Part 2 of week 2/6, Affirmative Prayer: What is it and why Should I Care?
Right click this link and choose “Save target as…” or similar to download the entire post in .doc format. Affirmative Prayer Week 2 Part 2 Notes
See Part 1 if you haven’t already.
Follow along below as we continue with IV. of the class outline. Again, further explanations begin with *.
IV. God: Traditional vs. Metaphysical
A. Traditional God
* How does traditional Western Christianity perceive God?
1. Is to be feared
* Which came first – the chicken or the egg?
Which came first – the fear of God or the contradiction between love and fear?
We don’t know and it doesn’t matter. However, there is often a contradiction between a loving God and one that should be feared.
My question to the class was: How can you love something you fear? How can you fear something you love?
To me, you can’t! You either feel love, or you feel fear. Love is the abundance of good, and fear is the lack thereof. So, can you both love and fear God? Metaphysics says no.
Can you respect God? Be in awe of God? etc? Yes. But where there is fear, there is always lack.
It’s this fear-lack that is stressed in traditional prayer. People fear God because He is powerful, mighty, all-seeing, all-knowing, and things we’ll get to – angry, jealous, and so on. It’s as if people don’t know what God will do with His power – sound like a human construct to you? Will God “like” me? If He does I can love Him. If I don’t know what He’ll do, or He hates me, I must fear Him.
I believe the only thing we ever fear, is the unknown. Traditionally we hear, “Only God knows…” As in, “You have no power over your life.” That doesn’t feel good.
But, we can hear the same thing in Metaphysics, and look at it differently.
“Only God knows…” But God is within you, so you can know too!
So, is God something or someone to be feared? You choose!
* God gets revenge. This is Old Testament stuff here, but it’s still so engrained in our society! If we don’t act as God wants, He will judge us or even cast us out entirely.
Also, if we mess with God’s people, we will be plagued by something. Whether locusts, boils or “just” fear and guilt, we will surely be plagued, until we do what God wants.
Do our parent-child relationships look like this today? We don’t want to admit it, but they do…
Imagine this: Parent takes child to church. Child misbehaves, runs around, talks during prayer or meditation, so parent takes something away. Or yells, or says, “If you don’t behave, I won’t…” or “You won’t…” Classic do what I want or I’ll plague (fear or guilt) you into it. Why? Because I am vengeful and my love is conditional.
Never has history repeated itself the way it does in our homes. And if this is so obvious, even just to some of us, how much more do we repeat this to ourselves, in our own minds, hearts and souls?
Do you want to be in a relationship with a God who gets revenge? Even if He’s on your side now, He may not always be. So then, who will get His wrath? That’s right – you will!
Even in the expressions we use, there is a vengeful God. Someone mentioned having good weather for instance, and hearing, “Well we’re gonna pay for that!” As if we can’t have more “good” than “Bad”. How sad!
And there’s always, “Bad things come in 3’s.” Because the traditionalists know, there’s a limit to how much of God’s good we can receive!
* When I was a child and learned that God is angry, I didn’t want to pray anymore. Yet I also heard that God is love, and that love does not anger. So I didn’t know what to believe, and still didn’t want to pray.
It’s no wonder the traditional God seems so far away, or that we feel so undeserving in many religions! It starts early – with our very idea of what God is.
* It seems that in traditional religion, we remember the words and the feelings we attached to them. But we don’t remember, or even know, the meaning behind them. I read up a little on God’s jealousy, and what I found surprised me. When translated the word jealous means zealous. So that God’s jealousy, means He wants to protect something dear to Him.
In this way God’s jealousy seems less overbearing. But at first hearing, who would want to have a relationship with a jealous God?
Here and otherwise traditional Western Christianity wraps itself up in the letter of the Word, rather than the Spirit. I know I experienced this as a child, and clearly I’m still coming to terms with some of it.
If I, as an ever-unfolding metaphysical student, am still acknowledging and addressing these deep issues from childhood, how many more of us are too? How many of us wish we could leave the trap of tradition and know, in an intuitive sense, something better? All we know is that we don’t like jealousy in people, and we don’t like it, the way we understand it, in God either. Knowing what we don’t want is a good place to start, as long as through the God-Power within, we realize what we do want!
5. Gives to “the chosen ones”
* You have to be special for God to give to you. Good enough, deserving enough, worthy enough, prayerful enough, religious enough. You must be chosen by God, then you’ll receive “the keys to the Kingdom.” But not without a lot of hard work, prayer and supplication – mind you!
But traditionally, are we ever good enough for God? Many religions still say no. You know – original sin, all have sinned, the heart is deceitful – need I go on? So many messages in Christianity still stress that we are unworthy and always will be.
So why bother trying?
6. Allows bad things to happen
* Plus, if “only God knows,” then only God controls things. And things are not always good. So God allows bad things to happen? But why? No one ever had a satisfactory answer to that one.
B. Metaphysical God
* In contrast, how do we view these aspects of God in metaphysics? Well, first of all we leave behind all confusion and start with a clean slate! Thank God!
* “I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.
“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
“If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.
“But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives.”
“God does not play dice with the universe,”
God is universal. In fact, God is the Universe itself. God is everywhere – and you thought your cell phone plan was that good!? 😀
Ask yourself, as Einstein does, if the Universe is friendly. Then, ask yourself if God is friendly. If you get a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’, ask for clarity and guidance. In order to pray effectively in metaphysics, we need to accept the basic premise that God is Universe or universal consciousness.
2. Life-giving and Life itself
* God is life-giving. The only reason we have life, is because God gave it to us.
Yet, beyond giving, God is Life itself. God is our Life. People who don’t like the word God, often use the word Life, Source or Lifeforce. This is because Life runs through all things; and so does God-Presence.
3. Beyond ego, cannot experience anger
* It is the personal ego that gets angry. You didn’t do what I want, so now I’m mad. That’s fine. Yes, it’s ok to be angry! But there’s also more to life than that. Anger is not ultimate reality, and neither is the ego that creates it.
Therefore, God, which is ultimate reality, is beyond ego. God cannot experience anger. God can’t be angry with you or because of you, and you can’t experience the wrath of God’s anger. Because God cannot be angry!
4. Creator and substance of all, cannot be jealous of itself
* Just as God is life-giving and Life (period), God is also creator and substance.
A potter is a creator. The potter creates with clay. So potter is creator and clay is substance.
God is creator. But God creates from itself. So God is creator, and the stuff each creation is made of. All at the same time!
Things in the physical world are made of, for instance, clay. But ultimately, that clay is made of God’s substance. God creates everything from itself. So everything is made of: God.
You wouldn’t be jealous of something you made. No, you would be proud that you created it, and you would let it fulfill its purpose. So it is with God. God cannot be jealous of anything. To be jealous, as we usually understand the word, would mean God thought the creation was better than He.
God does not think that. God is creator and substance. To be jealous of something, would mean that God is jealous of himself. I ask you – Who would do that?
5. Gives to each creation as much as it will receive
* We can block the flow of God’s good to us. And we often do… But God’s purpose, as Universal Life, is to give each creation everything.
If a creation, a person in this case, blocks that flow, then they don’t receive the good. But that is not God’s fault. That’s your block.
God’s true nature is to give. But God can only give as much as any creation will receive. God does not force the giving onto us.
Know that God gives as much as we will receive. And know that if you feel you’re not receiving good, you can change that. Because God does want to give to you!
6. Knows neither good nor bad
* Nothing is good, or bad to God. This was a difficult one in class. Of course, someone mentioned murder, rape, child abuse, mass homicide, suicide and other acts. And I shared, as compassionately as I could, that while these acts seem hurtful to us and seem so real, they are not ultimate reality.
God, in its universal, timeless, limitless knowing, power and presence, does not label things as good or bad. We do. God sees the whole picture. We don’t.
But we can choose to look beyond what we do see. To see the reality of God. If we don’t do this, we’ll remain in turmoil, confusion, anger and fear. And we’ll keep wondering why these things happen.
If even for a moment, we can look beyond, we can know peace. And peace always begins, as the song says, “with me.” Within.
And to be a little blunt, does every murder affect you? No, because there are a lot of murders you never hear about. Or you hear about them, and because you didn’t know the people, or see the mass report of violence, you remain unaffected.
Just as you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to, you don’t have to be toppled emotionally by every violent event you hear about. Truly, you don’t.
These events, like everything in our lives, are just circumstances and experiences. God is still there, within. It seems many are not aware of that. But it’s still True.
Go back to the question of whether the Universe is friendly. Reread the Einstein quote, and look within to find your own answers. That’s all I or anyone can authentically urge you to do.
You hear many things. But they don’t all stir up negative feelings. So know that with God, you can have peace, no matter what takes place around you. And the best news, again: God is within, so you don’t have to look very far!
7. See also article – What is God?
Or right click this link and choose “Save target as…” or similar to download the article in .doc format. Download What is God?
Everyone who has expressed interest in having an affirmative prayer partner, now has one.
We use positive intention, perception of ultimate/God reality, intending the highest good, and allowing of the God-Mind to work through us, in prayer with and for each other.
Partners contact each other personally by phone, email or in person as they feel comfortable. Some have chosen to treat/pray at their own convenience and check in weekly with their partner.
If you’d like more information or want to pray with a partner, please contact me.
I also provide Professional Metaphysical Practitioner services. Having a Practitioner can be helpful in seeing good where there appears to be none, and as a supportive presence while you look within for the answers that are true for you.
Both prayer partners and I, as a Professional Metaphysical Practitioner, hold all personal information in confidence. Anything you share is kept between you and the person you chose.
As always, if you have any comments, questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me!