What is The God Project?

As Jews we chant the Avot v'Imahot, and we pray:

....God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob,
God of Sarah, God of Rebecca, God of Rachel, and God of Leah...

It would seem that we could cover it by praying to "the God of our ancestors," but Midrash teaches that we pray this way to acknowledge that each patriarch, each matriarch, and each person has a unique and special relationship with God.

One God and as many relationships as there are stars or grains of sand.

The more I meet with people, those who believe in God and those who do not; those who talk with God and those who fear God, the more I wonder about those relationships. And I wonder how many of us have taken the time to think about the personal relationship we have with our God.

So I am collecting stories. My project is called: The God Project. I will share it with you. I am amazed already by the stories I have received.

Tell me please:
Who is the God that you believe in or don't believe in? Is this God male or female? Where does this God live? Does this God hear your prayers? Know about the intimate details of your life? Care about them? Does this God answer you? Direct you? And if so, how?

What were you taught about God as a child? And how has this belief changed, if it has? As you grow older, does your relationship deepen or fade? When did you feel closest to God? When did you feel abandoned, if ever?

How do you pray? Or talk with God? Do you ever question God? Or are you ever angry with God?

I am asking these questions of people of all faiths. Sometimes we allow religion to separate us and alienate us from each other. But the belief in a Divine Being, God for us monotheists, or the non-belief in this Divine Being, but a belief in a Power Greater Than Ourselves, seems to unite us as a whole, as beings of a greater Oneness.

During these times of tension in and on the planet, isn't it comforting to find those things that can unite us in loving kindness and respect for our fellow planet dwellers than looking at those things that divide us and bring us to war.

My hope with The God Project is to seek peace and understanding. Will you contribute your ideas and thoughts to this project? And if you do, please tell me if I can use your name, or if you are contributing anonymously.


Note: Speak up. Send me your thoughts on the glue that holds the world together. You belief in God or non-belief?
Email me at NatureRabbi@gmail.com.
When you do so, let me know if I can attribute your post to you or if you wish to be anonymous. Join me in this project, please.

Monday, March 15, 2010

thoughts from a mountain top in north carolina

I believe that what holds us together is our humanity. To me, humanity holds the qualities of not knowing, but being willing to experience, to have the soul take the lead on our journeys and to unfold life in the process. One of the greatest currencies of the soul, to me, is courage, and life and really living take courage. I hold the soul in the divine Female, which I see as not an aspect of God, but holding the vessel of individual yearning for God, for Life, for harmony.

Everyone gets there a different way, and in my life I try to appreciate the many paths. Mostly, I just try to see people for what they strive for and how they accept the power of life to move and alter their direction. In my work reading the soul, I feel honored to see so much courage in this life and others, and doing so has dropped a number of pre-existing beliefs of my own and increased my trust in the unknown. I never know what I am doing, but I try to stay in the question of it and hope for inspiration. More and more, I feel that having a set path is an illusion, but that authenticity lies in the willingness to walk a different way and simultaneously mentoring others who do the same.

I see glimpses of God every now and then, most often when I look into the eyes of my beloved, where I always know God lives. I am moved by great and small acts of humanity, whether it be a simple kindness, competitors helping one another to build a hospice, or the willingness to end separation between people and species, something I believe to be the root of all disease. Having grown up in Civil-Rights era Alabama, I am especially moved by the courage to end racial prejudice and was told by someone wise when I was young that anti-Semitism and Racism were the same thing. To me, God is in these kind of changes, our tenuous but brave actions to question beliefs and act on what we do not know, but what might be possible.

To me, compassion is one of the greatest expressions of courage and one of the most likely ways to bring God to earth. I feel that God deserves compassion as well, as a creator who often has to allow us to learn, to carry on the atrocities of war while He watches in horror. I feel the responsibility to transcend my own skin through compassion, not just to humans, but to other creatures do everything to love and accept us so we "get it". The hardest thing is to not give up, to keep trying, to remain open but not naïve and, no matter what I think, to quiet my mind so that it is never, ever a sure thing.

joel may

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