There is more to God, and religion, then you can grasp from any single point of view. It's like looking at a ball. No matter where you stand, you'll always see something, but you'll not see everything. You can move, but then you'll miss something else.

That is true of many things, but especially this.

Take a look at God, either the reality or the concept (depending on your belief or lack thereof in God, but not necessarily in that order). He's had a lot of effect on the world's history, no matter how you slice it - He's started (and ended) wars, He's caused migrations, and a lot of other things, too.

But this God concept has been tied to many things - good, bad, and stupid. If there is a God, why would He allow, even help cause (since He could easily have caused things to work out differently), all the many atrocities in the world?

He, obviously, does allow such things to happen. Yet he also includes free will as an inherent part of the current state of Creation. How can these two things co-exist?

The only answer I can think of that seems to fit this, is that God is multi-faceted. He is both a manipulative God and a hands off God. He both wants the best for us, and makes bad things happen. He is both all powerful, yet limited (in that he doesn't just "make it so", which may or may not be in contradiction to omnipotence). He deals with us both on an intensely personal level, and on a grossly political level - he smites nations without a second thought, yet saves individuals with no redeeming characteristics.

On the face of it, that view sounds, well, wrong. How can God be two things at once? Isn't that blatantly illogical?

I base this idea, that God is multi-faceted, on a few things. First, on the various verses in the Bible that say that you can't know God, that he is beyond human understanding. (I'll get citations up soon, I swear!) Second, on the ideas I've seen in Zen - that there are unknowable things, things that cannot be fully expressed in language. Finally, that I've seen no explanation that fully explains all of God's actions.

This node isn't trying to be an exaplanation of all of God's actions. It tries to be more of an acknowledgement that God is unknowable - that you can't sit down and understand all of God's actions. It is for this reason that God has remained interesting for so long. He never quite fits into whatever box you put him in, unless that box is so vague as to be meaningless (except in a Zen sense).

God is what He is. To say more is to look only at once facet of him. And even to say that...

As the Holy Bible states, God is beyond our comprehension and beyond our ability to perceive. Therefore, it is not God that is multifaceted, but our perception of him, as we cannot perceive the fullness of God.

Consider a bright, white light shining into a large room with no other light source. In order to get into the room, the light must pass through an infinitely faceted non-uniform prism, where it is refracted. If all the people in the world are standing in this room, they will each see a different pattern of light, and having no other reference to what light is, they will describe the light based upon what they see. Of course, people standing near each other in this room may see similar patterns, but each person's vision of the light is unique and has inherent value. However, nobody has the complete truth.

Such is the nature of God. Our communal intellects filter our perception of God, and we often limit ourselves to an interpretation of God that suits our personal vision. Although that is good, it also does not comprise absolute truth, and does not necessarily negate the truth of the vision of another. It is theoretically possible that if all the people of the world, Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Agnostics, and the rest truly pooled our visions of God and combined those visions into one, we would be able to combine them to understand the truth of God, much as a second prism, properly placed, can unify refracted light to make it white once more.

Instead of pursuing this goal, we declare jihad on one another, attempting to prove the truth of one vision by eradication of those who believe another. Or, we stand in the pulpits, preaching eternal damnation upon those who do not believe the same as we do.

Would it not be better to celebrate the amazing and beautiful world we live in, and give thanks to whatever we perceive the Supreme Being to be?

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