Why do we put God in a Box? 

I recall that as a little girl I used to feel a great sense of wonder, joy and magic in nature – in the sound of dry leaves under foot, the sound of the waves, the perfume of flowers, the beauty of a butterfly, the birds singing in the morning, the feeling of a gentle breeze on my skin and much more. In nature I could feel a connection to a grandness, to something more than just the physical world and more than just me. What I also recall as a little girl was that no one else, or at least the adults around me, seemed to experience the same level of wonder or sense of magic – or this was not expressed.

I did not know it then but this was me feeling and connecting to God through the magic of God that surrounds us all, and to this day I still feel a very strong connection to God through the reflections of nature. I’ve come to know that the grandness I felt and continue to feel so powerfully in nature, is simply and powerfully a reflection of the grandness of God within me. But as a child, I was presented with another picture of God.

As a young child, I don’t recall having any particular picture of God beyond that of an older bearded man with light all around him. I wasn’t raised within a religion and neither of my parents had strong religious backgrounds. I recall having conversations about ‘Christian’ values such as ‘treat others as you would treat yourself,’ and that the way you live every day and your relationships with others was more important than reading the Bible or attending Church every week. I seem to remember talking about the story of Jesus, and about religion in terms of the different faiths and the Church, but I don’t recall any conversations about God; who or what He actually was.

At the age of five or six I went to the occasional Sunday school session and so became more aware of religion and the teachings of the Church and while I was curious, they made no sense to me. What was presented was a very particular picture of God, along with ways of connecting to him, of earning his love, and of course how to return to him in heaven. All of a sudden I was being taught rules about ways to behave and it seemed you could only be connected to God if you read the Bible and/or went to Church to listen to someone else talk about God. None of this felt true to me, even then. There was no sense of wonder or joy in these experiences. God was reduced to a study in words – and I felt no magic.

I didn’t give God or religion any thought for many years and was strongly against any form of organised religion. Then I met Serge Benhayon who presents the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom, and based on these has introduced The Way of The Livingness, a true religion based on the simple principle that religion is about living in connection with your inner-most heart, with the divine part of ourselves, with our essence. It is this simple principle that has reignited my connection with God and the ongoing development of my own personal relationship with God. I can see how my opposition to organised religion kept me from questioning the role it plays in defining God and our relationship with God, which I now know is also our relationship with ourselves.

From what I can see, organised religion puts God in a box, and us along with him, shaping the way we see and relate to God, to other people and to other religions. Strong moral codes and beliefs within organised religion shape our behaviour and tend to focus our efforts in life on what happens when we die and bringing about a constant striving to be good enough to enter heaven. At the same time, wars have been fought in the name of religion for centuries, and groups or individuals who practise religion ‘outside of the box’ have been vilified, cast as deviant and evil and even wiped out by the dominant religion of the day. The Cathars and the later European witch hunts stand out as examples.

Our relationship to God has been complicated by organised religion as it offers a bastardised version of God and our relationship to Him. For some, as it was with myself, the reaction to religion keeps their backs turned to God. One could easily conclude that organised religion is a form of control, a formalised system that keeps us from knowing the truth about God.

I’ve come to know through The Way of The Livingness that true religion connects us back to the truth that “the Kingdom of God is within you,” reminding us that we are all equal Sons of God, and in that, God is not someone separate from us, or mightier than us, but the very essence of who we are. True religion is simply about our personal and ever evolving connection and relationship with God, with our own divinity and with humanity. In true religion there are no pictures or rules.

I am of God, as we all are, and in our hearts we know this to be true, but in the minds of mankind everything must have its place and so God has been put in a box. In our hearts there are no boxes, only the offering of an ever deepening connection with our essence, and therefore with God.

By Michelle, Social Science Researcher, Brisbane

Related Reading:
The Magic of God in Nature
Organised Religion versus True Religion
What is true religion?

619 thoughts on “Why do we put God in a Box? 

  1. “earning his love” – This is interesting. If God is love, why would we think that we need to earn his love and how would we go about it, if we did? Maybe God loves us so much that he is patiently waiting for us to see that we are made of that very same love that He is.

  2. Talk about making things complicated. We know as children that there is the magic of God in everything and then comes along organised religion which is so far removed from what we know to be the truth. Is it any wonder we grow up confused.

  3. It feels absolutely wonderful to call out and claim that God is not greater or mightier than us. It is abusive, demeaning and degrading to treat myself as anything less than the essence of God within, but this has to come from my livingness and the way I choose to be with myself.

  4. That is true Michelle, I too never tended to talk about God, about who and what he actually was. It was a kind of taboo as I were only allowed to believe what was presented to me by the religious institutions and when I tried to discuss it I was being told to be the apostate, the non believer, that put me in a position that was very uncomfortable.

  5. “There was no sense of wonder or joy” There was certainly no sense of wonder or joy in all my ‘education’ about religion as I was growing up but today, with the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom presented by Serge Benhayon, my sense and feeling of wonder and joy know no bounds.

    1. I can vouch for this Mary, having known you for a few years now I can say that your vibrancy, your joy your openness, lightness and grace have blossomed a million fold. You are a true inspiration.

  6. I am understanding more and more we cannot put God in a box, or a structure, God is the body of love we live within. Our human brain tries to reduce the knowing of that into a shape we can tangibly understand and I cannot help but be aware there is a possibility that humans have chosen to use that need to understand to control through fear thereby encouraging the need for doctrines and books and rituals.

  7. I love talking about God, it’s one of my favourite things …ever! How amazing that I can do that – I thank God for Serge Benhayon – who is an inspiration in my life everyday.

  8. ‘Putting God in a box’ has been designed by institutionalised religions to divide and separate us from Truth and from the fact that we only need to look within to connect with God . . . with no middle man needed.

  9. Like the writer, I felt as a child and now once again feel joy, magic and wonder in nature – this is one of the ways I feel God. I don’t know that I appreciated how easily I was with God when I was young. The messages you get about God being outside of you and far greater than you could ever be, are with you from the start and call into doubt the natural relationship we have with God as kids. If this natural relationship was fostered, we would never have a world that allows organised religions to tell us who God is, or how we need to be in his presence. We would know we need no ‘middle-man’.

  10. Images, effigies and buildings are creations to worship God. In my humble experience there is a true livingness that brings a re-connection with our body, our innate stillness and sacredness and this is The Way that thus re-connects us with the Divine Essence within every person equally so – that which is of the All and of God.

  11. Why do we need rules and use them in all aspects of our life. We would immediately stop applying these rules if we knew how they are restricting us in bringing expression from the universal mind that otherwise would be available to us. You might say we need rules, and in a way that is true, but when living from the universal mind we live with the laws of the universe and naturally will obey these.

  12. When we put god in a box we do so in ignorance of the fact hat that:
    1) It is not possible, so this will be a very intensive job that constantly needs to be reassured.
    2) Absolutely makes no sense and therefore needs that constant reconfirmation to make us believe that God is confined in a box while we all know better, as we are from God.
    And therefore to me it is better to let this concept go and trust in the knowing that lies in our inner hearts.

  13. When I reflect on how God feels to me, a stillness, a glow, a knowing, a feeling of being held, a joy, a spark, a warm and loving way and so much more – how could we put that in any box?

  14. ‘Why do we put God in a box?’ Good question. Why? Because the human spirit likes to separate and compartmentalise, so that we can live a lie instead of living the fullness of the truth that we are.

  15. By Putting God in a box, we not only put limitations to how much God gets involved in our lives, but with that we too imprison ourselves into a live void of God and we only have to look at the status of our current society to see what that way of relating with God has brought to us.

  16. Institutionalised religions are designed to keep us way from our natural connection with God that simply lives within.

    1. Yes and I think they have forgotten this, or perhaps desperately want to turn that around, but are not prepared to see that if they do there will be no need for so many of the structures they have put in place, because our connection will be direct, all encompassing and all-knowing. How prepared are we really to let go of the control we have become so used to?

      1. Yes Lucy, by control we try to protect our creation and personalized version of God, and with that do justify our way of life. To let go of this control we have to let go our protection and become completely transparent in who we are and where we stand.

  17. I suppose the thing to remember, is that no one can actually ever place you in a box of idealism and controlled values without you taking a step towards them in the first place. As, in my experience I have seen how there has to a openness to that way of being first in the person for the imposition to even get a foothold in your life, otherwise it will just pass you by and have no input at all into your way of living. The tough part is however, that it can only just be one step, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps sympathy or whatever – but the force that comes like a torrent is equal to a million steps towards you and this is the unfair part of controlled ideals – they often do not let you just explore.

  18. Beautifully written Michelle, it is impossible to put God in a box, or in a book, because he is so much bigger and wiser than we are brought up to know, and his spark is in all of us, we only need to choose to feel his magnificence.

  19. When I was young, I loved the stories of Jesus and the disciples until that is my mother put up a very large tapestry of Jesus in our dining room. The eyes of this person would follow me all over the room, and I hated going in there. Then she had the bright idea to use it as a punishment room, so when I was naughty I would have to sit in the room with this man looking at me, and I hated it. There was a part of me that knew this man in the tapestry was not the Jesus I knew and that my mothers’ version of God was also not true, but it scared me all the same.

  20. We are offered evolution and expansion of who we truly are by true religion “the Way f the Livingness”. false religion keeps us boxed up in falsehoods that we are sinners and this separates us from God and our own divine essence that lives within us.

  21. Our need to define and control has infected how we perceive religion and God and in fact how we relate to ourselves … for if we are of God, then in ‘boxing’ God we also ‘box’ us and this we do by putting a lid on our own relationship with us and also with God.

  22. We cannot ever connect to God through holding a belief or an image outside ourselves. Our connection forever unfolds and deepens through living and expressing the love within our inner-heart and the essence of who we truly are.

  23. Ironically, even though modern day science and medicine does all it can to separate itself from religion and propose that it is the better way to understand life and the universe, it does the exact thing that Michelle has described in this blog, in that it puts Nature in a box as well. It does this by constantly reducing what it observes via various experiments into smaller and smaller facets of the whole of Nature and the Universe without considering how all these facets have effects on all the others. An example of this would be the current experiments at the large Hadron collider facility (CERN) where they are using a giant particle accelerator to find smaller and smaller quantum particles in search of the so-called ‘God’ particle. The funny thing is, all they would have to do would be to practice the Gentle Breath Meditation as taught by Serge Benhayon and they could feel all those God particles in the stillness of their own bodies.

  24. The other day I had allowed myself to get caught up in a problem and as I walked to my office and looked up at the sky there was such clarity and brilliance there I felt appreciation and joy for being here, it was as if I were being reminded that that same clarity and brilliance is also who I am. It seems nature is always supporting us to see more clearly and come back to the truth.

  25. I love your question, it describes exactly how we have made life to be, we categorise everything and think we can use and help ourselves to just what we need. All the while there is so much more to us. “In our hearts there are no boxes, only the offering of an ever deepening connection with our essence, and therefore with God.”

    1. It requires a lot of openness in you to not box something or someone into a known category. I will observe myself if and when I might be doing that also a little bit. Only a tiny bit of boxing someone in actually keeps them in the same picture they have chosen to hide, to not show themselves in full. We have a huge responsibility what we communicate to each other to support each other to show a different way.

      1. Yes, so true Stefanie even with the tiniest boxing in we deny ourselves to see another in their fullness, it is like we see the world through a very narrow lens. And I also like the point you are raising here that we actually like to hide in these boxes, so it is not only the perspective of the observer but the standpoint of both that determines how easily the box is being ticked. Yes, a huge responsibility for us all to help each other eliminate all these boxes.

  26. ‘God is not someone separate from us, or mightier than us, but the very essence of who we are.’ How have we’ve been misled by manmade religion to believe we are less than God, to believe we need to do good to deserve a place in Heaven. The opposite is true, we are God and are on our way back to live this truth.

  27. ‘God…is the very essence of who we are.’ When you put it like that- as in state the truth- then self -judgement and judgement of others falls away.

    1. God would never judge, as ultimate love does not compare or judge, but offers space. Judgement and self critic is a manmade game to keep us separate from the own divinity as it circulates and repeats to keep you in the loop of disconnection.

    2. Beautifully said Simone for when we go into judgment we immediately shut out true observation which provides the understanding and clarity of what is occurring before us.

  28. So true thank you for letting us read and feel the truth of God and what we have made him to be by all our images, pictures, ideals and beliefs that keeps us only further away from living the absolute truth of who we are (Godliness).

  29. “What I also recall as a little girl was that no one else, or at least the adults around me, seemed to experience the same level of wonder or sense of magic – or this was not expressed.” I love this Michelle because I have always had this childlike way with nature around me and still to this day stop dead in my tracks when I see a butterfly or bird fly by. Yesterday I had a beautiful large sulphur crested cockatoo fly just over my head and rest in the tree branch above as he ate and we just admired each other. Nature is an incredible reflection for what we too hold within and that is exquisitely divine to appreciate.

  30. Reading this I remember when I was a child where with the scent of blossom and with the morning song of the birds outside, each day felt like a fresh day .. a new opportunity similar to autumn with the crisp clear mornings. I felt the magic and in turn felt the joy and wonder of our life and purpose in my body .. connection to God. And on reflection as I grew up this sense of magic and joy started to dim as I could feel more and more what was being reflected back to me by adults, by life. The struggles, the same patterns, unspoken hurts or anger, the state of the country and world. This was years ago and as we all know just by reading or seeing the news things have intensified which makes me ask the question how do our younger generation feel now and what are we reflecting back to them in order that they too can feel and connect, consistently so, to the true magic, joy and love. We have a responsibility more than ever before to not only stay connected to the truth we know but also reflect and express it to others so they have a different marker to what they currently see in the world.

  31. Everything has a purpose, and in this case the purpose is: offer something which brings individuality so that the ones can choose to remain blind to the fact that they are the many that make up the one.

  32. “True religion is simply about our personal and ever evolving connection and relationship with God, with our own divinity and with humanity. In true religion there are no pictures or rules.” Beautifully expressed Michelle. Following our hearts when we are connected – so opposite to how organised religion operates.

  33. And if organised religion has been one of the most dominant forces on earth and in many ways remains so today in parts of the world, how extensive must we have sold out to lies as a race that have not truly served but rather extensively harmed? What if all the ill we complain about came first from lies. No ill has ever come from true love.

  34. Yes God cannot be defined in the way we have done so to date, which we see in particular within the organised religions. Clearly this has not worked as history has shown, hence perhaps we ought to start afresh with truly open hearts as we begin re-developing our relationship with God once again.

  35. I still love to be very playful with nature and I am aware of it a lot- it is a great way to expand and connect back to the innocence and freedom inside us. Interestingly when you do things, normally “adults” don´t do, you can feel sometimes a judgement or that they deride what you do, but deep down you can feel how much they long for being that playful aswell. We never loose this openess and joy, even though we grow up.

  36. I found that when I let go of the pictures of God or what I thought he was to be, I found my connection to the truth of God was clarified because I felt the grandness of his essence is what lies all around us and within us equally. Having always loved nature and the wonder of its movements, I found the reflections offered by nature an appreciation of God and how every movement, breath and word expressed is not only a conversation with the all but a union of what God truly means and that is truly magnificent.

  37. Keeping God separate to us is a power play and set up to keep society in need of institutionalised religion. You don’t need to pay money to be close to God, or talk through someone to get to Him. God is available to all, equally so, it’s just a matter of who will humbly accept.

  38. The tragedy about this realm of life is that it tries very hard to delineate and solidify formlessness into a form to identify with, and we forget words come only after what is.

  39. The God of the religion I was a part of in my childhood made Jesus and the martyrs more important than God as they seemed more graspable and relatable – God was remote and only approachable in prostration and via fervent prayers for things to turn out better than could reasonably be expected. Never was there any hint of our own magnificence, quite on the contrary.

    1. A great point Gabriel it was Jesus that the church talked most about, especially around Christmas time, yet so much of what was spoken about Jesus never made sense to me it felt too unbelievable to be true, how could 1 person die on a cross to save us all I even wondered if he ever existed. As a child I don’t remember much spoken about God other than he was distant and unapproachable except for those who devoted their lives to him, so I dismissed him as unattainable and unable to help me. As for being magnificent ourselves this was not only scorned upon it would probably be seen as a sin in which there would be retribution.

  40. This blog brings back the simplicity, the simplicity of what we miss living – connected to God, to who we truly are.
    And hence this sentence is capturing the reality and lies about – exposing them: ”One could easily conclude that organised religion is a form of control, a formalised system that keeps us from knowing the truth about God.”

    1. I could always sense this heaviness, when I was in church on Sundays. I can really connect to that control- the catholic church just loves to let people feel less than God. That you are the sinner. So that you are seemingly humble, but in fact it is a way of disempowerment. Like this they control & secure their religious way because no one would dare to stand up and say that something is wrong there.

  41. I too was brought up with little influence of organised religion, so why is it that it’s false ways have so influenced my life? My feeling is that it’s code of live recklessly, but be good on the sabbath day is not confined to church, but has in many different ways become our way of life. For example, many live by the motto, I eat well all week, so I can lash out and indulge on weekends. How is that different to what the many religions dictate, and how truly harmful do we live?

  42. How can you put something that is bigger than the starry sky into a tiny box (or a single book)? When I feel Him I can’t help but feel the bigness of our existence and what we are connected to.

  43. This is a simple and very beautiful description of true religion Michelle, ‘True religion is simply about our personal and ever evolving connection and relationship with God, with our own divinity and with humanity.’

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