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Home The Issues Religion God, and the intended meaning of this word

God, and the intended meaning of this word

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If there is ever a word -in the limited communicative form of language- which conjures up strong and intense emotions, I would argue such word to be God.

I find myself often pondering the reasons for such profound effect -by an inanimate word, on the animate human being. Such is my reason for this article.

Apart from the personal internalization, meaning and intended usage of the word God by each individual, the actual origin and meaning is quite elusive. The consensus, however, from many who have researched this word is that the word God is derivative of a Sanskrit word, "hu", meaning "Invoke [or] Invoked one" and having a pagan origin. This would be quite fitting since what is now the "word of God" also has its origin in pagan times.

There is also a school of thought, based on a play of words that suggest that God is derivative of the word "good"; thus making an argument that "God refers to the divine goodness".

I believe the term God, its meaning and intent, to be a personal manifestation; a manifestation that is private and unique to each individual. Sadly, it is a manifestation that is now saturated and obscured in the conformity that society seeks to impose upon its citizenry. One would then say: what is this society composed of, other then the very citizens that are the society? And if such is the case, how can such personal manifestation be corrupted by a society that is indirectly the very people with this personal manifestation? Would it then mean that it is we -the humans, the very embodiment of this society, who bring about the corruption?  I'm inclined to agree with the latter possibility.

The human susceptibility serves as a culprit, as we accept things as they have been presented to us without employing any critical thinking. Additionally, we accept the belief that the purpose of -and happiness in this- life are bestowed upon us by our social systems, rather than a reality that comes from within and created by ourselves. These factors have served to corrupt the personal manifestation as stated above.

Allow me a slight digression to strengthen this argument, by quoting a great thinker of the first century (BC):  Epictetus, noted:

Things either are as they appear to be
Or they neither are nor appear to be
Or they are but do not appear to be
Or they are not and yet appear to be

In this lamentation, Epictetus was simply stating that "appearances are of the fourth kind".  At first reading, the statement may seem quite ambiguous; but after a short pondering, the clarity leaps out.

The moral in this statement: it is simply not enough to hear something said; read something written; or see the vistas of our society. It is critical to think of these things through an objective contrast with our common sense and our intellectual facility. Through this process, we'll avoid the pitfalls of regurgitating anything and everything that is heard, read or seen -which can often be deceptive!

On the term God; if God is inferred as "the invoked one", I would suspect that it is a called upon energy by those of us who internalize its meaning. Thus, it is a created reality of the human creature. However, it is arguable whether this created reality is in our control or is it an uncontrollable manifestation that takes place in our brains -- a part of the human design that makes us animate creatures.

Neuroscientists have coined the term "Epileptic Seizures" as "transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain". Simply put, this is the inner working of the part of our brains called the Temporal Lobe. In this region of the brain, those with epileptic seizures interpret certain images and sounds as real, though such are not actually occurring at such moment --and cannot be heard or seen by others in their presence.  It is this region that some suggest to be the meeting place between the human creature and its so desired God entity --"another dimension of reality". Furthermore, the Temporal Lobe is the region of the brain where emotions and memory are manifested --two elements necessary for the invocation of the God energy.  

What about those in the society without epileptic seizures, yet who believe the word God refers to an entity independent of self? How have they come to such conclusion?  The answer lies in the human susceptibility argument made above. It is also a belief system driven by the theory of "faith" in the unseen and the evidence of assurance by those who have had the encounters--those with the visions and sounds. 

I believe the human being invoke the energy of the word God as a necessary condition to justify its need to be good -as in the "Divine goodness of God". The theological intelligentsia promotes that God only rewards those who adhere to the "word of God". It is important to note that in this reference of God, what is meant is an absolute entity, independent of us and to whom we look for care and protection from the suffering we know to exist in this life time --and of course, the expectancy of rewards for good behavior.

Furthermore, if one believes the word God to denote the ruler of the universe -an independent entity from self- with whom one has personal conversations, then the human personal responsibility is skewed. Whereas, I or anyone else cannot negate another's action as that of a mandate from this ruler of the universe --regardless of the damage caused by such action.

The interdependent trait that fosters the God desire seems to be hard wired into the human DNA. This trait is the guiding force in the human behavior toward the need for the God factor. I suppose this to be quite similar to when a child clinches onto his or her parents when faced with certain adversity. However, this dependency is not limited to the parents; we also witness this behavior in spouse to spouse relationships, citizens to their governments and so on. But when it comes to issues believed to be out of the human control, it is fitting to seek such assurance in a higher parent, also know as God --not "another dimension of reality" or in an entity in the heavens, but a dimension within; the inner working of the human brain.


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