Monday, February 16, 2009

God concepts – Part 1

My parents divorced before my first birthday.
Faced with the task of raising a child on her own my mother decided to sent me to my grandparents farm where I spent my whole childhood.
I never saw my father much.
There were a couple of attempts for my parents to get back together but things never worked out.
So basically beside some brief visits and some awkward attempts of love and affection, all I got from my father was the promise that one day when I grow up we are going to get together, spend a lot of time knowing each other and bond as a father and son should bond.

On my last day of high school, before that magical threshold from childhood and adulthood my father died. The day of knowing each other never came.

I never thought I would live without ever having to know my father. That possibility never crossed my mind so I was totally in shock.
I was not sad and I didn’t even cry. I was mad. I felt betrayed, I felt cheated of what was rightfully mine. Some how I felt a great injustice was done to me and the person responsible for that, besides my father, was God.

We had a Christian funeral with all the religion customs and rites.
An old priest came to officiate the funeral. With his white beard and his black robe he looked old and wise. I approached him and ask him about my father death.

My question was simple: “Why?” But his answer was nothing but simple or satisfactory.
He spoke to me on an impersonal tone, like a sales person that was trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner. Same worn out speech repeated hundreds of times, same forced enthusiasm trying to convince me on the quality of his product, although he knew he was selling a sham. Same old story about God having some extraordinary plan, that we the mortals can not comprehend, and that the plan required that my father has to die.
He did not believe a word he was saying and neither did I.
So I had to draw my own conclusion and there was only one conclusion possible: “God was an ass hole!”


molly said...

Where are you with it now? The Why?

What a story. It is a powerful one.

Peace to you,


C. Om said...

Wow. I can relate, but the story is different and I'm still in the middle of mine. I am fortunate enough to have a higher perspective on it already though. It helps to eliminate the pain and stress.

I'm looking forward to seeing your revelations.


Barry said...

Thanks for sharing such an intimate story. I suspect most of us have run up against this kind of falsity in our lives, although few of us in such a traumatic way.

I'm not certain that God is the asshole, though. It might be simply that our ideas about God, the world around us, and ourselves - these ideas turn each of us into assholes.

AngelBaby said...

I went through this years ago, I was really mad at God until he sent an Angel to my window at the bank where I was working. That is when I found out that God loves me unconditionally and he didn't do this, people did. At the time I was so shocked by what had just happened that it tool awhile to sink in. God didn't keep your father away, your father did that. Some people have allot of issues they can not face so they share them with everyone else, especially the ones they love. I hope this helps you get through this.

Love and Blessings,

Ted Bagley said...

No one deserves anything. Buddha broke it down into four parts.
Maybe God is nothing but an asshole to show us what really matters at the other end. That's what my anger says.

Mark said...

I am with everyone else. Is your perspective different today?

Talon said...

I'm sorry for your losses - because you had so many huge ones at a young age. Did you ever resolve the "why"?

Psiplex said...

Thank you for this very personal post. Wanted to send you love and good vibes and say that your true self is in no way constricted or diminished. You are brave and passionate about your statement. The revealing of your answers will depend on how much you want to go toward it and discover who you really are with or without your declaration. The rest will come to you at a pace equal to or greater than your own efforts. Then, after a while, there will be no effort, just your infinite Self becoming aware of awareness, peace following.

I wish you light on your path and much love :-)

Aggie said...

If I remember some of my Christian upbringing teaching rightly, then it was humankind who CHOSE to walk away from God and disobey the rules of life and as a consequence death entered the world ... along with a huge dollop of sinfulness. Can't blame God for that. Can't blame God for your Dad's choice to stay away or his not understanding that having "forever" is not an option in this world.
God could be really mean if he wanted and just turn out the lights on the entire world ... but he doesn't.

giovanna garcia said...

I am sorry to hear about your lost. I look forward to learn what happen next. My personal believe is that when someone is gone, that is a part of life. Another word, god didn't do it. Life happen. I have no idea if it is truly or not, that is just what I believe.
Thank you for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect action is better than no action

Chatty Crone said...

You asked Why, I ask you this question - Why not?

And did you learn anything from it besides what you think of God? Are you a stronger person? A better father because of it?

Maybe you learned the way to be close to your girls.

Just thinking.

I do hear your pain.

Jane Doe said...

Your story is so sad. My condolences to you on that loss, not only the loss of your father but the loss of a promised future that never came to be. My daughter hasn't seen her father (he's abusive and a drug addict) since she was 1 (she's 13 now) and she says it's like living with a hole in her heart. I ache for her.

A very touching post. My heart goes out to you.



Buddha said...

@ Molly – I have found the answer long time ago and I am at peace with my father and my God.

@ C Om – Yep! This “why” was probably the beginning of my quest for a higher understanding :)

@ Barry - That was the thought of a 16 years old boy, now I am much, much older…

@ Angel – The love you guys are showing me is really moving. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

@ Ted – Calm your anger Ted, this is just an opening question not a verdict :)

@ Mark – Absolutely!

@ Talon - This is just the beginning of the story. The end is much different!

@ Psiplex – Your thoughts are really appreciated!

@ Aggie – Do we really know what God can do?

@ Giovanna - The loss and the anger happened a long time ago!

@ Chatty – Excellent points! I like the way you think outside the mold. You have a very sharp mind an exquisite curiosity. We shall explore the questions in the coming posts :)

@ Jane – My heart goes to you and your daughter. I have already made my peace. It is along and twisted road but eventually we all will find a higher truth. I hope that sharing my thoughts on the subject will help you in some small way. I hope :)

Ted Bagley said...


Ted Bagley said...


laughingyogini said...

The question left hanging for me, is not how you have reconciled with god or a goddess perhaps...but how you have found a "father?"...

Your inner father to nurture your children. ...

Your inner father to nurture you...

AND what are the qualities we want in a father after all? Besides the obvious unconditional LOVE.

Tamara said...

Thank you for sharing so much. Making yourself vulnerable to many takes courage motivated my love. Life is not fair but I consider that a blessing. I've had a few hard times in my life and I can recognize that those are the times that my character was built. To share where you were then in your life and your beliefs helps people to relate to the pain that it caused without a preachy and persuasive message. Everybody needs time to heal and to restart the process of self discovery.

I am encouraged to learn form a man who had tribulations along the way. It is easier for me to trust that you can understand the many changes of heart that I have endeared through my many experiences. Thank you Buddha for showing your many sides and not attempting to be perfect in our eyes.

Buddha said...

@ - laughingyogini – The problem I had with my father was that I put him on a pedestal. I wanted him to be something he was not. Once I realized he was just an asshole like everybody else I did not feel that bad. I looked at my grandfather who was my father figure and I realize how lucky I was not to have an alcoholic abusive father like my biological one.
With God I had a similar problem. I look for a God that other people told me to look for. I pray and give my love to the idols they made instead of the real God.
The real God is the one that loves you, like my grand father that was always with me but I didn’t recognize his love because it wasn’t what I expected to be.
God is what you have in your heart, what you had from the day you were born. You don’t have to find anything; you just have to say hi to him/her :)

@ Tamara – I am not worthy of your praise. I am just a student of Zen Buddhism and not a very good one I may ad. I have been blessed with a life full of experiences. I used to curse that gift before I realized how rich I was. I am just laying all this down so I can look at it from another perspective, so I can learn and grow. This is my journey and all that want to come along as friends are welcome!

Lydia said...

I have not read it yet, but see that there is a Part 2 to this post, and I expect it will answer some questions I have now.
I related to this. My parents divorced when I was an infant. I didn't meet my father until I was 21 and that was only for a few minutes. Then I saw him once more 12 years later. It was a terrible visit and I wish I didn't have the memory. Some men don't deserve to be called dad, and he was sure one of them...

OJ said...

When you realized that the priest was speaking out of his rear and that neither he nor you believed a word that he was spouting, why didn't you think, "Oh, well if the man who has dedicated his life to learning about his god hasn't been able to come up with any answers that sound even slightly believable, maybe the god doesn't actually exist"? It seems like the next logical step.

After that, everything makes much more sense. Your dad died because that's what happens to living things eventually. That he died before you two could connect is certainly unfortunate, but there's no reason to think that it was somehow a crafty move by some deity.

The Acolyte Tao said...

Haha, nice story, the end made me laugh. I agree, I don't believe in the 'Christian God,' but check out the verses: 2Thessaloninans2:11-12. That basically says God lies to you to make you believe things and then punishes you for it.
Jeremiah20:14-18 speaks on abortion and to kill if you do no want the baby in the womb.
Psalms138:8-9 speaks of "seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks" referring to God.
Hosea12:16 again speaks of killing babies and "pregnant women ripped open."
Something tells me this God is not exactly worship worthy...

mud_rake said...

Same worn out speech repeated hundreds of times, same forced enthusiasm trying to convince me on the quality of his product, although he knew he was selling a sham.

That's the only 'story' he has and one either buys it or doesn't. I bought it for many decades, but no longer. I'd rather like to enjoy life instead of worrying about someone taking notes over my shoulder.

Rob R said...

I believe that many in the church have not adequately interpreted the biblical narrative and teaching with regard to these sorts of tragedies. While scripture attributes some calamities to God, it isn't the case that every tragedy is his doing and a specific part of his neccesary plan.

You said that the death of your father had made you mad and while you say that you are at peace now, I believe that what you felt was filled with truth. The world is not the way it should be. The world is broken and your father was broken. What happened was not an expression of God's soverignty but it was an expression of the brokenness that God is at work fixing.

Nicholas Wolterstorff is Christian philosopher who also suffered a tragedy but this was in the loss of his son. He didn't find solace in any theodicy but he was comforted through the suffering of God and he found that through the tragedy he drew closer to God. He recorded this experience in his book "Lament for a Son".

While the temptation was to say that God intended such a tragedy because of the good that could come of it, such as the potential to draw closer to God, it is unnecesary. God who is not behind so many tragedies is nevertheless resourceful to bring good out of them.