Friday, February 20, 2009

God concepts - Part 3

God the omnipresence

OK folks, before you jump to any conclusions let me make one thing clear:
I am not making this thing up. This is what I was taught:
God is an omnipotent omnipresent being.
Like it or not, God is an old man watching your every move 24/7.
Not only that he watches you but he also knows exactly every thing you are thinking to the most intimate, personal thoughts!

Now, I know what you are going to say:
God is a loving father and he is watching over me because he loves me and wants to make sure I don’t get in any trouble.
Well, I am a father too and I love my kids and watch over them too, but once they have grown up to the point that they can go to the bathroom on their own I gave them their privacy.
So I say thank you God for your concern but when I take my shit I would like some privacy too!

I know some people out there loved to be watched by old men while taking a shower – I’ve seen the webcams :) – but the majority of people love their privacy.
So how do we deal with an omnipresent God in our life?
Well, the same way we deal with any regular perverts peeping Toms;
We institutionalize them; we put them in prisons or psychiatric wards.
And that is exactly what a church is.

A church is a gilded cage where we are keeping God and his peeping habits at bay.
There behind thick walls under the supervision of the correction officers and medical stuff, we call the clergy, we keep God sedated and happy so we can go about our daily business without being bothered by his interference.
Of course once a week every Sunday morning, as a good family, we put on our good garb and go for a family visit to our institutionalized relative, God.
There we can tell him what happened in our life since our last visit, through the ritual of confession, and we may pass some requests or the occasional thanks, we pay our monetary dues to the staff and then go home until next Sunday.

This is a very advantageous arrangement but of course there are some people, which do not subscribe to it.
There are the extreme fundamentalist religious, which truly believe in the omnipresence of God.
Now, you know that if someone truly believes it is being watched by a green man in a flying saucer 24/7 that is not enlightenment, that is schizophrenic paranoia and usually we lock them up.
Same thing with the people that believe in an omnipresent God. That is not a religious belief that is mass psychosis. And if you know anybody like that and you thought they were a little bit odd, that is because they are very much so :)
Of course nobody in the scientific community would say that because that would be extremely politically incorrect, plus the religious right would have a field day going after you.

In conclusion if you are one of the people believing in an omnipotent, omnipresent God, before you write me a nasty comment, let me remind you that you have to love me and you better write something nice because:


SandyCarlson said...

I enjoyed this immensely. I often wonder how and why I bought into this idea for so long. The whole enterprise makes goodness something outside and beyond each of us. How pathetic.

Liara Covert said...

It is a human reaction to fear. To become proccupied with the possibility of voyeurism and implications of negative energy and emotions, is all human as well. If you believe you are evolving away from human reactions, that is, learning to love and accept yourself unconditionally, then your being becomes transparent. Everyone can sense everything about you. This is a differnt kind of normal. Human beings work to peel the layers of their own illusions until they eventually reach truth. As your perception of self shifts, your understanding of omniscience shifts as well. You focus inward. Revelations are triggered.

Psiplex said...

Love the BOH! I immediately jumped to a conclusion, tripped and now.... Just wanted to say that the whole being watched thing is strange. A relationship with the Absolute IMHO is one that transcends a separate quality that makes for a watcher and one who is r needs to be watched. Life as it lives us, should be an equal partner in promoting love, stabilization and the means to be lived. A watcher, doddling cacker, patriarchal omnichunk or however it is to be described has no real value for growth or expression in such a limited capacity. Direct experience from this being is a daily instruction of connectedness and a beautiful shared inner joy at the miracle of this play and all that manifests from consciousness. There is a real happy and lightheartedness that accompanies even the slightest, smallest meditation of the Source. No conflict, competition or societal need to please arises. Just being this awareness brings an unburdened, 'it's cool' without any sort of microscope-bug imagery. Sorry for the ramble, but your post is a welcome opportunity to share.

One Love

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I really enjoyed this post. People are just so quick to jump to conclusions and if you don't totally and absolutely agree with them.............good grief!! They act like you murdered their kiddos, you know?

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Charles Bjørnsen Ravndal said...

I believe in a higher being but I am not religious. I just don't like to be involve in any religion since I noticed some people use the name of God or their religion to do awful things which they think is right.

I think instead of that we should focus more on equality, love and compassion. Right?

Anyway, I enjoyed reading this entry. Another good one!

PhillyChief said...

I think I'd trade having their god run free for having their craziness locked away in churches. Wouldn't it be nice if all the hatred of those who don't believe as they do and all the rest of their religiously inspired shenanigans could be confined to only within churches? I would make that trade in a heartbeat, even if it meant this creepy old dude was going to be watching my daily constitutionals. Thank goodness he's not real, though. :)

Mark said...

Your thought are clever and interesting and there are some truths in your words. I agree with Liara, she has expressed it very well. Interesting how we view things from a mode of ego rather than spirit. Ego views itself as separate from source while spirit knows that is is of source. We are all connected, we are all of source. Even when we convince ourselves that we are independent of all that is, we are not, we cannot make that happen, it is only our illusion.

outerhoard said...

Elsewhere on the Internet you have written invitations to your blog in which you ask for visitors "that can respect different opinions". Yet in this post you say (among other things) that anyone who truly believes in an omnipresent God is suffering from a kind of psychosis. It seems to me that you aren't demonstrating the standard of respect that you ask for in other people.

As for the topic, your whole argument is based on anthropomorphising God. If you stop thinking of God as merely a sort of big human, then the comparison between an omnipresent God and a peeping tom no longer applies and your whole argument collapses.

(Incidentally, I'm not a believer but I used to be, which gives me an advantage when it comes to playing devil's advocate.)

The Acolyte Tao said...

Haha, wonderful post Buddha.

Ted Bagley said...

I feel more at ease when I use the crosswalk to cross the street. I even still tend to look both ways before doing so.

Aggie said...

Well this post did make me laugh out loud. Though, I cannot imagine an adult still having this sort of "fear" view of God. It seems almost a childlike view ... not fully understanding.
Liara has it pretty well right.
We all and live and exist in him
( remember the tune He has the whole world in his hands) - pretty hard to relate that to some old codger in a rest home - funny though the thought is.
We wouldn't dream of being horrid to you for holding a point of view or opinion born of your own experiences. Besides, I think God is more than capable of sorting you out, rather than us. Another thing I have learnt (my own personal experience) is that he CHOOSES whom he wants to reveal himself to.

Talon said...

lol - I heard about the same God when I was a child. I would always look up at the sky and expect to see this gigantic, bearded man (who was always dressed in a choir robe) watching the world. And then I wondered why, if he was always watching, he didn't intervene when things went horribly wrong. So I started to think of him as judgmental...simply standing and observing and weighing it all up.

Yeah, I heard about the all-seeing, all-knowing God...

Buddha said...

@ Sandy – Each time you enjoy yourself you are a step closer to God because God is joy!

@ Liara – Yup! Now you’re talking!

@ Psiplex – Blogging has a great potential for human dialog. This is exactly what I want! Thank you for your input, your reaction and your rambling!

@ Midlife – We need to start listening to each other. We need to open up our hearts, minds and arms to each other :)

@ Charles – I am not religious and neither is God!

@ Philly – There is no such a thing as “their God” Nobody owns God. It is the other way around :)

@ Mark – We are just beginning our exploration. Be patient my friend!

@ Outherhoard – Respect means to agree to disagree. Just because I have a different point of view doesn’t mean I am disrespectful. If you find my posts offensive you do not have to participate in the debate.
On the second part – If you read carefully the opening statements of the post the anthropomorphic God is not my idea :)

@ Acolyte - Thank you!

@ Ted – What, no debate today? Are you getting all soft and mushy with me?

@ Aggie – I think God reveals itself to everybody but not to many of us are willing to listen!

@ Talon – We all did. We all believed it and I am writing this just to show how ridiculous it is.

C. Om said...

Oh man! I was really laughing! I agree with how silly and contradictory the omnipresent, omnipotent/have to confess your sins thing is. And all the other absurdities as well.

But on the flip side, I can see how or why this idea of being everywhere and all knowing started. Realizing that "God" is really yourself (both the Divine Observer within and your ego's concept of God), and also realizing that "Everywhere you go, there you are"; it is easy to see why "God" knows everything you do and why he is everywhere you go.

Great stuff!

outerhoard said...

It would be hyperbolic to say that I find your post offensive; at most, you could say that I find it a bit disturbing. Anyway, I'm just pointing out that if you want to be seen as respectful, then describing people's beliefs as psychosis is perhaps not a good start.

That aside, the main flaw in your post is that you focus on omnipresence, when the real issue is anthropomorphism. I would not have had a problem if you had said, "there are the extreme fundamentalist religious, which truly believe in a God who is both omnipresent and anthropomorphic". But saying that such people "truly believe in the omnipresence of God" is a lot like pointing to someone who believes that the moon is a big piece of green cheese, and saying with astonishment that they "truly believe that the moon is big". No, the bigness isn't the real issue, the green cheese is, and for the same reason all this talk about omnipresence is just a red herring because the real issue is anthropomorphism.

In my experience, most Christians believe that God is omnipresent, by which they don't just mean that God sees everywhere; they mean that God really is everywhere, permeating reality. On the other hand, very few Christians think that God is a sort of old man in the sky. So if you're talking about people who believe that God is both omnipresent and anthropomorphic at the same time, then it's the anthropomorphic aspect that's weird, not the omnipresent aspect. You write as though it were the other way around. (Of course, it doesn't make sense to believe in a God that is both anthropomorphic and omnipresent. Being omnipresent is not a property that an anthropomorphic being could possibly have. You might as well believe in a circle with four corners.)

Quantum_Flux said...

My religion is pornography :)

Buddha said...

@ - Oterhoard
In my experience most Christians believe in Christ, a very anthropomorphic one – judging by the many crucifixes and icons that adorn every church I’ve seen so far.
They also believe in the omnipresence of God – See the eye in the triangle with the rays coming out.
There is also the old man in whose image – arms, legs, head, eyes etc we were made.
So, to me that sounds very much like most Christians believe in a circle with 3 corners :)

True, there are a lot of people that believe “that God really is everywhere, permeating reality” we call them Buddhists!

PS: Not agreeing with you doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the skilful and elegant way you present your point. Actually I think you are more eloquent than I, but your argument has more holes than a piece of green cheese :)

SandyCarlson said...

Your post made me think of a recent blogging experience in which I remarked that Jesus was about the quality of life here and now--otherwise, why heal the sick and bring back the dead? An extreme Christian scolded me and said Jesus wasn't about this life but the next one and we are supposed to suffer here.... Makes me wonder why church membership is declining....

William Cooney said...

The most meaningful explanation I have come across for so many people's insistence upon God's reality comes from none other than Sigmund Freud.

Freud essentially posited the following: "...owing to feelings of helplessness and guilt, the need for security and forgiveness arises, so man creates for himself an entity that can provide precisely these things." In other words, "religion is seen as childish delusion and atheism as grown up realism." (Sigmund Freud: Religion as Wish Fulfillment)

God, therefore, is rightfully understood to be a construct of the imagination, and its creation is artfully explained as a necessity arising from psychological considerations.

So where do I turn in times of need? To my fellow man. If I've developed a "faith" in anything, it is in our ability as human beings to be there for one another.

Argent said...

I, too, was introduced to this version of God and it took many years to shake it off. I think this idea is so very sticky because many/most of us really do want there to be someONE running the show, someone we can believe is looking down on us (even if it is just to smite us for wrong-doing), someone who, when it all goes pear-shaped, we can blame - albeit, not too loudly, just in case :-). The idea that we are part of a single entity and not really separate beings is just too impersonal – rather than God making us in His image, we want him to be in ours, ego-centric lot that we are.

PhillyChief said...

There is no such a thing as “their God” Nobody owns God. It is the other way around

Everyone owns their imagination. When your imagination owns you, that's when they usually lock you away (although I think there are pills you can take these days).

mud_rake said...

I found an invitation to post here on another blog. I enjoyed what you had to say and my 'beliefs' match yours. Yet you have invited others with differing ideas to spar here as well.

I have been plagues on my blog with a host of fundamentalists and I fear that they will be drawn here as well.

Be prepared for lots of biblical quotes and enormously long comments.

Shoshana said...


I have to let my husband read this. He has a lot of things to say about God.

RB said...

I think that some times want to believe God is watching to give a sense of purpose and direction to their lives and actions. They don't have an internal compass to follow, and they are afraid of the unknown.

Masoni said...

Here are my thoughts on god, prepared specifically for the occasion.

Quantum_Flux said...

So Buddha, do you believe in a god or multiple gods? If so, what kind of god(s) are they? Do they move around at all or do they just stay in one place?

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...


"Like it or not, God is an old man watching your every move 24/7.
Not only that he watches you but he also knows exactly every thing you are thinking to the most intimate, personal thoughts!"

Thats just a frightening thought! Perhaps I am not religious so that Idont have to deal with the possiblilty that God was aware of all my thoughts and actions. I would be going to Hell then anyway! lol

Buddha said...

@ Sandy – I don’t go to church I go directly to God.

@ William – Turning around to your fellow man it is a very noble ideal.
I think it should start with opening a dialog where all concepts and beliefs can be expressed.
Dr Freud concept of God is a very interesting one and worth analyzing.
Thank you for bringing it up!

@ Argent – Whether we are theist or atheists we all create our beliefs according to our personal interests :)

@ Philly – You wrote: “I think I'd trade having their god run free for having their craziness locked away in churches.”
I don’t agree with the assumption that some exclusive group has “owns” God.
I think a parent has a child and not the other way around.
And I stand corrected; “own” is a very bad choice word.
God does not “own” me or anybody else :)

@ Mud_rake – as long as comments are respectful and half way intelligent all people and opinions are welcome – but then, don’t forget I have the delete button ;)

@ RG – That is a very interesting take. Thank you for bringing that up!

@ Masson – My weekends belong to my family. I’ll have to read that latter. I hope you understand :)

@ Quantum – The only thing I know about God with absolute certainty is that I know too little to even say I know something about God.
For me God is more of a personal experience than anything else.

@ Helene – Do not worry that is just a “concept” and not the real deal :)

Quantum_Flux said...

@ Quantum -The only thing I know about God with absolute certainty is that I know too little to even say I know something about God.
For me God is more of a personal experience than anything else.

@ Buddha - I don't understand why there is a need for a god. Why not, until within the last 100 years in the course of all history, didn't people imagine air travel or personal computers instead of something that makes them look worthless?

To me, 'seek and ye shall find' refers to going to the local library and picking up a book, a book other than religious writings that is, or perhaps more modernly googling something. If, for instance, the ancients had access to these brilliant superintelligent beings in the skies, all knowing as they say, then why didn't people cure cancer or invent the TV back then? Gods are all hocus pocus, unless you can draw useful information out of them, but even then you can't prove that information didn't come from your own mind. For me, the most logical conclusion always is that the voices people are hearing are coming from their own brain, but that when people are egoless or brainwashed they think their own thoughts and feelings is coming from somewhere else. The religious have always practiced the idea of being without ego, a dangerous thing indeed because that goes AGAINST the greater good. Any time people don't think for themselves, an immoral thing has just occured, and anytime people think their own thoughts don't belong to them then another immoral thing has occured too.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

there you can see, how people abuse religion. what you have been taught was obviously not something that had to do with genuine enlightment, spirituality and God. but that's how people can become when they have misunderstandings and are exposed to pressure. But obviously it's got nothing to with God!
ML, Sarah Sofia

dayflyer said...

I love the image of a weekly visiting schedule. This also fits my experience of 'born again' types who like to think their method of worship is the correct one.

I'm happy to accept omniprescence from the point of view that I can call on God whenever and wherever I want (no waiting for that Sunday visit). But it can also be an excuse for inaction or a failure to take personal responsibility.