I am a member of the Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition, and tonight we will meet to finalize the program for Salt Lake City's Pride Interfaith Service, to be held as a part of SLC Gay Pride Weekend. So I have been thinking about the concepts of the service, and it led me to some thoughts on Deity, ones I propounded many years ago as the President of CUUPS-Continental. As you all may know, Unitarian Universalism is "covenental", not "creedal". One is asked to follow, not a shibboleth of belief, but a statement of principles on how we shall treat one another. However, once in a while it is something UUs speculate about--what do I "believe"? Do I "believe" anything? Are "think" and "believe" the same thing? And in one such conversation, many years ago, I came to the following ideas. I am re-visiting them now to see where my thinking will take me next. Perhaps you would like to think about them too--
Q: I would like to ask what each of you thinks about the Divine?
I would love to answer this with the disclaimer that the answers I give here are not "My Answers, set in stone" ... they are some answers I am thinking about, for now .... ask me next week, and ...? (Oh, fine, now you've talked about your answers. Now how about giving us some?)
Q: Do you believe that "the Divine" is multiple or singular in nature?
I believe Deity is innumerable, because I don't think of a Being or a Substance, I think of a Force, mutable, (yes, I think the Divine changes) immeasurable, incomprehensible to me in my present incarnation...but in any case, not something one may number.
Q. Is it unique or one of many?
I think It/They cannot be numbered, so this question for me is essentially meaningless. But I
think the APPROACHES to the Divine are without number...and yet each is Unique as the
person/being doing the approaching.
Q. Do you think it is omniscient or omnipresent, omnipotent or omniverous? (and no one laugh!)
I think of Deity as that which is beyond and behind Life. All things that in any way live, change,
develop, give birth, reproduce or have any type of cyclical force of being (which in my universe
includes everything) are reflections of the Divine. It/They are the Reason for existence, and the
goal of existence, and the essence of existence, to be discovered, grasped at, studied, beheld,
delighted in, but never encompassed. As far as Its attributes, those attributes probably exist on
a level that I cannot discuss with any understanding, since their Essence is of another substance than mine. For me to approach or attempt to understand the Divine is rather like a treatise on nuclear physics written by a butterfly. Yet the search and the journey are that thing in my life which gives me and has given me the most profound satisfaction. Of anything I believe I know about the Divine, the only thing of which I am certain is that It is in essence beneficent...or, if one must, by my own paradigm, keep this impersonal, a positive Force.
Q. Do you hold that we may deduce the divine from the incredible order and complexity found in nature, or is it a leap of faith alone?
My personal Universe deduces the Divine from the fact that I Am, and that I can envision that
which is greater than myself, and that I cannot believe that the only things that exist are things
humanity can understand and create. And the fact that there are so many things extant that
humanity can neither fully understand nor create.
Q. Do you believe that each god worshipped exists somewhere and somehow?
Yes, in the mind and heart of every worshipper. Thoughts are extant, so if even one person has
envisioned and worships the God/dess Bludge, s/he exists somewhere. I also believe that the
Force of years of belief in an essentially identical thought-form by millions of people can and
does generate existence for that being on levels we can understand and experience. For this
reason, although they are not in my personal pantheon, I believe in the existence of both
Yahweh and Satan.
Q. Do you think that Gods are thoughtforms only or did they have an existence separate from humanity?
I believe the Gods are humanity's attempts to comprehend elements of the Divine, in forms and
with attributes that reflect either a belief, a hope, a fear, or a wish. And, as I said above, by dint
of belief in these thought-forms. I think they manifest on some level.
Q. Do the Gods walk the Earth or do they live in spirit and soul?
Hmm....I say to myself this Thursday morning of 2012, as I regard this document, generated over 8 years ago...hmm.... I wonder if I still think this way? I wonder what I think about Deity now? Maybe I should go and think about this.....