the illusion of difference

People argue a lot, very often about a thing called "God". Often we fight and kill for reasons to do with a thing called "God".

There are many different fights about God. About the existence of God (whether ze exists) and the nature of God (what ze is). Whether there is only one god, or many, or none. Fights between people called “believers” and people called “scientists”. Between those who believe they believe in a different god to that in which others believe they believe. Between people who believe that God is “X” versus people who believe “Y” is God.

(Of course, God is not the only thing we kill each other about. We kill each other for political reasons (to do with power), economic (wealth, resources), cultural, racial… you name it, we’ll kill in the name of it.)

We have seen the effects: Crucifixions. Burnings at the stake. People fed to lions. Lampshades of human skin. Crusaders and Saracens. Tutsis and Hutus. Northern Ireland. Jerusalem. Baghdad. Iraq. Afghanistan. Been there, done that.

Now, we could keep on the same way: fighting, arguing, killing. If that’s what we want to do, choose to do. If we feel it serves our purposes to keep fighting, then that is what we should continue to do. That’s assuming we want to serve our purposes. If we choose not to serve our own purposes, we are choosing self-destruction: neurotic if not pathological behaviour. (By the way, what are our purposes?)

Or, we could stop fighting, if we desired to, because actually there is no disagreement, nothing to fight about. Actually, we’re all in agreement, have been forevermore, will be forevermore. We just don’t see it.

We don’t see it for three sets of reasons. The first has to do with language, the meaning of words. The second concerns the Gestalt, set theory: the relationships and interactions between the whole and its parts, and between parts and other parts. The third concerns the Self: what it is, where it is, what it encompasses). Let’s look at the first set first, concerning language.

For starters, let’s not use the word “god”. There is just too much accumulated emotional, cultural and psychological baggage carried on the back of the word “god” (or “Allah”, “Yahweh”, “Ahura Mazda”, “Zeus”, “Shiva” or “Wandjina” or any so-called “name” of God in any language). So let’s start from scratch. Let’s invent a new label, a new word, something neutral, something without connotations or implications. How about “"eti"”? As in, for example, “her faith in Eti helped sustain her through a difficult childhood”. Or, “…they believe in a personal eti…”.

Words, images, copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

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