creating god in our own image

is it that we create god then, when our world falls apart and we need something to put it back together again? something to give meaning to the chaos. surely there must be some good reason for the insanity that is this life, and so we construct elaborate meanings (or simple ones) when it really makes no sense at all. is this perhaps the only way to maintain one’s sanity through the despair….like a child frightened of the dark creates a superhero to reside underneath her bed so that she can sleep in peace that night, an imaginary friend to love her when she is alone (as she always is), a prince charming to rescue her from the evil that despises and abuses her. do we then re-create god when our previous structure crumbles, when the rules we had made up about god don’t fit our current need.

is the idea of god merely some huge defense mechanism, one that changes with the times according to the fears of the day. our desires (singularly or collectively) become this god’s desire, we wrap them up in ‘truth’ and call it god. and then we are not so small, we have the power and the will of god with us, so we can go on to face the day feeling a little less powerless, a little less alone, a little less despair.

i create a god of love perhaps because it is the only way that i can possibly begin to love myself; a god of understanding and acceptance and belonging because i do not experience these things in this place and so in order to survive, i must create it for myself.

i can pretend to speak for god, then, and it gives me power, strength, even hope. yes, i can delude myself into believing that the world i hope for is also god’s desire, and so believe that it may come to pass….that i will be loved, understood, accepted and welcome.

you create a god of right and wrong, of judgment and vengeance because it is the only way that you can possibly feel safe when you face something frighteningly different than you, when are attacked. then you can also pretend to speak for god and it gives you power, courage, strength, even hope. there are those who become angry at you because your god does not speak the words of their god (for whom they are also certain that they speak). they are right. your god is not their god.

how many people are there in the world? there are that many gods. perhaps that is what they mean by a personal god.

i must believe what i do, in order to survive the psychological assault that i face. perhaps you must believe what you do, in order to face the physical one, or whatever one, you likewise do. in order to deal with my aloneness, i must superimpose upon it a feeling of being accompanied and held. in order to deal with my differentness, i must superimpose it with a feeling of being uniquely created, even when i suspect that every other lonely, disconnected face out there feels the same way as i do. in order to belong, i must create a place in which i am welcome, in which my values and ideals are cherished. perhaps this is all that church is…a place to feel less alone.

yet, we fight about the right idea of god, when there is no right idea at all. there is only need, desperate and unyielding human need. what makes a need right or wrong? i wonder. what makes one despair greater than another. yet instead of embrace and understanding and acceptance of our mutual need, we spread our fear. instead of opening out to see the other’s need, to fill it even just a little bit with love and understanding, we shut the other out. and so their god grows stronger…necessarily….as does our own.

i will likely keep my god. and it will likely grow and change and become something other than what it is today, although i doubt that i will delude myself into believing that my god is The God again. i know that it is simply what i need to survive this place. perhaps even to thrive…. and then, perhaps when i stop giving my god all the power, i will at last take some for myself, stop feeling so helplessly powerless to create the world i need, right here, right now. 

i remember once writing, speaking in fact, (for god?) that the universe is as loving and accepting as we are to ourselves. perhaps that is so. it was a good day when i wrote that, believed that, hoped that. perhaps then we need only be more loving and accepting of ourselves, in order for the universe to change, to become before our very eyes what we long for it to be. perhaps the world already is what we desire but we cannot see it for all of our self-loathing. as they say, you can only change yourself. perhaps only we can make love real for us in this place, the same way that we make god. respond to the need and it will manifest itself. perhaps there is no god. there is only us.


and we are as hopelessly alone and powerless as i feel.


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