Pictures of God 

Picture this: I’m standing in the middle of a very large room, a bit like a hall, in front of a large group of people. Everyone is holding onto a pile of pictures of God that they’ve brought along. I put it to the floor: “Does anyone have a picture of God that they would like to bring out and put on the wall so we can have a look?” People are standing with bags and crates full of their pictures of God so it’s a ludicrous question to ask and I’m just teasing them. Everyone is there and ready with their pictures. I have to create some disappointment though, by saying that we can look at their examples of pictures after I have finished covering the walls with mine first.   

I place my first one on the wall. 

It’s called ‘Geocentricity – God you need to introduce yourself to me.’  

I have lived most of my life thinking that God wasn’t part of the equation that I had of life. He was something or someone that other people had in their lives. I felt this in spite of attending a Christian school where we sang hymns and prayed every morning. Yet I felt no connection with this God. This God seemed like a person but one that was in the sky. So that was one of my big expectations or pictures – that he floated down towards people and said, “Here I am, now you can trust me.” I don’t suppose God has a whole lot of time for formal introductions like that.   

The next picture was called ‘God loves to measure.’

I read a blog this morning called ‘God Doesn’t Add Up’ and it made me think of another picture I had of God. The way that I have been living would suggest that God lives in a room full of measuring apparatus – measuring tapes, rulers, barometers… anything with a measuring function to it. And he sits there spending his time measuring us all day long. I guess God might not have time for that. But we do. It is only we who self-measure and it is very ungodly to do so. The more I become aware of the abuse this self-measuring incurs, the more I am able to consciously let it go.  

So, if I start to dismantle the pictures I hold of God, then what is left of what I understand God to be?  

Well, there are understandings of God that make me sit bolt upright. I know that we all have a deep relationship with God that is not fostered through institutionalised religions. God is not in words or adherence to a book. So where do we get our connection with God? Is it from effigies that we look up to and give a moment’s attention to? Is it from reciting words and prayers? Is it from feeling bad about the things we have done?  

There is another picture that has popped up:  

God is above and separate from us.  

Can we fathom that actually we are the same and equal, but have just chosen to make ourselves less?   

So, when I ask these questions –   

  • Could I go shopping with God?  
  • Could I go to the gym with God?
  • Should I have had dinner with God?
  • Should I be speaking to my brother with God?
  • Should I be teaching with God?

The answers are all yes.

Expression is an amazing tool for bringing out beliefs that we have picked up and run with but that are completely contrary to what we feel inside and know to be true. It’s as though our bringing these beliefs out in the open air to shine some daylight on them gives us very little option but to leave them behind.   

In writing this I have found one of the greatest pictures of all buried in the pile. I’m dusting it off and considering if it is one that I can really afford to let go off. After all, it is a very big one, and has been very expensive in terms of all that I have invested in it: useful in terms of the huge space it takes up on the wall too – without it there will be an exposed wall and well, space. It’s strange because the others I can easily scoff at but this one feels like it has some traction still there.   

Without any further ado… it’s the one about not deserving God. When I drop this one, I open myself up to feeling God.  

The vehicle for accessing this relationship with God is through my body; being able to connect to my body through feeling and listening to what it is saying to me. For example:   

  • When I feel the delicateness and gentleness of my body as I move;   
  • When I move with awareness of the length or tallness of my spine – sometimes it feels as though I am gliding;  
  • In my hands when I touch and pick things up tenderly, gently, lightly; 
  • When I am aware of the intimacy that I can feel with people;
  • When I am aware of the delicacy that I can feel in me and others; 
  • When I can feel how still I can be and how this resides in others too;
  • When I feel openness and transparency and our capacity to love and be close to each other.

For me, God is about awareness and clairsentience (feeling and sensing). It’s not something I can access through my mind and think about. It is something I feel.   

It’s time to take down the pictures.  

By Simone, Teacher, UK 

Further Reading:
Who or What is God?
God’s Waiting Room
Space, God, Purpose and human existence
The ungodly behaviour of the Gods – is this true?

504 thoughts on “Pictures of God 

  1. Recently I have been considering how stunting of connecting and deepening our Inner Awareness and access to Universal Wisdom it is, for us to be told from young that the only thing that counts is what is written in text books, religious books and other expressions considered to be of ‘authority’ and our own experience is not worth much, especially if it questions or introduces anything that shows something different to the pictures being presented.

  2. Pictures create so much unnecessary hardship, angst and complication. Life is so simple when we allow each day to flow in its uniquely harmonious way, and allow others to simply be themselves.

  3. I love here how you talk about such simple daily life experiences as being confirmation of the presence of God or divinity or something universal or grander than human life (whatever you want to call it). I have had the same expereinces too and they have confirmed for me without a doubt the fact that as human beings we are much more than physical animals trying to survive on this planet.

    1. This is so true Andrew … “… as human beings we are much more than physical animals trying to survive on this planet.” Life here on planet earth is not about struggle and survival – it is all about truly living – in a way that is vital, harmonious, responsible, wise and with purpose.

  4. “Could I go shopping with God?
    Could I go to the gym with God?
    Should I have had dinner with God?
    Should I be speaking to my brother with God?
    Should I be teaching with God?
    The answers are all yes.”
    This makes it very tangible how there is no question about that God is and so are we in every moment equally. We are grand and this grandness we ought to live by this simple fact of our true beingness.

  5. We are given so many pictures of a God outside of us, and one of mine was that God must be so busy with others, why would he want to hear any of my problems? The feeling of God in our movements as you describe Simone is very different, there is a connection here and a knowing in the body of the God inside us.

  6. Our pictures of God have the exact opposite effect of what we think … leaving us with a mental construct rather than the awareness and feeling of an all encompassing stupendous love that is God.

  7. I love all the questions you ask like, ‘Should I be speaking to my brother with God?’ Living every aspect of life with God supports us and inspired others to be the most loving aspect of who we are and drop all that doesn’t belong.

  8. It is interesting to ponder who is the being who is driving all these beliefs, ideals and pictures we have in our heads about God and the divine nature of life.

  9. Our mental pictures just don’t work – I wonder how long it will take us as a humanity to realise this! Feeling God’s presence affects our bodies instantly – the tension of all the pictures drops away and we allow ourselves to be who we innately are.

  10. And may I add Simone, that we give our-selves the space to move from every moment into a Loving-Space then as we walk about we are assured of the space we are expanding around us is connecting us to God.

  11. T’is the alleged season of celebrating the birth of Jesus and all of the pictures of friends and family in the delivery room. That was a holiday that was stolen from the Druids and now is a commercial event to but buy things for others that they think, they cannot live without. All of this, to keep us from celebrating the greatest event ever, the love that is in all of us and it never needs a special day to appreciate it.

  12. I love that we can go shopping, have dinner, go to work or hang out with friends and God is there with us regardless of what it is we are doing. A great reminder, thankyou.

  13. “Could I go shopping with God? ” From my childhood presentation of God this would be a very undignified concept of Him but now it is a concept that makes Him real for me.

  14. I love the simplicity of this blog and the way it exposes false pictures of God, to reveal God as the one on one relationship we have with ourselves in connection with our Inner Heart. God is constantly with us, no need to look for him and no institution or cleric needed, we commune with God daily through our every expression.

      1. True Matilda, the relationship is not static and God ever present and ready, waits for us to deepen our connection.

  15. When we carry pictures of different aspects of our life, it prevents us from feeling the truth of what is within and around us. We’re not living in the here and now and consequently miss much of what life offers us.

  16. ‘if I start to dismantle the pictures I hold of God, then what is left of what I understand God to be?’ love this question because, when we strip away all that isn’t true we’re left feeling the truth of God in our inner heart.

  17. Your blog has reminded me of the pictures I had of God when I was growing up and how they all related to God being something outside of me that could only to accessed by going to church, however I can now feel how God can be with me in all that I do and it is my responsibility to live this (to the best of my ability) so as to reflect it to those around me.

  18. Holding pictures suggest we know all there is to know and we then selectively go about selecting what fits. The truth is that there is so much more available to us, for us and in us and once any picture is released we are offered all that is truly there – Heaven on Earth.

  19. Sometime ago it was shared with me that I had the energy of a certain religion in my body that I was still influenced by. How many of us are made aware that in past lives we have practiced many different religions and that the consciousness of those are still held within our bodies. And so is it any wonder that we hold onto the false pictures of God believing them to our own?

    1. This is so simple to do and yet so few are aware of it. My children were at a christmas play the other day and the vicar was telling them that it was impossible to know God and that the only way to try was to get to know Jesus. If we can get out of our heads and back into our bodies, like we were as children, it would be much harder to say that.

  20. To feel that we are not deserving of love highlights how we have already rejected or separated from that innate divine essence that is within us all.

  21. These pictures you describe really do formulate and govern our thinking without us realising it Simone. Once we are free of them, we can go to a totally different understanding that has no ideals or fixed way of being, it’s very liberating.

  22. There’s a quote from a philosopher I believe that says, ‘when you label me you negate me’. It’s the same with pictures – when we have a picture of God, we negate him. Time to let go of the pictures indeed.

  23. When I read such questions as “should I go shopping with God” or “should I go to the gym with God” at first glance it seems a silly to even ask such things. But after reflecting I end up wondering why not? We think we do these things alone, but that is never ever the case. We are forever bombarded by thoughts ideals, beliefs and emotions from one place or another. Why not choose the quality of energy and thoughts we wish to align to?

  24. Believing that we already know all there is about something and holding that picture as a definitive description, is one certain way to ensure we do not have the space to keep evolving and expanding our relationship with it.

  25. When I was little I remember feeling how the pictures I was presented of God didn’t marry up to the way I felt about God, when I thought about God I felt a warmth which felt secure and was nothing like the images I saw which felt domineering.

  26. I have always felt that God is everywhere; in the trees; in the animals; in the people. Even with that ‘everywhereness’ I still had physical images of God and it was still very surface. Now I know I can certainly feel God within me and I can feel God within others. Now there is no image of what that looks like, because I know what I see is everything in that moment.

  27. When we know who God is then we may laugh at some of the pictures we painted Him to be. It is so ridiculous some of the pictures we have of God, for example, we see Him as judgemental, harsh, unloving and inaccessible. Do any of these pictures ring true? Definitely not.

  28. I find that having pictures (expectations and ideals) about anything totally kiboshes the magic of the present moment; it is like I am blind to what is there right before me because I am running my pictures in my head.

    1. So true Matilda, this is what I experienced recently and it was so obvious later when I realised what was happening and how blind I was to the truth. It caused so many complications but heaps to learn from this experience for sure.

    2. I agree Matilda and that magic is present constantly for us to see and feel if we allow ourselves to see without those pictures.

    3. So true in how we meet other people but coming from the pictures and ideals we hold onto for ourselves to try to meet.

    4. I agree Matilda. We could read this blog and think only about the devastation caused by our pictures of God.

      Yet this is just one example of having a set of pictures and a great example of the results too.

      The pictures I hold of anything give me a warped reality and misinterpretation of people, situations etc. And In doing so I miss opportunity upon opportunity to connect – with people, life, myself, to really be in life.

  29. Everything in the universe is constantly expanding, when we focus on pictures we ignore this important fact and try to hold on to one snapshot, which by definition can never be true even if it started off as such.

  30. I think we would drown the world if we were all to physically manifest all our pictures of God, there would be so many of them.

  31. As I dispense with the pictures I have carried for ages about pretty much everything (God, food, relationships, being a woman, daughter, wife, mother…) I feel freer in each moment to really observe what is going on, where I am at and how much there always is to learn. This makes life super interesting, fun, inspiring and so much simpler.

  32. I love this blog as I notice how great it is to evaluate my pictures of God as I never ever took a moment to feel them and let them go.

  33. I realize that my confusion about God is that I was trying to understand him from my head. When I go to the concept of feeling God, my body just relaxes and yes, I can feel him. Wow!

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