Sunday, December 18, 2011

Depersonalizing God: Atheism disguised as Spirituality?

I recently saw a quote by C.S. Lewis that said, “Don't think of God in terms of forms, because forms are limited, and God is unlimited.” (continued below)

While I agree that God is indeed unlimited, my ability as an earthbound human to grasp that in any meaningful way is incredibly limited! Being able to attribute a physical form to Deity on which to focus has proven absolutely helpful for me in relating to Him not only as an impersonal, vague “force”, but also as an individual Person. In my own case, agnosticism or atheism would have ultimately set in had I reduced my concept of God to the whole, somehow diluted, God-is-everything-and-everyone. The latter view almost sounds like atheism trying to sneak into one’s psyche disguised as “spirituality”. After all, for the average atheist, isn’t the individual person as Godlike as it gets? If so… um… how is the God-is-me/God-is-you philosophy any different from atheism?

As Satyaraja dasa said, “Teachers in the Krishna conscious tradition suggest that the desire to depersonalize God comes, on a subliminal level, from the desire to avoid surrender. After all, if God is a person, then questions of submission and subservience come into play. If God is a formless abstraction, we can philosophize about it without a sense of commitment, without the fear of having to acknowledge our duty to a higher being.

To that I say, BINGO!