THE BLOG
11/26/2013 09:44 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2014

Religion Does Not Contain God

Sometimes I think we've got it backwards. We think religion -- yours, mine, and ours -- contains God, when in fact it's the reverse. God is infinitely larger than any religion could ever be, no matter how global, dogmatic or grandiose. God is the infinite structure within which every religion is contained. Within which we ourselves are contained. If we think of religion that way, we may be more open to the many true things religion does not mention about life in general. The many things it doesn't mention about God, for that matter.

All sacred texts contain many teachings that are bound by time, culture, and the limitations of the human mind and experience. However God is not fixed in time. God is eternal. Sometimes I wonder about how difficult it is for God to reach us through the extreme limitations of the human mind, even the minds of mystics and prophets. Our human awareness, or consciousness, is continually evolving, so it only makes sense that the prophecies of our times would be very different, and possibly even contradict, the prophecies of ancient people.

If we understand better that God contains us and our religious beliefs instead of the reverse, we might think more about how we've tried to confine God to our specific and rigid belief systems -- belief systems that sometimes show themselves over time or personal experience to be conditional or even false. If we truly understand the infinite nature of God, we might give our Creator a little more room to breathe -- to speak through different types of people in different cultures with different priorities. We might not set ourselves up for failure by creating literal and absolute profiles of a Creator who is, let's face it, largely unknowable to our imperfect minds. We might listen better to the ideas of others in the human family and not freeze our spiritual evolution to a temporal time and space that is fixed for all eternity. Anything fixed is human, after all, because God cannot be pinned down anywhere in the space/time continuum except by us and our perceptions, true or false. If we think of God this way, as the Infinite Unknown, we might be willing to understand that the religious ideas we have inherited or discovered, however true, are a fraction of the divine information that is continually being imparted from the spiritual domain.

When I think about the idea that God contains us fully and not the other way around, I become more humble and receptive to the ideas of others, though I am not advocating lack of discernment. But if instead of reaching for systematic dogma or defining God through rigid systems of any persuasion, we instead openly seek Truth, I think we have a better chance of actually finding God.