Are we foolish to believe in a ‘personal’ God?

Are we foolish to believe in a ‘personal’ God?

Here is the daily email for today – a short quote plus Eknath’s commentary – from the Eknath Easwaran site. Eknath was a wonderful interspiritual teacher long before the term was invented.

‘By love may He be gotten and holden, by thought never. – from THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING

The supreme, radiant Being that dwells in our own consciousness cannot be attained by any amount of reasoning, for this Being is one and indivisible, beyond all duality. But by loving Him “with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our strength,” we can come to live in Him completely. When we learn to love Her more than we love ourselves, our consciousness is unified.

It is all very well to talk about the Ultimate Reality, the Great Void, but we cannot love a Void. Here it is that we need God in an aspect we can love and understand – the Supreme Poet, the sustainer and protector of all, from whom we came into existence and to whom we shall return. We need a divine ideal like Sri Krishna, Jesus the Christ, the Compassionate Buddha, or the Divine Mother.

Loving the Lord means loving the innermost Self in all those around us. We need only somehow to increase our capacity to love – because we do not live in what we think; we live in what we love.’

A QUESTION ANSWERED: Eknath answers a question I’ve had for some time “Does it make sense in the 21stC to school yourself into a relationship with a personal version of God – given that the modern teachers e.g. Paul Tillich refer to Ultimate Being – and indeed that much earlier teachers refer to the void or the formless etc?” Yes it does.

God as infinite being may be unknowable but her/his love and knowledge flows via his Messengers – and through Creation as a whole. At least three of the major traditions refer to God having made (hu)man(ity) in His own image so the limits of that with which we can have a relationship are the Messengers – who perfectly reflect the heat of God’s love and the light of His knowledge. They were human as well as Divine.

They are like transformers that limit the infinite love and knowledge down to levels that we can bear – just as the transformer on your laptop reduces mains electricity to a few bolts. Without the transformer the laptop would blow up. We without the Messengers of God would either blow up or more likely remain in the grossest ignorance.

The Thought for the Day is today’s entry from Eknath Easwaran’s Words to Live By.’ Get a brilliant quote each day from the Eknath Easwaran site – here –

I try to have one email coming in each day for all of the Traditions from which we take our primary inspiration.

Thought cannot comprehend God And so I…

“Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love him whom I cannot know. Though we cannot know him we can love him.” –The Cloud of Unknowing

Patrick White Australian novelist: ‘only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us’

‘God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.’

In the 14th Century an anonymous English mystic wrote a book called ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’, the main theme of which is that God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.

I feel that in my own life anything I have done of possible worth has happened in spite of my gross, worldly self. I have been no more than the vessel used to convey ideas above my intellectual capacities. When people praise passages I have written, more often than not I can genuinely say, ‘Did I write that?’ I don’t think this is due to my having a bad memory, because I have almost total recall of trivialities. I see it as evidence of the part the supernatural plays in lives which would otherwise remain earthbound.

Patrick White Australian novelist and winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature.