Psyche and Spirit
by Paul Werner
2. The Existence of God
Proving the Existence of God
Our Life with God
Our Need to Experience God
Man's Relationship with God
The Existence of God
God. For many the word, the ideal, stands alone. No introduction, no conclusion seems necessary or appropriate. Oh, for the assurance they are right!
Many others are more dubious about the nature of God. Yet man can easily conjure up visions of what he considers God to look or be like. A concept one held as a child, or even that one acquired as an adult might soothe the spirit for it represents a kind of keep sake one which can calm the savage beast of uncertainty that often torments our soul. Man seems to seek new experiences, and new visions to behold. This need for confirmation seems to be one that arises daily, for a person truly finds inexplicable comfort once he touches the soul of God.
But who can say they know God? The Protestants? The Buddhists? Moslems? Confucianists? Catholics? Everyone thinks he knows God. Some Moslems even kill, or themselves die, for their Allah, for they believe they will meet God when they die. But no matter how much we feel we know God, all people need God much more than they realize.
Proving the Existence o f God
Throughout the centuries, some people have tried to "prove" that God exists, while others have tried to establish that God does not exist. "Proof " cannot be established simply, by either the written or spoken word; for someone to "prove" something, there is a definite need for the reader or listener to believe what is said. One cannot appeal solely through eye contact, voice modulation, or any other such means their firm belief that God not only exists, but is very much alive.
This work is based on several premises: that God exists and has a master plan to restore the world to the ideal He first conceived, commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven on earth; that God and Satan are in continuous conflict, and both try to claim every human being; and that although God longs to relate to man, He is bound by spiritual law. God, therefore, cannot "make" man fulfill his portion of responsibility. Because man left God, though, it is definitely his responsibility to return to Him.
The questions mankind has asked throughout history reverberate today: "God, where are You? What do You look like? What are You made of? What are You in relation to me? Who are You? Who am I?" Yet how can any human being find the answers if he does not search, if he is unable to discover God's personification? To the believers, this world around us certainly reveals the nature of God; still, there are people who deny and reject God's existence, and instead believe in a theory of evolution. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who long to put their faith in God. Yet attempting to live a life of faith and relate to something as abstract as Universal Energy, is not "personal" enough for some.
It is difficult to have strong faith in and total dedication to just an ideal; people need for God to become "real" to them. They need to relate to someone who represents and incorporates the essence of God. Some people refer to such a person as the Messiah, or Savior. Christians throughout the world consider Jesus to fill this role, yet those who believe in different faiths feel God is personified in their spiritual leader. Others are still awaiting the appearance of God's representative.
So where do we go from here? The fact is, there are divergent ideas about God, but many people do not bother with pulling apart and examining the different aspects of their religion. They are not aggressively searching to find either specific signs of God's presence or His efforts to reveal Himself in this day and age. And instead of going in search of God or growing spiritually by living a life of faith, they feel comfortable retaining the same set of beliefs about God they themselves had years ago, or adopted from their parents. Yet learning about God and communing with Him is the single most important thing any human being should do every day. People are not satisfied to allow relationships with their friends and relatives to go stale; why then do many allow it to happen in the relationship they form with God?
Those who undergo a conversion experience may come to tears as they discover something more of the magnificence, the hidden nature of God. They may also lament and repent the moment they accept Christ as their mediator. But what even religious people need to understand is that to set themselves on an even keel spiritually and even psychologically, rebirth in the love of God must not be a one-time occurrence, but should happen every day. They must come to understand that their longing, and the feeling of emptiness which gnaws at their heart, can at least partially be supplanted by a daily experience with God.
People feel lonely, which must not be unlike the feeling experienced by God Himself since the Fall of man. And people turn to all types of gadgets and gimmicks or stimulants to help them make it through the day-throwing themselves into work or in front of a television, or perhaps immersing themselves in some activity to make their pain and disappointment go away, or at least subside for awhile. Spiritually all of us are still orphans, and no matter what kind of psychological games we play or tricks we use, until we discover our real roots in God, we will keep longing for something.
Today many people who were adopted attempt to find their physical parents; they feel something is missing in their life, and will continue to be so until they can reconcile this important point. By the same token, because man is separated from God, he needs to discover his Heavenly Parent.
There is plenty of bad news in today's world. When one turns on the television, he can see numerous acts of violence, as well as acts of passion. Yet he sees little godly love exchanged. This phenomena is indicative of the world in which we live. It stands to reason there is much confusion: young people especially do not know where to turn. Those who veer toward the church as a stable force or a lifeline are often disappointed. The media has magnified scandals involving some ministers and evangelists who represent the institutions that preach love and should educate children to become godlike, but instead bicker and slander one another-who are supposed to profess and teach God's love, yet whose behavior is in no way exemplary.
Many people leave organized religion because they simply cannot rationalize the things it stands for or condones. If a person's motivation for attending church is simply because he thinks sitting in a church pew on Sunday morning "looks good" and is sure to impress his relatives, friends, or colleagues, his faith will probably fade quite fast, for there is little substance behind it. We have to discover something more.
Those who work in educational institutions have resources to teach, uplift, and nurture their students. Far too many of them, though, were not properly raised themselves, so they too, are missing some essential inner quality of love which would highlight them as exemplary teachers, and "professors" of a standard people desire to emulate.
Some young people drop out of school because they are afraid of being belittled by their instructors, and they feel unable to cope with these circumstances. Peer pressure is tremendous; kids want to be accepted for who they are, yet it seems if they are to be accepted, they must abide by certain "rules" which society "enforces." But this so-called acceptance is only man-made, lacks genuineness, and can change at whim. Where and how is God "taught" to young people? What will strengthen the moral fiber of our world, our nations, our communities, our families? How do we instill proper values in a way that will benefit a person's growth?
Without exception, every man, woman, and child still longs to be loved unconditionally. But it is extremely difficult to find pure love in this impure world. People are fickle; that has been proved far too often. So people turn elsewhere to find something-someone-who will be faithful to them. Some turn to drugs or alcohol, food or gambling, any of which may bring relief for awhile, but which are effectively poor substitutes, for they never totally satisfy the soul. A person, even in his desolation, is forced to keep looking. But many people come across a stumbling block: based on their search they discover that the One Being who is faithful and who bestows divine love with no strings attached, is none other than God. They face a dilemma: do they dare put their faith in Him? And if they don't, what in the world do they do?
If man looks within the world he cannot but see beauty. By the same token, he also cannot but see ugliness. Yet it is up to him whether or not he accepts that the beauty he notices is the reflection of God. Let us go one step further: what every human being must ultimately sense is that the quintessence of our God is not just what He manifests in the magnificence of natural surroundings, but also what can be evidenced within the dynamics of human behavior, and interpersonal relationships. God is most definitely alive, but it is up to each individual to recognize and coax the God-given qualities from within each human soul, making this entire world a place in which God would be able to dwell-His long-desired Kingdom of Heaven.
Through the master plan of God this universe and all its systems are inter-linked and interdependent. There are numerous micro and macro existences which work according to scientific principles. God's intelligence and wisdom in creating all these interrelated systems is beyond our comprehension and reach; scientists, artists, musicians, painters, and sculptors have tapped the reservoir of God, received inspiration and then created; the results span from cures to masterpieces.
The physical environment is evolving and does not need much of a revolution. Of course such problems as air and water pollution need to be solved, but science and technology are advancing with staggering rapidity. This is not the fundamental problem. What is needed is a transformation-a reformation-within people. People need to return to God and need to see that building a relationship with Him is absolutely essential. But unfortunately some people still claim that since they cannot see God, He simply does not exist.
Most people do not realize much about the heart of God. The Principle reveals points which clarify many of the misunderstandings about this little regarded aspect of the Creator. For example, it uncovers that God was broken-hearted because of the Fall and, because man is so misdirected and unaware of what purpose God has for his life, He has remained sorrowful. It reveals that God already knows us intimately, but longs to live with us; that He is more than willing to do that, but it is man's responsibility to invite Him to do so. The Principle elucidates that He is aware of the heartache we feel because of the problems we experience. That He shares our feeling of disappointment and frustration, but wishes He could partake in our joy also, and that we could share in His.
Also some people would need as proof that God does indeed exist is one powerful experience with God. Man needs to recognize himself as a sinner, but just as important for him is to identify his potential. Such an experience is life-transforming, for the moment we see our potential in relationship to God, we will no longer feel the need to erect defense mechanisms. We will be filled with positivism, as He can then infuse us with His hopes and His goals. That is when God and man -- Heavenly Parent and child -- will share intimacy and love.
An individual makes himself vulnerable through love; by opening up to another, we risk being hurt. Likewise, when God reveals Himself to us, He also makes Himself vulnerable, for God has feelings and emotions just as we do. Some denominations of Christianity perpetrate the idea that God is a happy God, and therefore do not conceive of His sorrow or imagine Him suffering in any way. But if we could envision God as a lonely Parent whose children were kidnapped, could we envisage Him being joyful about it? Yet Satan is that kidnapper, and he still retains hold of God's children -- us.
The atheists and agnostics of this world fuel their case that God does not exist or that one cannot know Him through their personal and conscious decision to turn away from Him. No human being finds it easy to have faith. It is definitely a difficult thing to talk about and especially to an invisible being. Truly, the omnipotence and the magnitude of God's nature is incomprehensible. But the deeper we probe the spirit world, our own hearts, and the hearts of others, the greater our insight of God's nature will be. God will naturally become more tangible to us. Christians have found God in Christ, feeling he is the best possible manifestation of God's nature. But God's hope and direction for man is to become Christ-like, to be perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Our Life with God
God is aware of everything we experience -- the struggles, the challenges, the victories. Our "self' -- the combination of both psyche and spirit -- is not really our own, but rather belongs to God. Yet man battles within to gain and maintain control of his own life; he feelshe owns his life, and therefore, must do everything himself. What he does not realize is that God's energy is present in every cell of our body. While our brain directs our physiological existence, psychologically or spiritually we are guided by our heart, our mind, and our spirit, all of which are able to receive impulses from God and the spirit world. None of us were created to be stationary islands; we are interrelated-with God and other human beings. It is realizing and then putting that into practice which constitutes man's greatest internal challenge.
The power of God is available to assist us overcome our sins; it would be absolutely impossible to do on our own. Yet we are the ones who decide whether we will make ourselves a channel for the power of God or Satan; we do this not just on a daily basis, but literally moment to moment. Something which gives Satan the leading edge is that we look for shortcuts and try to sidestep fulfilling the first commandment, which is to connect to God. So many people are unaware that the spirit world can be mobilized to help us accomplish our tasks. God Himself is desperate to cooperate with us, but He cannot do it alone; we must shoulder part of the responsibility.
If people would connect to God in all they do, everything would be different -- from their attitude, to their disposition, to their household. A person looks at things in an entirely different way once he develops a strong prayer life. Finding the right order of priorities is crucial; if we made God our first priority, both the big and the small things in life would take on new meaning.
The world is unfortunately still run by Satan. Satan continues to dominate our lives, thus God has little chance to get a word in edgewise. Many times we get bogged down by the details of daily life and simply leave God out. The sun beats down on our backs, we see the garbage pile up, we feel fatigued, but far too often, we do not intimately involve God in either our agony or our ecstasy. We forget the experience that creating harmony with God and others brings spiritual energy and power. We desire to be "saved;" to throw off the shackles of fatigue -- be they physical, mental, or spiritual. But to do this, we absolutely need the support of God in every aspect of our life. God can applaud such a breakthrough in attitude, for once we go beyond our own boundaries, a different world awaits us. Too often we only want to do things on our own, yet if we do not tap into our Source of energy, a great deal of mental, physical, and spiritual power is sapped from us. Many times we simply give it away. Satan always waits for us to "call" upon him; he has energy to spare, but for self-serving projects that do little to benefit others.
The way we can evoke the power of God is by connecting with Him. When we meet God, tears may fill our eyes, for even if it is subconscious, we can surely feel our inadequacies when we are in His presence. Even though we don't say it in so many words, we feel overwhelmed by the need to repent. This is all a spiritual, intangible process. We cannot really define why we shed tears, or why we suffer this way. Our whole chemistry reacts to this metaphysical encounter of meeting God; it is this that might inspire tears, or generate a euphoric feeling in the heart. Those who have experienced it surely know there is tremendous joy in finding one's self with God.
People who don't even know God still long for a relationship of divine love. They may have a beautiful family, even fame and fortune, but nonetheless, remain unsatisfied. Many people search for fulfillment in material wealth, but unfortunately they do their looking in the wrong realm; they actually need to search the metaphysical.
Because of the Fall, man is wedged midway between God and Satan. Our relationship with God usually does not remain constant. If we were able to continue a loving relationship with God at all times, we would not vacillate mentally, emotionally, or spiritually as much as we do. So many people give up in the end. They forget about God, and forget how easy it is to meet Him. And they surrender to their problems. Their weakness is a breakdown which allows Satan to enter their lives. But the best thing each of us can do is to develop a strong defense system against Satan.
Our Need to Experience God
If each of us could have a daily rebirth experience, we would face each day with new confirmation, new motivation, and new zeal. We would meet God anew and He would naturally be drawn to us. But if we don't make God our first priority, then whatever result we achieve will only be for ourselves, perhaps our family, or maybe the company. We need, though, to become a somebody for God andwith God.
A person's initial conversion experience is perhaps the most dramatic, for thatis the moment God might directly instruct him to leave his past behind and sojourn to a new and unknown "land." The Bible records the story of the Israelites who were supposed to march into Canaan and destroy the tribes living there. They did not do it, and themselves ultimately ended up being destroyed. If we are confronted with the will of God but reject it, certain consequences will come. But we make a base that assures us of His protection by overcoming our fallen nature. If we do not totally capitulate and instead withhold something from Him, even that minute detail constitutes a barrier which separates us from God.
We seek many palliatives to satisfy the longing in our heart which is actually for God. Literature, music, and art can be beautiful in themselves, but no matter how much man explores these, hewill still search for something more. That exploration is actually for God, the origin of all things beautiful. No matter what social status and fame or fortune we achieve, we will never be able to suppress this longing until we are living wholly in the true love of God.
Many times those who seemingly reject God are in fact crying desperatelyfor Him. We may not hear those cries, but God does. And He responds. God created us with the need for His love; it is just that we do not often recognize this need. Once we fulfill any goals we have set for our lives, we may at the same time feel a deep void: this is surely our not-as-yet fully satisfied yearning for God.
The process of returning to God is simultaneously the process of creating and then experiencing a tremendous relationship of love. Einstein said, "I want to know the thoughts of God. All the rest are details." Once we know God and love Him, everything else is "detail." But why is it so hard to love God totally, in a practical sense? To be sacrificial? To pour out our heart to people? Psychologically we feel inadequate. We are afraid. We have no authority or power when we do not invite God to live with us. We are not even surewhy we are living; thus, we can easily become disillusioned and seek escape into things of the physical world. But the real spirit of God for which we are searching is not to be found in a shopping spree or a movie theater.
The question is, how does one fall in love with God? Adam and Eve lost the love of God through disobedience, so it stands to reason that one important factor in winning it back must be to live according to the will of God. The relationship between God and man absolutelymust be restored; it means rebinding parent and child, who became separated from one another.
Man's Relationship with God
God's view of love is oftentimes quite different from our own. Ours is often laced with impatience and condemnation; God's is mingled with compassion and insight. Without adopting God's viewpoint, it becomes extremely difficult to discern what a person needs to help him grow, to develop his full potential. Left to our own devices, we are too apt to make the wrong judgment of people, and thus administer the wrong spiritual "medicine." Although we might want to treat only the symptoms, they simply telegraph that something is wrong. We need to dig further, to take God's viewpoint, and refrain from playing "god" to others.
We must see that our behavior and lack of responsibility actually deter God, for when we look at things with our own "fallen" viewpoint, we fail to become a co-creator with Him. We have the tendency to do things on our own, and without regard to how God feels, but to really live with God, we have to reverse this trend.
We might tend to "American-ize" or "Chinese-ize" the law of God to fit our own cultural needs, but the question is whether or not as individuals we are fulfilling the ideal of God's creation. Without working to create a connection with God and thus inherit His qualities, we can easily lose power, and then focus only on our own personal discrepancies. But this affects our psyche, and causes us to behave in a certain way, perhaps becoming much more reticent and withdrawn.
Failing to trust in ourselves may be a personal weakness, but it is something which Satan uses. We have to face facts: we each have certain fears. But lessons from history must awaken us to realize that those who place their trust in God may find that their sense of fear lessens. They become like David when he fought Goliath. David felt that if God was with him, who could be against him. Modern man must embrace what David came to know: our strength must be in God, not ourselves.
Man has free will, and thus God cannot totally predict what each individual will do, or which decisions he will make. Both God and good spirits can influence us based on the conditions of faith we display. He is filled with anticipation, even trepidation, wondering what we will do. Yet His concerns are so much broader: He wonders whether the free world will be strong and conscientious enough to withstand the forces of Satan. Whether it will be righteous enough to contain the spread of communism and ultimately win over the communist world. God is fully aware of allHe must do in saving this world from Satan's total domination. At the same time, He needs us to realize that we also have a part to play, and that without our participation, His own plans might be thwarted. He wonders whether we will repeat the performance of Lucifer and rebel against Him, or repeat the mistake of Judas in betraying Jesus. There is mounting tension in both God and Satan to ultimately win control of the world. To a certain extent, man feels this utter contradiction within himself and within the world situation. Yet how many people are consciously aware of what is happening around them. Our ignorance has kept us separated from God, a move which Satan orchestrated. The Principle explains that this age is the Last Days, a time when man witnesses the crossroads of good and evil. Further it spells out clearly that the battle between God and Satan is not finished, but that God is desperate to win.
Man has been given God's laws and the Gospels to follow, but some force within us still goes against the will of God. This tremendous force -- the influence of Satan -- must be overcome. But since Satan has ruled mankind from the beginning, his power over us seems so normal. It is like "spiritual" gravity, not something we consciously recognize, but surely something which keeps us away from God. It is so intangible, yet so real. If we didn't have to battle against these forces and could develop a relationship with God constant in love and mutual respect, we would not be afraid of being accused of anything by anyone. There would be no fear, no guilt and no accusation because we did not perform, or we did the wrong thing. Consequently, we would behave much differently. Now we suffer because Satan still has so much power over us, and definitely makes us feel in the wrong. But we forget that our original roots are inGod, and it is the relationship with Him with which we must be concerned.
We make it difficult for God to influence us when we feel and act as if we always "know better, " and when we always elect to take our viewpoint over His. When we begin to modify His will, what success can come? When we compromise the laws of God, we deal with two lords -- God and Satan -- and are pulled by each of them.
Man's Submission to God
If we are close to God, His spirit accompanies us. But if we are not with God, whodoes surround us? We decide which base we create. People in this world are so lonely and spiritually sequestered -- like individual grains of sand that together make a beach or a desert, but are so fragile and easily manipulated by a wave or dust storm. We can easily become adrift, no longer sure who we are, or what our purpose is. We might be wealthy and have great material blessings, but still feel desolate and long for something more than we have.
If we do not cultivate a relationship with God, we become coarse and unloving. And it becomes too easy to allow our fallen nature to stand in the way of success. By connecting with God and purifying ourselves, we can discard our fallen nature. But doing this takes practice.
Living with God is tremendously enriching. Many people say their life is in the hands of God, and it is up to Him what He does with it. If we know we are in the hands of God, then God is drawn to us. When we implore Him, He is able to reach us through our conscience, but it is ultimately up to us whether or not we will follow what He asks. The knowledge that we are watched by God and are in His hands, is assuredly the beginning point of solving our problems.
Those who have no relationship to God might primarily look toward superficial means as a way to suppress their yearning. Such people might search the world for the rest of their lives to find different ways to satisfy their longing. Those who do not have a connection to God also do not know who God is. And the vast majority of those people think the emotional and spiritual hunger within them has to be satisfied through physical means. People search.
They investigate. They experiment, and then grab for instant satisfaction. Many think sexual love can fulfill them, but those who use it find that pursuing this course often results in disease and disaster.
The divinity of God has to be reflected within man's nature. In I Corinthians 3:16 St. Paul says, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's spirit dwells in you?" But how do we, as fallen people, achieve this goal? It is impossible without knowing God as our Heavenly Parent, and following His example of true parental love.
A person may hear sermons and lovely words about God, but ultimately only when he himself encounters God face to face, can an experience with the living God become indelibly etched on his spirit. To successfully battle the invisible forces of Satan, each of us must have this type of heart-to-heart meeting with God-to know with absolute conviction that God not only exists, but is very much alive!
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