As human beings continue to evolve, so do our conceptions of God. In fact, I would go so far as to say that as human beings evolve, God evolves right along with me, and with every step I take toward deeper consciousness and compassion action, I believe God takes another step toward its own perfection and the divinization of the universe. God, Divine Mind, Love, Substance, Spirit, and other words, are ways we describe the fullness of our humanity when we let go of our limitations and step fully into the activity of God. They are simply attempts to describe our experience of the divine.
So how we understand the nature of God is every bit as important as our experience of God. Sometimes we describe God as the “great web-of-life,” as a transcendent aspect. Typically we identify with this experience when seeing the great beauty of life – a sunrise, the endless ocean waves, mind-boggling pictures of the cosmos. Other times we experience God in the silence, those peak events that have no words, no temporal connection, the I AM. This is the immanent aspect where we know consciousness as singular, as Oneness.
I know that the force that moves the stars is the same force that moves the human heart. That force, that transcendent nature of God, comes alive as every person. This experience of God, alive as us, has provided some of the most powerful experiences in my life making me a more compassionate person. This is my experience of Spirit as a living intelligence that I interact with.
I got to have this experience with my father about a year before he died. He and my mother were traveling across country in their RV and it was Thanksgiving time when they journeyed through Phoenix where I was living. We were headed up north for the Grand Canyon to spend Thanksgiving in an untraditional way. That Thursday morning we awoke before dawn and drove the RV to an overlook to watch the sunrise over the canyon. There are no words to describe the awe-inspiring imagery coming to life in front of me.
I sat on a rock at the ledge and closed my eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun creep across my face as I huddled under a quilt in the freezing cold. Within a few minutes my dad brought me a plate of scrambled eggs and sat down beside me. As I looked from the miraculous beauty of this canyon to my father, I realized I was watching God take another step toward its own perfection. The same force that carved these rocks with wind and water over billions of years, was the same force that was the aliveness of my dad. It was Spirit as a living intelligence having breakfast with me at the canyon’s edge.
I was reminded as I looked at his face that in the ‘I-Thou’ relationship, God is that hyphen that connects me with everyone and everything in creation. God is the essence of our relationships, the sanctuary where I reside, where we all reside. It is in this place that every gesture, even making breakfast, is a prayer and every kindness a blessing. These are how we experience God’s radiant display.