I know, it’s a mouthful; and I would apologize, but it’s kind of a big deal. Today I feel like discussing a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a discussion which, depending on your stance, might cause you to feel uneasy. You will also undoubtedly disagree with several viewpoints that I hold in regards to this conversation. Keep in mind, though, that my views on this particular topic are in many ways still very much in their infancy. Therefore, I’m impressionable and hungry for a better understanding and more conviction. Okay, here we go! God, universe, prayer, meditation, faith, belief, and the quest for inner peace.
Life is an array of thoughts that when acted upon have the power to create a conscious reality. This statement in and of itself can be dissected for an eternity. The depths of which this particular rabbit hole reach knows no end, it’s simply infinite. I mention thought because it’s an integral aspect of God, although explaining how thought is integral to God is a worthy discussion all by itself. For now, I’d like to focus on my current, personal beliefs about God, starting with the fact that I do believe He exists.
Full disclosure, my relationship with God hasn’t always been a wonderful one. In fact, recently it has been downright terrible because I sometimes have a tendency to place blame on Him. I’ve never stopped believing in God, but I often get lost in the details. I’m an extremely analytical person, and I like to understand things and relate them to one another. Even so, I know that some things can’t be explained. There’s plenty of wonder in this world, and I’m not above believing in something that I don’t fully comprehend. Not to mention I’ve had multiple experiences where I felt as though God had a huge impact on my life in very positive ways. You have to be willing to look for those moments, though.
Raised Catholic, I had extremely strict guidelines for what faith was. Nowadays, I equate Catholicism more to a religion than a type of faith. These two terms are, in my opinion, very different. Faith isn’t bound by the opinions of specific religions. Instead, faith is a feeling of the heart. It can be experienced. Religion, on the other hand, is a rigid depiction of what one particular group believes faith to be. It is my belief, therefore, that while religion can shed light on God, it can not fully express who or what God is. Only faith can do that.
Some of you may feel as though God is a dated concept. Perhaps you think that the conventional assumptions of who and what God is, no longer apply in the modern age. God can be interpreted endlessly, after all. One common belief is that God is the Universe, and the Universe is God. It’s an idea worth entertaining at the very least. Another is that God is in fact thought, and vice versa, but there again a multitude of positions and views could be argued. Who’s right? Maybe everyone.
Faith is a curious power. We all have faith, whether we notice or admit it. Every time we ride in a car or walk into an elevator we’re expressing our faith in the people who built those devices. We have faith that they were built in such a way to ensure our safety, and our survival after using them. Faith in God is no different, many of us just don’t understand Him quite as well as we understand physical products. Probably an effect of being a product of our environments.
Prayer, though, according to the faithful, is a useful gift that carves a path towards salvation. It’s an open line to the big man upstairs, and to realizing who He actually is. Prayer too, then, can be observed in various lights. What I mean to say is this, prayer isn’t just a person’s inner dialect directed at an elusive ‘being in the sky’. Prayer is meaningful. It’s direct. It’s a very real conversation. What mechanisms are we using when we pray, though? It’s one of my longest-held beliefs that prayer and meditation can be used almost interchangeably as they produce similar results.
Not everyone will agree with me here, and it’s highly likely that I’m way off base. You might even be offended, but currently, this is what I believe.
When we pray, we are essentially putting ourselves in a state of meditation; so therefore when we meditate, we pray. Either way, we are opening a line of communication with God. With the Universe. With whatever benevolent energy is out there, connecting us all to one another in some majestic, cosmic miracle of life.
“When we pray, we are essentially putting ourselves in a state of meditation; so therefore when we meditate, we pray.”
The importance of meditation is evident if you’ve ever tried to clear your mind consistently for a few days. Almost immediately, the practice of meditation (or prayer) amplifies your resolve and diminishes stress and worry. Meditation offers relief in a world where we are bombarded relentlessly with trivial nonsense that just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Clearing your thoughts then is crucial. It helps to make room for other, more beneficial ideas. Meditation precedes growth and is a critical tool of fulfilled persons in all walks of life. In my experience, just (10-15) minutes of inward thinking significantly increases my drive and focus. It’s literally magic.
God, universe, prayer, meditation, faith, belief, and the quest for inner peace. There’s so much to take in! It would be foolish to expect spiritual clarity overnight, and it’s a journey that I believe lasts past this lifetime. My intention is to gain a better understanding of God and spirit through conversation and empathy.
We all know so very little of this world. What makes someone so arrogant to assume that they know everything about the next life?
My quest for inner peace is endless, and the older I get, the less I think I know.