscious God, on the grounds that such a God must either be conditioned, limited and subject to change, therefore not infinite, or … if he is represented to us as an eternal unchangeable and independent being, with not a particle of matter in him, then we answer that it is no being but an immutable blind principle, a law.
The God of theology, we say — and prove it — is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility. Therefore, we will have nothing to do with him. . . This God is called by his devotees infinite and absolute . . . Then, if infinite — i. e., limitless — and especially if absolute, how can he have a form, and be a creator of anything? Form implies limitation, and a beginning as well as an end; and, in order to create, a Being must think and plan. How can the ABSOLUTE be supposed to think — i. e., to have any relation whatever to that which is limited, finite, and conditioned? This is a philosophical, and a logical absurdity.
No feelings, even the highest, can be attributed to the Absolute. H. P. Blavatsky answered a question about this as follows:
Q. But we understand that bliss, as the state of the Absolute, was intended to be referred to.
A. This is still more illogical. How can the ABSOLUTE be said to feel? The Absolute can have no condition nor attribute. It is only that which is finite and differentiated which can have any feeling or attitude predicated of it.
In several instances Mme. Blavatsky stated that the Absolute can be regarded to be both Absolute Being and Non-Being.On certain occasions the termed “Absoluteness” is used to provide an even less concrete idea of the Absolute:
Absoluteness. When predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE, it denotes an abstract noun, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective “absolute” to that which has neither attributes nor limitations, nor can IT have any.
A frequently asked question is why the Absolute puts forth a cosmos, if the former is perfect in itself and cannot gain or be affected in any way by the latter? Mme. Blavatsky said:
Ah! It is a very easy question to ask. . . . He wants to ask what is the cause that propels or compels Parabrahman to create. Parabrahman is not a cause. It is not even the Absolute, as I say, but absolutness. Now, how can we know the cause that propels Parabrahman to create? That which is behind all veil of matter is incomprehensible, and no finite intellect can conceive it. . . . and to come and ask for the cause is perfectly ridiculous. . . . Just try to imagine two forces: the centripetal and the centrifugal, which periodically must emanate from IT. Just as the clock must strike so this strikes and emanates periodically. When it has done striking it goes to sleep again. Try to imagine that and then you will have perhaps a notion. . . . Mind you, it is not that I say, and certainly not that I would go and advocate, the automatic creation of the materialists; never. But it is for the purpose of giving a shape to it, and to allow people to conceive of it, because otherwise, you cannot.”
[ Well, if you read all that from the Theosophists, good for you! And if it enlightened you, then you’re ahead of me! -Marti J]