God Has Many Natures

My view is that because God is God and we are not, we, as imperfect beings, can not perfectly understand God's nature. Imperfect beings can not understand perfection perfectly. My belief is that one of the least imperfect ways of conceiving of God is that "God is Love".

In my view, other conceptions of God, such as that of God as a relationship among three persons, as a supreme being, as father, as mother, as creator, as spirit, all are valid, and, that all such conceptions, taken together, show us that God has many natures.

This thought provoking article by Meredith Jordan from beliefnet.com eloquently expresses similar ideas, stating:

"Most religious traditions teach that God is a living being—the Father or Mother of us all—who lives outside us, takes personal interest in each of us, and has a direct influence on the events of our lives. Is it possible this is an outdated conceptualization of the magnificent Mystery that lives at the exact epicenter of all life? Possible that, in our attempts to maintain the illusion of order in a troubled and turbulent world, we try too hard to force the Mystery of God into names, forms, images, or even belief systems? And while these attempts to pin God down may offer small measures of comfort, they may also fail to convey the complex nature of Ultimate Reality...

Isn’t it possible that the One of Many Names is even more complex and intricately designed than we human beings are, never revealing itself in its totality, but rather revealing its many different aspects to each of us at different times and in different ways?...

It’s said throughout the great wisdom traditions that God names God by saying only: I am that I am. This statement points strongly to the possibility that the Sacred Mystery is consciousness or essence rather than person or being. By using names for God that, while comforting, may limit the depth and breadth of our experience of this Mystery, we may unintentionally close our eyes and hearts to that which is attempting to reveal its ever-developing nature to us...

It seems plausible that we’re being challenged to revise our understanding of God. Could God be something other than what religious doctrine tells us? Could God be evolving and changing in the same way humanity is evolving, and therefore be different today than God was two thousand years ago? Questions like this fascinate me.

I take the position that God’s nature is always changing, continually growing and revealing itself to us in new ways. In my opinion, I’m the one who must develop my own relationship with, and understanding of, the nature of the Divine Mystery...

I have come to believe that God, the one I call Mystery, is also changed by its relationship with me. I have no way to prove this belief so that you, the reader, might believe it along with me. Yet it’s consistent with all we as a people are learning about the interactive nature of reality.

Everything changes as a result of our paying attention. It’s just common sense that there exists a great feedback loop operating throughout all of creation. In the way a friend’s insight suddenly inspires an insight in me, I wonder if we grow more conscious in spiritual tandem with God-Consciousness, and if God-Consciousness expands because we make efforts to awaken.

Can it be that God and humanity assist each other in the process of expanding, transforming, and ultimately evolving into more of what we are intended to be? Perhaps as the Sacred Mystery widens, broadens, and deepens its experience of reality, there’s a corresponding expansion in human awareness. And as human awareness or consciousness grows, it’s possible there is a corresponding flutter in the heart of God-consciousness..."

Meredith Jordan, MA, is a psychotherapist and spiritual director and a co-founder of Rogers McKay, a multifaith educational organization that provides resources for spiritual seekers. She lives in Maine.