When I was young, I was told about a God who lived in Heaven, a far away place that you could only get to when you died, and if you were good. He was a God of love, or so I was told. However, I was also told, in roundabout ways, that He was a God of contradiction. He brought droughts and plagues to people who didn’t listen to His word, and brought wholesale slaughter at times to suit His needs. I was told that Jesus was the Son of God, and that Mary was His mother, but She was also God’s daughter. God had representatives on earth who were supposed to be His emissaries; what I couldn’t understand was that they were somehow closer to God than you were. I was an inquisitive and sensitive child, but I was told in no uncertain terms that I couldn’t question the Word of God, nor the interpretations of His emissaries. This was considered blasphemy, and was certain to send you to Hell, where bad people spent eternity.
By the time I was about twelve, I left behind these emissaries of God (and God Himself) because they didn’t have answers for my many questions and tried instead to turn me away from the path on which I had placed my feet. Having faith only took me so far, and I couldn’t understand or believe in a loving God who would give us beauty and curiosity and dreams and then deny us the use of those gifts and abilities. Yet, I was told repeatedly this was what I had to do, in His name. So I gave up on that God and began to learn of a new God called Science. Now, the God of Science wasn’t called that at all; in fact Science frowned upon any mention of God. Within the realms of Science I felt I had found my home at last. Here there was variety in an infinite amount and every question held an answer that led to several more questions. I learned the terminology of Linnaeus, the theories of Darwin and Lamarck, and contrasted the complexity of science against the simplicity of my former religion.
In time I found this new God of Science had taught me much about the world in which I lived, but while I had learned about evolution and progress and struggle and life and death, I found I was wholly unprepared to live in the world we humans had created for ourselves. In wandering the world of humans and watching how they lived their lives, I came to discover the God of Power and the associate God of Money. I discovered these new Ways had temples called banks and investment houses, and that within these there lived a truly powerful Being. This God of Power was fickle and the undercurrents were many, but still I found premises of evolution, the survival of the fittest and the idea of every man for himself. Millions upon millions of people carried with them icons of this religion and showed them to others. These people felt good about themselves if they could be worthy of exchanging their time, their bodies, their selves and their lives for these symbols of prosperity.
Still, within the tenets of these Ways I found much unhappiness. I searched the archival banks of computers, taught myself their languages and discovered their secrets. Deep within, far, far out I searched but no real answers could be found. Gaining access to those sacred halls of knowledge, I associated myself with other bastions of this Way: printers and scanners, CD-ROM drives and input/ output devices. I followed along with others in the pursuit of pure logic, but no wholeness could be measured there.
Eventually I left, wandered east and discovered the Ways of wu chi and the Tao, the consciousness of Buddhism and the synthesis of Nirvana. I looked into the past, long gone, and spoke with Mohammed and Jehovah. Quetzlcoatl and Itzamna came to call, and I learned their ways also.
While all of these Ways have merit, I found that none of them suited me. I was told by some that religion wasn’t a buffet from which I could pick and choose. I couldn’t just fill a shopping cart with Allah and binomial nomenclature, Judas and financial ledgers; I had to pick one Way and follow it only. Still, I countered that in all I have found there is only one real song and everyone is singing it in their own voice. There are many, many verses, but the Ways of the Earth Mother, the Spirit That Lives in All Things and the Goddesses of ancient Greece have a place beside the priests of my youth. I found that while each person or oak or ant, each leaf and pebble is different, unique and special in their own way, we are all composed of the same measures of existence. I learned also that hierarchy and harmony are the same thing in different guises and that within each of us there is a spark of pure creativity. I learned that the only negativity we have in our lives is what we create for ourselves. Finally, I found we are all intimately tied to each other. Our concept of individuality is a thin veneer overlaying a universal spirit. Each of us is a strand of that light; we all carry a ‘piece’ of God within us. Our spirit expresses itself through us when we allow it, in Love, in kindness, in art, in music, in all the myriad ways we become who we Are. The whole IS greater than the sum of the parts. Nevertheless, it is the uniqueness of the parts, individually and in all the ways we intersect with and complement each other, that make the whole what it is.
And I called it the God of Mike.
Mike Pedde 26/04/2002