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Who is God?

William Stillman
Health Education

As human beings, we have personified God (usually as "He") to make God more relatable and accessible, like a big, older brother or a watchful father figure. Indeed, the ancient depiction of God is that of an elder, wise with a flowing white beard, surveying us mortals from the clouds. (When I was a child, I equated "God" with the King of Hearts on a playing card!)

Perhaps another way to phrase this question is "What is God?" This presents a new and more complicated paradigm through which to interpret the concept of "God" because, now, instead of thinking of God as person-like, we are compelled to think of God as a pervasive essence or force that is all-knowing and all-loving.

In my opinion, when it is quoted that humankind is created in God's image, this isn't intended to be a literal interpretation indicating two eyes, arms, legs, etc. It pertains to the very composition of the soul. We are a reflection of all that God is, ever was, and will be to come. The potential for each human being to fulfill his or her predestined mission-of-the-soul is an homage to, and celebration of, the source of our creation, or God.

If we subscribe to this concept, then the response to the question, "Who is God?" is, "We are!"

Lisa Oz
Health Education

I have a habit of referring to God as "he." I was raised to see the divine as masculine and I admit I'm comfortable with that imagery for myself. But, I am also quite certain that the infinite would, by definition, encompass every male and female attribute. I never for a moment felt that I wasn't formed in the image of God because I'm a girl. If you're more comfortable with using "she," please do so. And again, if the term "the universe" works better for you, use that instead. Even if you're an ardent atheist, I hope that you'll find something that speaks to you. Perhaps, you can connect with a collective ethic of humanity or a sense of order within nature.

Maybe like many Buddhists, you can seek union with that place of inner reality or the "very subtle mind" where there is "no self." Feel free to modify anything I say so that it makes sense to you in your journey of relationship with all that is good, true, and eternal. For me, a personal God is easiest to love. Attempting to generate any emotion for abstract constructs, like order, beauty, or mercy is more than I'm capable of at this stage in my spiritual development. So, when I speak about God, I'm going to refer to him in his divinely human form, but you can go ahead and insert swirling galaxies if you prefer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.