Saturday, January 04, 2014

Thinking about God.

Thinking about God I've wondered recently if you get what you ask for rather than what you deserve.

I don't mean Christian reward and punishment. I mean if you choose not to believe in the existence of God then there will be Nothing after death , but if you want God in your life and after it you have to make an effort to bring Him in. I've thought for some time that if there is nothing at all after death then it doesn't matter what you believe, but if you believe God is real then it certainly does.

When Tony died I ranted at God and felt let down by Him; it was as if I'd made some kind of deal in my own head that I'd consent to believe in God because He was treating me well and I was happy. I used to get up in the mornings and walk the dogs up the mountain and I'd always thank God, although I called him Zeus because that seemed more appropriate. I was really at peace with God for the first time in my life and so content and happy to have it all.

I rejected God afterwards.I don't remember blaming God I just accused Him of not saving Tony; for years after I couldn't talk to God or even think about Him. He was cruel and guilty of not noticing or caring about me, but I kept getting the strongest feeling that Tony still existed somewhere.... so I talked to him. The Moon became a symbol of this new relationship we had. There were long periods I couldn't feel Tony around and those were times when I was at my lowest, overloaded with grief and a long way down the deepest hole. The times when I felt close to Tony were days when I felt I could cope, that I could wait for us to be together again no matter how far off that time might be. Seeing the Moon acted like a tonic on my spirits; the Moon is often invisible here because we get a lot of cloudy skies, so to see the Moon at night and especially to see it in the early morning was a great boost and it still is a wonder to me.

I began to envisage my next meeting with Tony as happening in some kind of virtual reality. I'd die and then I'd open my eyes to find myself on a sandy beach at night with stars everywhere, and moonlight of course. I'd be standing on the edge of a calm, dark sea with little ripples of foam moving along the beach. Then I'd see Tony and he'd come to me and I'd bury my face in his chest as he held me tight.
That's a vision that brings me immense comfort and I long for it to be real. If it's a only a dream I pray there's some degree of truth in it.

At first the vision stopped at the point of meeting Tony because my emotions took over, my imagination broke down trying to think what could follow on from that and I didn't want anything more anyway. I'd be happy to stand there in Tony's arms for the rest of eternity.

Then I thought of us walking into the sea together and disappearing into the life force that was the only way I could think of God.

It's taken several more years to think of God in a personal way.
I was brought up to the judaeo-christian idea of God as a just but stern father figure. A God you could worship and obey and fear.
I couldn't love a God like that,but I did manage some love for Jesus but never really grasped or liked the idea of the Trinity.

Then I found Rumi. He showed me a different God; a friend, a lover and helper, a God you could feel very, very close to.
I'd stumbled on Rumi shortly after Tony died and took his love poetry as being about love between man and woman and that was wonderful enough. Intellectually I was aware that Rumi also talked about divine love using analogies but I didn't see how he could use terms of intimacy and affection and be talking about God. I can't say that the penny dropped quickly, but I've read a lot of Rumi and now I get it, well I get a large chunk of it. Some of Rumi's metaphors are too Islamic to be clear to me. I don't have the cultural background to understand all the references surrounding a medieaval persian Sufi mind. But Rumi has helped me learn to love God. I don't have the ecstasy but I understand the warmth and I feel some of the desire. I now think of Tony as now being in God and of my love for Tony being love in the direction of God because God is Love and His love is often given to us through human love like Tony's love for me. I can't get that better phrased as yet.

To come back to the beginning I know that I want to improve my relationship with God. I doubt that I can reach the levels of love that Rumi
did, I have no Shams and I'm still too ensnared by old awe and too much analysing but I want God. Maybe I'll get what I want eventually.

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