Monday, March 10, 2008

More about God

I had the honor of attending my dear friend Sylvia's daughter Danika's arangetram, which is a dance recital/rite of passage from classical dance tradition in India. Danika has been studying dance for 10 years and her arangetram is her "coming out" as a dancer. Words cannot describe the beauty, grace and elegance of Danika's dancing. Accompanied by four musicians and a vocalist, Danika performed for two and a half hours, telling stories through poses, gestures and facial expression. I was moved to be invited to be there.

The arangetram was held in the Hindu Temple, Sri Ganesha. I've never been in a Hindu temple before, although I'd be curious. The priest performed a ceremony with Danika and her parents at the alter before the dance began. I think it was done in Sanskrit so I have no idea what it was about other than probably blessing Danika and allowing her to give thanks (that's only a guess).

It was interesting to be in a Hindu temple after writing about the lack of icons and symbols for God in my spiritual life. As I understand it, Hindus worship God/Brahman who manifests through many Deities/Manifestations. I think it's like God manifesting through Jesus and the Holy Ghost in the trinity. As I wrote in my last post, I relate to Jesus and, through Jesus, come to God.

I have difficulty getting past what I was taught about idols to be able to open myself to expand my very narrow concept of God by learning about the ways others come to understand or know God. I also have a real dislike of anthropomorphising God. God is not human. I am human. I am made in God's image but I do not believe that I am all that God is. I can find God in creation and worship God through God's creation. I do not worship nature; I worship God through nature. I do not worship a fellow human but I can find God in others and come closer to God by opening myself to that truth ("that of God").

"There's a Light that is shining in the heart of a man,
It's the Light that was shining when the world first began.
It's the Light that is shining in the Turk and the Jew,
And the Light that is shining, Friend, in me and in you."

God is that Light. God can be called Spirit, One, Creator or Love. I can perceive God as the Holy Mother/Father or as Wisdom/Sophia or as the gentle healer and angry teacher Jesus. God is what unites us and gives us the spark of life.

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