so what do you want then?

October 29, 2008

Been thinking about experiencing God recently. First things first: The best book I’ve read on this ever was Jesus Today by Albert Nolan, so go read it. Yes, God is just a word, and yes, other words could also refer to the reality which we generally call God. But the tradition behind using the word God (theos for Greek, a bit more complex for Hebrew) holds a lot of richness which we might loose if we rather opt for a different word.

So, back to experiencing God. What do we mean with this? Is it not to be aware of the presence of God on more-than-rational level? We expect experiencing God to refer to what we call divine intervention usually links with our senses (I heard God speak, almost audibly; I saw the face of God, almost visibly; I felt God touch me, physically).

It was a visit to a mental hospital which possibly first got me to wonder about the strong emphasis we tend to place on these kinds of experiences. Face it, it really sometimes look quite similar to what we saw in the mental hospital. Hearing voices and seeing faces. It looks quite similar to the Jonathan Edward’s and Marietha Theunisen’s. Maybe we really need to listen more to those who talk about experiencing trancendence (God) in art and music, in beauty and nature, and stop putting this on a kind of “second level” to those who talk about “supernatural experiences”.


2 Responses to “so what do you want then?”

  1. Cori Says:

    This was an interesting sentence for me:

    “Been THINKING about experiencing God…The best book I READ on this was…”

    Need I say more? 🙂

    I love experiencing God through nature, art, music, beauty, dreams, my imagination, his voice, his touch, a sense of his presence, his face… Whenever the noise of my head gets too much I seem to experience him less, but when I surrender to my less-than-rational (to my more ‘earthy’, sensory self?) I find myself astounded by experiences of God beyond anything I can control or define or box or hold in my fist (or in my head).

  2. cobus Says:

    You need say no more… 🙂
    I am aware of what i said, and if I have to articulate it again, I would say it in the same way. We cannot loosen spirituality from other factors like personality, thinking about experiencing God lies on the same level as thinking about experiencing loving my fiance, and although some would prefer if I only sing love songs to her, and not think about the love I have, that would be totally against my nature, and not bring harmony in my own being.
    My being able to better articulate the love I have for her doesn’t lessen nor prove this love, but within my own being it does bring out this experience of love, by making me more aware of feelings which I won’t always naturally focus on.
    In a similar way, thinking about and reading about experiencing God make me aware of experiences which would otherwise have gone by unnoticed. For others is would be different… but over time, this is how I came to know me…

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