Magazine article Tikkun

God, in Whom

Magazine article Tikkun

God, in Whom

Article excerpt

THE WORDS THAT COME MOST AUTHENTICALLY FROM the heart when I speak of God are these from one of our most common prayers: "Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being." Granted, when Paul used these words in addressing the people of Athens, he cribbed from a Greek poet to communicate in a new context. Now, fully part of Christian prayer, these words remind me that God is not "out there," nor is God "ours." No, we- and that means all of us- live within the complex, vast, intricate, and ever-evolving being of the one we call God. Our spiritual life is not about being lifted out of the mundane, but rather about recognizing the infinite faces and facets of the one in whom we live. It is about growing in knowledge of the One in whom. It is about the deep-seeing of prayer and meditation and the deep-seeing of scientific and humanistic research.

Of course, the onewecallGod transcends our own understanding, even our deepest insight. Our compass and guide is to know that the most important thing for us to know is what we cannot fully know, but try to know. Those of us who are Christians evoke the complexity and mystery of God with the mind-boggling language of the Trinity. Jews write the unpronounceable "I am" who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Muslims do not image God in any form at all, and Hindus speak of 330 million gods, which perhaps amounts to the same thing. As the Taittiriya Upanishad puts it, Being itself is that "whence mind and speech, having no hold, fall back."

But we don't leave it there. …

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