It can be very difficult when you first start exploring spiritual teachings after many years of feeling fairly solid as an atheist to deal with how often the ‘G’ bomb is dropped.
These days I don’t consider myself atheist at all, fairly likely you could define me fairly correctly as a pantheist. As such, I have my own beliefs of what I feel god is, but since this isn’t in line with the traditional Christian man in the sky version I grew up hearing about, hearing the word is a little triggering.
I do realise it is possibly a sign of a need for some inner work if I am still treating the word god as if it is a swear word, but in my circles for a very long time, it was. Now this isn’t because I grew up surrounded by heathens, this is actually because many of my close circle did grow up with Christianity and had rejected the idea as they grew up, feeling it wasn’t in line with their own personal path.
It has taken me some time to understand that many people use the word god who also hold a fairly pantheist view, so I have found teachers I resonate with because of this. I have even become comfortable with reading books that use the word god frequently, as I have come to see that many of the teachings are still worth taking in, even if the surrounding stories are not in line with my own beliefs.
A while ago, I watched a video by Matt Kahn, who made an interesting statement which I actually found at the time a little offensive. He basically said that your comfort with the word god was an indication of spiritual maturity. Hmmm, thanks Matt, for calling me a child.
Here is the thing that has surprised me, he was actually kind of right. Because really, it is just a word, and we can attach any meaning we want to it.
Does that mean I am now more spiritually mature? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps I have just come to a point of not needing others to have my own point of view to find what they have to say valid. Or, perhaps I have started just attaching a different meaning to the word so effectively myself, that it just isn’t a trigger for me anymore.
Ultimately, I don’t think it would ever be my preferred defining word for what I personally feel or believe. I do prefer oneness, all that is, or the universe, but it is no longer because I personally find the word god triggering, it is more that I feel within my circles other words are just going to be better understood.
Did you notice the lack of capital letter at the beginning of the word god? My small way of expressing I mean oneness and not an almighty interventionist version.
As an extra note, this is not intended as a post to offend those with different beliefs, just an exploration of my own struggle with a simple word.