"Transcend and include... this is the self-transcending drive of the Kosmos—to go beyond what went before and yet include what went before... to open into the very heart of Spirit-in-action." Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if a group of people somewhere were for something and against nothing?" Ernest Holmes

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Three Faces of God: Why Care

I am God
You are God
It all is God

There are many ways to understand what Ken Wilber calls "the Three Faces of God." Most of us learn them in the reverse of the order stated above:
  • Third person:: It: rivers, moon, and sky are God
  • Second person: You the Father from the stories of my ancestors are God 
  • First Person: I in my oneness with all that is am God 

And as we grow we usually reject our earlier understandings. But is there room for all three? Does there need to be?

I was lucky to make the break to First Person easily in my thirties, twenty+ years ago, when I discovered New Thought panentheism. But the adventures recounted in my book drew me around to reconsider what I'd left behind, bringing my new consciousness of radical freedom and responsibility to the old stories. For me there are three reasons to do so:
  • The sheer joy of a devotional relationship
  • The improved relationships with my teammates that are possible when we put something sacred in the center of our circle
  • An ability to embrace followers of traditional religion as brothers and sisters

In reintegrating this second face, you don't have to go as far as I have--twirling a white skirt to praise dance at a Black church. Simply chanting, or lighting a candle, or even writing a love poem to your hero may be enough for you to call forth the presence of beloved Other. Whatever it is, I recommend it. It can be a powerful source of meaning and joy.


Karl Higley said...

Panentheism -- that all is in God -- is typically understood as a 3rd person perspective on God. Have you had experiences that lead you to understand it differently?

Teri Murphy said...

Ah, good question. Two things: the distinction between pantheism and panentheism and my evolving appreciation of that distinction. Allow me to elaborate in another post on Panentheism.