Who or What is God?

As a small child I was brought up by a Catholic mum and a Church of England dad; I was sent to Catholic boarding school when I was seven where there was a beautiful chapel with candles and incense and I would spend many hours in there singing in the choir, attending services, praying or simply enjoying the sensory experience.

I grew up believing that God was separate from us. We were taught that he was a giant being who created us, who sat on a big throne in Heaven and judged and punished us. I grew up with ideals and beliefs that said that I must be ‘good’, otherwise I would go straight to Hell when I died… or if I wasn’t completely bad a not-quite-so-hellish place called Purgatory. So I tried to be good and when I failed I’d go to confession and say the Hail Marys that would absolve me from my sins and let me start again.

My early years were all about being good, trying to do better and being totally anxious about getting things right and feeling awfully guilty if I upset anyone or broke something. I always did as I was told and would always follow the rules, was always polite and would apologise profusely whenever I did anything wrong.

This became a way of life throughout adulthood as well, constantly anxious, always trying to be good and fearful of ‘getting it wrong’. I made plenty of mistakes and felt ashamed or I’d get angry with everything and rebel and then feel even worse afterwards. I think I was quite angry as a child but was never allowed to express that openly, it would come out in snide, sneaky ways – or as an adult by being very hard on myself and very critical of others.

At boarding school we were taught that God was outside of us, but I always felt that he was my friend and would chat or pray to him a lot. It helped me to feel less lonely. When I left school and went to university I began to question God and decided he didn’t exist. Through most of my adult life I continued to deny God and followed all sorts of scientific theories and new age ideas as to our origins, but none of it felt true.

In 2005 I met Serge Benhayon; he talked about God in a matter-of-fact way and everything he said made sense. It felt true and I had a sense of feeling settled, like I was coming home. I felt challenged at the same time because I thought I had finished with God and religion.

I found it really hard to accept that this God, whom I’d denied for over 40 years, was not only very real but a very accessible reality and such that we are not separate from him, we are all INSIDE God, and God is inside us equally, no matter who we are or what we do. There are no special ‘chosen ones’, there is no such place as Hell, God does not judge, we are all divine but just not expressing our divinity in its fullness.

I was blown away by what felt like truth but I still resisted. I felt embarrassed to tell my friends I was in a religion and that yes, God really does exist. I was anxious about what other people would think of me, that they’d think I was weird or stupid. I couldn’t feel God in my body so if they questioned me I couldn’t truly explain as clearly as Serge Benhayon had done.

I couldn’t feel God because I had an image of what I thought God would feel like, but as I make changes to my way of living that help me to develop my awareness, I can feel more and more in my body and I see and feel God at every turn.

I see God when butterflies dance and bees buzz busily among the flowers.

I hear God in every bird that sings its clear song with its whole body.

I see God in the eyes of young children and babies who are simply being themselves.

I feel God in the warmth of the sun.

I hear God when we sing together in beautiful harmonies.

I feel God in the warmth of eye contact and a true smile exchanged with another.

I smell God in the heart of a beautiful rose.

I taste God in fresh food lovingly cooked.

I hear God in a voice spoken from a body that is expressing in full with true energetic truth.

Most of all, now I can say that I can feel God within me: when I allow myself to be still and as I go about my daily life gently there is a feeling of deep inner joy, and a feeling of harmony. I am learning to open myself up to seeing and feeling God equally in others too, to see that we are all divine equal beings and to not judge anyone, for we are not separate – we are all a one humanity within the body of God.

By Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK

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542 thoughts on “Who or What is God?

  1. Thank you Carmel for sharing your blog. Recently I have been pondering more deeply as to why I can feel anxiousness in my body at times for no apparent reason. I would say I have always suffered from anxiety but kept it well hidden and for most of my life I have tried my best to live up to and be a good girl. I was so afraid of making a mistake and getting things wrong whatever I did for fear I would get punished and be sent to hell. I have taken on many beliefs and ideals about God some of which I have deeply buried that are not true, that it is no wonder there has been a lot of anxiety within my body. The more honest I am with myself in calling out that which is not true, the more I am letting the beliefs and ideals about God go.

  2. What a tragedy that this simple truth, as you’ve expressed Carmel, has been, by and large, ripped away from us: “…we are all a one humanity within the body of God.”
    And what absolute Joy, to return…
    If I had but one thing to bring my focus to each day, this would be it – for in knowing this truth, our lives are indelibly changed, away from the stupefaction of imposed separation, and back to the rich fullness of His Love in which we are and have always been, regardless, held.

  3. What you’ve shared here Carmel, about the role of Catholicism in leaving us fearful of ‘doing wrong’ and ever anxious about ‘getting things right’ is actually huge. Whether we were raised catholic or not, it is an influence of this church that extensively permeates our society, all founded in the false notion of there being a punishing God.
    I was baptised catholic and as far as indoctrination and education were concerned, that was really about ‘it’. Apparently I made a very high pitched scream throughout the entire baptism… (clearly wasn’t happy about it) And yet, the ‘being the good girl’, ‘doing it right’/perfectionism is something I continue to shed in my life – and thankfully so. Returning to all that true religion and a religious way of living is and can be, through The Way of The Livingness, supports these constructs to loosen their hold, as they cannot remain in the power of God’s Love, when it is once again – in its truth – embraced in one’s being and thus one’s life. We have so much to heal societally in this regard, it is truly awesome that you have written this blog and shared your experience Carmel, thank-you.

    1. One thing that was instilled into us was being ‘nice’ and I am only just beginning to discover how awful that actually is – the energy of needing people to like me, of needing people around me to be happy – it is suffocating – if people have lessons to learn about relationships, it’s not for me to fix them, but to let them feel it for themselves and learn from their own experiences.

  4. Often you don’t realise you’ve been living in a certain tension/anxiety until someone else has come out of it and is then able to use it as a marker from which to grow from. Reading your experience about growing up in constant anxiety about being good and getting things wrong resonates with me and no doubt the majority of the world. Coming to a place of understanding that we are not in fact being judged from above, relieves that tension and allows us to get on with our purpose.

    1. Learning that God doesn’t judge, that he simply loves us is huge. We simply experience back everything we have done, there is no Hell to go to, only the discomfort of our own feelings as we realise the consequences of what we have done or not done. We in turn need to let go of judging ourselves, just understand and appreciate where we are at and the choices we can make from now on.

      1. Beautiful Carmel, I agree. Knowing that God loves me and will always love me no matter how many mistakes I make is huge. I am getting there after many years of being hard and judgemental on myself and what is supporting me to accept this truth in full is that none of us is perfect… it is impossible no matter how hard we may try and if I choose to accept and embrace every mistake I make along the way lovingly this can but only support my growth in a loving way.

  5. Thank you Carmel for your blog, one that I can so relate to in your early life, as I grew up as a Catholic with all the fear of being bad and getting it wrong I am still clearing layers of this indoctrination, and more recently the feeling of unworthiness that is feed to us by calling us sinful. No wonder anxiety is in our bodies. I thank God for Serge Benhayon and the truth he brings, I too had the feeling of coming home when I first heard him present.

  6. The feeling of unworthiness is immense – in a recent visit as a guest speaker to my old Catholic School prize giving ceremony, I sat through the mass out of curiosity and heard the words ‘lord, I am unworthy’ spoken several times as part of the mass, which was followed by a talk from the headmistress who expressed how amazing the girls were and what they’d achieved. She was clearly appreciating them all. Then I spoke and did the same. So there’s this amazing school, set in beautiful grounds in Surrey, full of beautiful girls from all over the world, who the teachers are trying to build up but it appears to me the Church is battering them back down again. It doesn’t make sense.

  7. God is God, there can only be one, but the religions of the world all seem to have a different interpretation of who or what God is, hence the confusion everywhere, it’s a clever set up to make sure we can’t know. I’m still not fully clear, but I know for sure that the more I feel inside me, the more I get to know my body from the inside, the more I can appreciate just how amazing it is, and I know there is more to come, that the knowledge of God will come from within me, not from any outside teaching. I can hear words of wisdom that make sense and can feel that they are or are not true, but until I actually allow myself to feel God within my body, there will always be uncertainty.

  8. When I started to attend the presentations by Serge Benhayon I started to reconnect back to my body, and there I feel how I am held by God in every single moment. No matter what I do or don’t do he holds us in his forever enfolding love. He never judges. He sees all we do but just holds us as he knows we are part of him And Will return.

  9. Who or what gives me the right to judge another even if they are behaving inappropriately. By all means call it out lovingly but I am learning that there is no right or wrong although this was very much instilled in me when I was young as I went to chapel regularly. I could be quite forceful at times, seeing everything black and white and it was delivered with such arrogance. How could this be love?

  10. When you speak of the anxiousness you felt as a child and continued into adulthood I can relate, and it highlights for me how we can so easily put ourselves under stress and pressure filling a picture or image and forgetting ‘we are all divine but just not expressing our divinity in its fullness’ – and when we see it in this way it’s no longer about fixing us but that we have it all in us and it’s to learn to live so we express it.

  11. I recently had a conversation in which I was challenged as to why I said I don’t feel God in my body. So I reflected and realised that when Serge Benhayon presents in the way he does and talks about God in such a matter of fact way, I can feel with every cell in my body that what he presents is Truth. It makes sense, it feels right. Where I fall down in saying that I can’t present the same truth to others, it is because my mind is wanting to find words to explain God. I know now that the way I can present God is from my body, through my movements, accepting the delicate women I am, appreciating my sacredness and divine design. That doesn’t need words.

    1. My experience is that the doubt works as really good stoppers of the divinity that is within us all ready to be expressed so all that is needed is to say yes to the fact that we are divine and then just let it out, trusting that is will be there because it is.

  12. It is sad to read that the Catholic church made you question God and to decide that he didn’t exist. While religions should be geared to bring us towards God, this shows to me that the institutionalized religions are not based on the truth that we are all connected with, but instead provide us with only some snippets of truth and for the rest with human interpretation of the Ancient Wisdom we all are connected to and belong to.

    1. I agree Nico, it’s sad that mainstream religion actually turns people AWAY from God, rather than reconnecting them to the majesty and grandness of what’s on offer here.

  13. Well said Carmel – we keep from expressing our divinity way too much, maybe out of reluctance of what others might say but I think we all want to express freely the love we have within us and are from.

  14. “I couldn’t feel God because I had an image of what I thought God would feel like, but as I make changes to my way of living that help me to develop my awareness, I can feel more and more in my body and I see and feel God at every turn.” Pictures, images, expectations, ideals and beliefs – all a set-up to prevent us form feeling and seeing truth.

  15. Life is structured from left to righ, up to down to scare us, to provoke an enormous anxiety that awakens in us the need to perform all the time in the name of reducing the uncertainty of the future. The Catholic Church is a major pillar of this created reality. It has set forth amazing tools for domination by means of a narrative of God, a missrepresentation of our possible futures (hence of our options/choices) and an understandng of religion that are not true.

  16. Truth > Good in every situation. Good may please everyone, but what is being allowed to run riot under the rug is not a pleasant sight. Truth will stand in absoluteness and provide an opportunity for all to evolve.

  17. I have learnt much about God through the works of Universal Medicine – something which I am eternally grateful for.

  18. This is beautiful Carmel, getting to know a God in the little moments like when you wake up and feel really blessed, or hearing a bird singing, or knowing who you are and where that comes from… it’s difficult to put words to such magic, but wow it feels out-of-this-world-amazing.

  19. I too was burnt by God, well not by God but by people speaking to me constantly about God when they themselves didn’t know what they were saying. When I tried to understand God from the outside and in human form nothing made sense. I remember being told at school and when I was young and old about God and again none of it made sense and only created more questions. Who is God and what is he all about? He is found in no place but every place, he is not one thing but many things, he is not only me but you also. In other words God is everything, everywhere all the time. We need to look beyond our current form and open up to more of what is going on around us. If we bring it down to just being about me, then you will find it hard to see God. You may see a version of a God but it won’t be God because God is living, a living way that isn’t meant to be understood so you own it. The understanding comes from the space, from the awareness of how huge we are and how huge God is. We keep trying to fit everything into an earth or human understanding when so so much in our past, present and future is not from that. To get to God we need to open up to everything that we see, don’t just see a bird watch it and see the flock and know that how they fly isn’t by chance or more so by GPS they fly connected and when we are connected to that same source we can see God in everything.

  20. Just so beautiful to read Carmel I had a childhood similar to you in the Catholic Church, and I too have come to know the truth, and now feel God more and more within me and all around as I go about my day to day life, staying connected to my inner heart.

  21. I love your list of all the things in life you see or feel or smell God in, you’ve inspired me to see where I see God tomorrow, what a super beautiful relationship to explore.

  22. You have expressed so beautifully what true religion means to me. A way of living that honors the truth that within we are all equally the Sons of God, knowing also that we are all held in God’s love through all that we do and all that we meet. A way that supports us to learn to live from our hearts, in connection to our Soul so that through the way we move we magnify God’s love bringing Heaven to earth. This is our Divine way, this is The Way of The Livingness.

  23. Such a beautiful and honest sharing Carmel, and I can relate very much to your experiences with religion. After growing up in the Catholic religion I was turned off religion of any sort and eventually turned my back on God as well. Being introduced to The Way of The Livingness I was a little cautious at first because it was a religion and my experience of Catholicism had not been a very pleasant one, but also knowing I missed my connection to God and divinity. Through The Way of The Livingness I was able to heal any old hurts and develop a loving connection with God and myself again, I can now say I am deeply religious person because of the love and support of this true religion.

  24. In deepening our awareness and quality of connection with ourselves we are naturally able to feel the interconnectedness and divinity with everything around and within us.

  25. We think we can decide things with our minds and then they are that way and we simply need to act accordingly. But we fool ourselves with that, because in the end it is just an act and not who we are. We can decide to not be a son of God and deny the brotherhood of us all and live a life of individuality and separation but our natural pull of being one will always impulse us forth no matter how hard we try.

  26. Waking up and walking out in the world every day, knowing I am a Son of God meeting everyone else who is also a Son of God. No matter what happens we are all the Sons of God. When there is a moment we forget, we come back to remind each other that we are simply the Sons of God. There is never any judgement that anyone is anything less or more. In any country, any place, any one person who knows he is a Son of God can start living this truth and let truth be felt within each and everyone of us.

  27. When l let go of conditioned beliefs around God and my own pictures, and feel him in some of those moments that you describe, tears come to my eyes at the absolute beauty and grace that is God.

  28. I used to believe God as a picture too and I even encouraged my siblings to believe in him. Later on I felt this image of God did not feel true, and what it exposed was my deep need of dependency of a certain image to see me through difficult times, and I quit believing in God as I could feel Him inside of me, and that had nothing to do with what I believed in. It took a bit of rebellion but a very strong sense of trust with myself to let go of this dependency, but it is very worth it to return to what is truth.

  29. We are so limited in our beliefs of what God is about, with the solid image of the bearded man on the throne up in the clouds, we live unaware of the particles in space that is held in between all the objects we see. When we vibrate in the same way with everything then there is harmony. If we see everything as just hard objects then we live with boundaries. With God there are no boundaries, all is one, we are all one.

  30. Thank you Carmel, it reminded me of how we are brought up with a vision of what we believe God to look like, and yet God is all around us invisible in many ways, and yet at the same time very visible too, just not how we first thought.

  31. How is it that the closest some people think they are from God, the farther they really are? How is it that we humans have bought into a way of feeling religious that is hardly truly religious and a way of feeling God that does not have a true feeling of Him? What is this state of things telling us?

  32. Religion is a personal thing – for some it is like a social club they can belong to, going to their place of worship on a particular day of the week, or it can be based around festivals and celebrations with particular foods, and for some the opposite, fasting from dawn to dusk, or giving up the comforts of life for a period of weeks. It does beg the question; ‘Where is God in all of this?’

  33. ‘My early years were all about being good, trying to do better and being totally anxious about getting things right and feeling awfully guilty if I upset anyone or broke something.’ I can relate to this Carmel, I would go so far that when possible I would cover up my mistakes or I would be totally dishonest, pretending I did not know anything about what had happened. This became a pattern of behaviour that I have let go of only some years ago since being a Student of The Way of The Livingness, I felt how my body suffered from this attitude around mistakes and how mistakes are there for us to grow and learn and to make other choices next time and never about what is right or wrong. God will never judge us and no need for forgiveness either.

    1. Forgiveness is an interesting phenomenon – there is an attitude of being magnanimous when we say that we forgive someone – I wonder what the truth is. For me if we understand the behaviour, and that it is always impulsed by an energy, if we can connect with the essence of the person, we can see that the behaviour is not who they are, therefore there is no need for ‘forgiveness’ and plenty of room for understanding.

  34. When we view God as separate from us it allows our emotions to enter the picture and confirm that disconnection even further.

  35. “I found it really hard to accept that this God, whom I’d denied for over 40 years, was not only very real but a very accessible reality and such that we are not separate from him, we are all INSIDE God, and God is inside us equally, no matter who we are or what we do.” This is a very beautiful way to feel God and to ponder how we are within God. It feels truly amazing.

  36. Teaching children about sins and needing to be absolved for living and breathing on this earth is a sure way of setting them up to feel very unworthy of being who they are and being an equal Son of God. This to me is a huge control tactic and one of many throughout society to control the connection we have within ourselves and with God.

  37. God is inside of us, equally so. I have no doubt about that as I’ve felt that both in me and in others. The weird thing is how little we let ourselves feel that, and so we lock him away and don’t develop the most intimate one of all. Our relationship with our Soul.

    1. That is the point, Simon, we don’t let ourselves feel that inner connection, it is as if our whole world is structured on everything outside of ourselves and the inner world is not there, which is crazy, because that amazing source of wisdom is with us 24/7 wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

  38. I too was raised in a formal religion and it taught me to have a formal relationship with God, that he was someone who was above and separate to me that I felt lesser than. When I hear Serge Benhayon speak of God every person is an absolute equal to God and there is no looking down, measuring or judging that comes from God just a holding of love.

    1. This equality with God is a big leap for us to connect with when we have been brought up in a way that keeps us small, but deep in our bones we can all feel the truth of what Serge Benhayon is presenting.

  39. the good and polite manner we have been sold is a far way away from who we truly are, for if we are already from God and are the Sons of God why would we need to be educated on how to be nice?

  40. I have at times found it hard to connect to “God” but this line just makes sense with who god is and what he means “I see God when butterflies dance and bees buzz busily among the flowers.” Thank you for the simplicity and joy you express with this blog.

  41. I can relate to it being very difficult to accept God as something so accessible and there is no chosen ones – holding onto an image of a god that is mightier than thou and inaccessible and judging allows us to remain irresponsible.

  42. Thank you Carmel for reminding me that God is all around in the magic that nature shows to us, I have been missing this by not doing my walking each day, allowing the cares in life to overload me. So off I go for my walk, taking this line with me “Most of all, now I can say that I can feel God within me: when I allow myself to be still and as I go about my daily life gently there is a feeling of deep inner joy, and a feeling of harmony.”

  43. Carmel thank you, have shared clearly and simply how God and his love is within us and also everywhere, and is available to us all, all of the time.

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