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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593 thoughts on “Who or What is God?”
Yes, Carmel shares some lovely examples of this, connecting with, and feeling God, ‘ 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.’
A way of living can change our awareness and make our relationship with God a real, tangible one – that is tremendous.
That sacred feeling inside is God, and may I add to what you have shared Carmel, that it is a deep responsibility to resurrect-our-selves and become responsible for everything in our lives, as if we are the Living Sons of God on earth, which we are when claimed-fully as Student of The Livingness.
God can be felt in everything we do & engage with.
Absolutely Viktoria, True Understanding and relationship of God comes when we understand the connection that is needed to our Living-Essences and the responsibility to remain connected to that essences or inner-most!
Feeling the love expanding within your inner-heart is to feel the presence of God.
Thank you, Mary, I agree and adding to what you have shared, holding that Love is a True Responsibility as our Inner-heart is our most divine essence or Soul-full-essences, which is a lived expression of the Deep, humble, appreciativeness of the equal love we all are.
This is very beautiful Mary, ‘Feeling the love expanding within your inner-heart is to feel the presence of God.’
” we are all a one humanity within the body of God.”
This is so true, religion.
The teaching that god is outside us is the same as the fallacy that what we need and all the answers lie outside us – could it all be a grand set up to keep us away from the truth of who we really are?
Allowing that God exists is the start of being able to feel the full connection to God within our bodies – our thoughts can be so destructive, cementing beliefs that are untrue.
Seeing God all around us in the examples you shared is also very beautiful, ‘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.’
You would not be alone Carmel in thinking God was our creator, is separate to us and have a picture of him on a throne judging us for all that we do as being either right or wrong – which is a complete contrast to the magic of God that you describe in your everyday life now.
God is Love and in all things including ourselves. It is we who have separated from the quality of divinity within, fed by the lies and constructs of formalised religion and family beliefs and ideals. We do not have to follow these false trails, we can instead step on a true path that leads us back and connecting to our true essence.
I smiled as I read your examples of where you see, feel and hear God and realised that I can see, hear and feel God in those places too but had not given it the appreciation and therefore found it easy to deny that I had a relationship with God. Yet, there are reminders everywhere of the Love we are from, made of and where we come from and it is us who choose to be blind to it.
Yes, absolutely. We dive into a way of thinking, build perceptions and remain restricted by them & in that we do not see or feel any of the divinity that is so innate.
Another example you share Carmel that I really like, is feeling God when, ‘I feel God in the warmth of the sun.’
The ‘heartless mind’ is a cold place where we can get very lost. Living life with our hearts as central office keeps us aware and alert to the relationship with God that we all have.
Once I had handed over my natural relationship with God that I had as a child, trying to organise a relationship with him based on the accepted mental constructs that society offered, my life went off-track, leading to a lot of chaos, misery and waywardness. Finding The Way of the Livingness has been a return to everything that makes sense and is in line with what feels true deep inside.
This exposes how evil it is to impose the belief that God is only reachable through conforming to specific behaviours that are deemed ‘good’, so that after you die you then will come to know God however only if you have been ‘good’ enough. What a set up and one that we cannot ever report back to our Brother as we have well and truly passed over, so the fear of not knowing God is what keeps us from knowing the truth. The evil is the energy that endeavors to keep us from knowing that we are all Sons of God, here to simply live His light through our connection to our Soul and know the glory of His love is with us with every step we take, if we will it so.
Exactly, Carola, the religions that make a point of keeping us from knowing we are ALL sons of God are the ones that are aligned to the harmful energy of evil.
It is amazing how religious teachings can shape our lives and keep us small. Showing God as a big guy on a throne casting judgements upon us all whilst Jesus loves us is nowhere near the truth. Well yes, Jesus loved humanity as does God, and Jesus is a son of God just as we all are, but most religions don’t talk about equality, instead they create a hierarchy of power and keep the majority down with threats. The Way of The Livingness religion on the other hand is all about brotherhood, equality and the Hierarchy are simply beings like us who have made choices that mean they are further along the Path of Return, and they are now supporting us as equal brothers.
The one thing least talked about when I was a child was God’s love. We attended church, were taught scriptures, hymns, rules, judgement, but not how to love. The word love though occasionally used, was rarely lived in its true sense. Because love and God was offered as separate from me, i grew up not loving myself or others. What a turn around to know I am love, that God lives in me and I am part of and related to every other human being.
Although I do not agree with much of what Catholicism teaches, I do love the fact that within the teachings there is the concept of there being different forms, or levels of hell that exists. And I love this because of how this shows that we as a human race, have a deep understanding that what we do has consequences, and that how you behave will land you in some form of situation that ultimately you may not entirely like or want or would actively choose.
“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.” Gosh – if this is our first impression of religion as kids no wonder so many people claim to be aethiest. Its not right that we use God as a method to control or discipline our children – as in – he’s watching you’ll be punished or go to hell or whatever. It’s the same as how parents use Santa Claus to get their kids to behave before Christmas – if you’re not good he won’t bring your presents – what actually are we teaching our kids? Not to be deeply respectful, caring, amazing human beings but to jump through hoops to be a “good” person or to get what you want in life.
We are teaching kids to be ‘good’, to stop connecting and being true to themselves, to abandon themselves and do what another judges as good.
God is around us all the time, he is everywhere, even when we don’t recognise God’s reflection he is still there no matter if we acknowledge His presence or not.
Yes we are all equal in love. All the rest we have made to be different, is not from our Soul , our love.
We have allowed for so long to have something/somebody that claims to be the expert of God to stand in the way of us and God. But we do know God and we always have.
I was bought up in the Catholic religion and like you, Carmel turned my back on God and religion as I could no longer stand the lies or the hypocrisy of the church, it took some time for me to be comfortable that I was part of a religion again because of the hurts I was still carrying. This soon changed because The Way of the Livingness is a true religion that is about living love, truth and joy every day – qualities I see Serge Benhayon consistently live, this was what inspired my reconnection back to God and religion.
Yes, I turned my back on religion because of the lies and hypocrisy; it really amazes me that main religions like the Catholic Church have any followers with the way they carry on.
Spot on Elizabeth, it is crazy to think we would ever choose otherwise?
Life is not about proving yourself to avoid being punished afterwards. It is about evolving and raising your vibration. No amount of doing good will ever equal vibration.
Everything has a vibration and we have a choice as to which vibration we align to and as such reflect, that being the vibration of God or the vibration of all that is ungodly. As you have shared Eduardo ‘doing good’ does not reflect what is true.
That is such a humbling moment when we have been told the way to heaven is through good deeds and that we must avoid punishment at all costs. In fact it is the quality of being we bring to all we do that determines whether what we do adds to the gunk and lowers the vibration or raises the vibration for all equally. There is no self when we live life in that way.
When I feel angry or sad, it is that I know we all have God-like qualities such as honesty, not holding back, equality, love etc, but I chose to ignore them. So to come back to feeling godly I just change my movements, no matter how unfamiliar and abrupt at times, it may feel.
Love the simplicity of this sharing, ‘to come back to feeling godly I just change my movements, no matter how unfamiliar and abrupt at times, it may feel.’
This is something I am only just beginning to appreciate, that being good comes with always trying to get it right, and that there is a huge difference when we go for what is TRUE. It becomes a whole body feeling and not just a mind-based mental way of thinking.
Being good is based on judgements, comparison and pictures etcetera, a total scam and set up to keep us away from truth.
Being good is a huge ideal I also grew up with, even though I wasn’t raised with one of the current religions my parents had but the ideals and beliefs came anyway through their way of living. Being good is a hard one to crack as it seems so good! But it caused a lot of anxiety of having to do the right thing, overthinking every time I needed to make a choice and almost constantly I felt like I was never making the right or good choice. It wasn’t until I realised that being ‘good’ is not always the same as being true, that I started to make changes in these situations, and brought it back more to how it felt in my body, and if it was simple rather than complicated which often comes with trying to be good.
Our connection with God is a very personal thing, even though it applies to all of us, there is a Truth that is the same for everyone. The difference comes with what we believe and what we allow ourselves to feel. Beliefs can be different, creating all sorts of images of what God looks like, but what we can feel deep inside is the presence and that is the same for everyone, it is only our awareness that is not.
God is Everywhere in Everything and we are living with God even when we deny God. This is how I feel about it now that I have known the quality of stillness within that is possible and I have sensed the potential of living from this place.
“we are living with God even when we deny God. ” Simply expressed, powerful in intent. Connected to God we are never alone.
Thank you for expanding and deepening this, lovely to read just before bed, to sleep with that quality and awareness and so surrender.
We are never alone and it is our choice to keep our head buried and our eyes blind that causes the deep ache of feeling that we are alone.
Carmel as I read this blog, it bought back certain memories of my upbringing, Hinduism and there was always this good and bad/evil battle. Everything we did revolved around this including the many days a year we couldn’t eat certain foods because it was such and such day/month or it was for such and such occasion. Sometimes it was that strict I recalled my sibling losing it with me when I ate meat during a particular month I wasn’t suppose to, I was suppose to be totally vegan. I did wonder why I wanted to do the opposite every time someone asked me to do a certain thing because the priest or a religious book said so – it almost felt like I went against the imposition pressure and I came across as being the bad person for not conforming.
Over the years I realised our lives were no different when we followed these rituals, our lives were no more enriched, and God didn’t suddenly appear confirming we had been good.
The body has that inner ding, that inner knowing that something doesn’t feel the truth, it communicates that this isn’t ‘right’, its actually communicating that this is a lie separating us from God.
As I understand it God can only be felt through the body and I was taught about God through my mind. I can repeat words people have said about God but I still don’t feel the absolute authority in my body. I can accept everything Serge Benhayon presents because he has that authority and we can feel it in his presence but here is a part within many of us that is still resisting God, divinity, and sacredness.
It makes sense that I can’t feel God in the way others express they do because I have this image of who and what ‘he’ is. As long as I have this held belief of what I’ve been told then there is no way I can allow the possibility of what god really means. Super interesting.
It really does me make me question the impact ideals and beliefs have on us in our lives and the fact that we chose and still can choose to align to them and other behaviours, investments, pictures, etc to simply keep us away from living who we truly are, a son of God. I can totally relate to living in anxiousness about getting things right. The pressure I have put myself under has felt overwhelming at times all because of taking on something that was not true. I am a son of God first and no matter what happens I am always a son of God first and foremost.
“I am a son of God first and no matter what happens I am always a son of God first and foremost” We were not taught this truth as children and grew up separate from God, this separation feeds anxieties and lack of self worth. We can support our children to be the love they innately are and the best way to do this is through our living way.
“I met Serge Benhayon; he talked about God in a matter-of-fact way and everything he said made sense.” Serge Benhayon offers a way to be at one with God.
Beautifully expressed Carmel, I too have had a similar experience in the Catholic Church, knowing now the truth that God lives within each and everyone of us and that we are held in love in the body of God as divine sons of God. I am amazed at the lies that we have been feed by false religion that keeps us separated from the God they propose to up hold.
It’s one of the most glorious feelings I embrace – feeling how to put into words what I know about our dear friend God. I very much enjoyed how Carmel expressed about God – “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.” AND
” .. 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.” Hear hear!!
If only as children we were offered that God is available to us through our inner connection, through knowing ourselves we know God. What a different place the world would be.