The Tree of knowledge
God as the Father and Mother
“We are souls, each unique and valuable, and from a spiritual perspective we are equal. Whether we are men or women, whether we are from different cultures or countries, no matter what our religion, we are primarily spiritual beings. When we live with this vision of equality, it is very easy to appreciate, accept and encourage our differences”
God is not just a point, He is not just energy. God is a conscious living being and what is conscious and living has personality. Personality includes the capacity to create feelings, form relationships and to play a role in the drama of life.
One key relationship that God has with His creation is as the eternal Mother and Father. In this relationship are combined the eternal masculine and feminine principles which give life and sustenance.
The eternal Father, out of His love, creates new life. He has the power to renew and to reorder the universe. Through Truth He establishes harmony and wellbeing. Like the physical sun, the masculine principle is still, fixed, full of power-radiating light. This constant light is the energy that creates life. As the eternal Mother, God cares for and patiently nourishes with encouragement and selfless love. The eternal Feminine, like the physical earth, is ever giving, renewing and nurturing. God, as the eternal point of reference, is fixed in form, position and role, but His energy gently and powerfully awakens and sustains. In reality, all human souls have the eternal principles of the Masculine and Feminine but, according to time, one is emphasised more than the other.
God is the universal Father and Mother of all. He Himself is not a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist or a Muslim, for religions, though divinely inspired, are made in this world. God Himself is not a Christian, a yogi or a Buddhist, but He loves them equally and belongs to them all. God has the power to belong to all because he loves and understands all. To the extent that He is powerful, He is gentle. True spiritual strength always demonstrates itself in gentleness and respect. God would never use force or impose His will. No relationship, especially one with God, can develop, or even really begin, if there is force, because force is violence. Any violence, whether against ourselves or others, violates dignity. The greatest example of such violation is when people or groups of people use force in the name of God to justify their own personal aims, and call it God‘s will or God‘s law.
The use of violence, physical or emotional, against the will or choice of others indicates not only lack of respect but overwhelming insecurity. To force another to believe what we believe, to do as we do, to think as we think underlies our inability to be free and independent and to understand and respect ourselves. The Father respects the eternal individuality of each of us. We are souls, each unique and valuable, and from a spiritual perspective we are equal. Whether we are men or women, whether we are from different cultures or countries, no matter what our religion, we are primarily spiritual beings. When we live with this vision of equality, it is very easy to appreciate, accept and encourage our differences. God, as the eternal Mother, loves us unconditionally and, as the Mother especially, forgives. With forgiveness a child is encouraged to learn from mistakes and to go beyond them. If we identify with our mistakes or failures we cannot learn from them. Instead we develop negative attitudes such as self-pity and guilt. We lose respect for ourselves. Most of us find it hard to forgive ourselves, and when the Father’s unlimited love is not understood and we cannot forgive ourselves, we feel almost an obligation to suffer because we feel we don’t deserve to be happy.
Our thoughts turn in on themselves and we begin to believe that, somehow, the more we suffer, the worthier we become. We actually believe that God sends suffering to those he loves! This tangled thread of thought needs to be unravelled, for the sake of our own happiness and peace of mind. Our inheritance from God is happiness, not suffering. Real love cannot give suffering. God is our loving Father and Mother and gives all the strength we need to overcome the effects of mistakes. However, until we take up the personal responsibility of examining and changing ourselves, we build an unconscious barrier against God’s love — a love that can miraculously heal. God is working for our happiness. Our Father is the Ocean of Happiness, not the Ocean of Sorrow. God’s gift as the eternal Parent is to release us from suffering. Love gives us the strength. With the support of divine love we have no fear of mistakes and none of the pressure of expectations.
For many people, the negative image of God as the one who judges and punishes interferes in their relationship with Him. This negative image can be very deep in many people, depending on their social tradition and upbringing. So, often, there is automatic rejection when the name ‘God’ is mentioned. The negative reactions usually centre around words like ‘punishment’, ‘hell’, ‘repentance’, ‘sin’. We require a new understanding and a new image of God. If we begin to think positively about God, we will find a new relationship with Him, a new way of understanding this supreme, loving Being. We need to begin to understand that God as a Being of Eternal Goodness must hold positive qualities, not negative ones. It is like our perception of people: if we hold on to a negative vision of them, if we keep this in our consciousness, then our relationship with them cannot improve and nothing will change. We keep confirming our own negative viewpoint because we see what we expect to see. Our preset conditioning gets stronger with each encounter and we cannot break out of the negative trap we’ve created. The relationship is doomed. In order to change old attitudes and to break from our conditioning, we need to step back from the past, from what we’ve been told and, most especially, from what we think we know. We need to be a little detached from ourselves. To make effective changes we should look for the positive in others and, of course, in ourselves. So many books have been written emphasizing the fact that self-healing and better relationships begin with our own, positive vision. We are exhorted to ‘look for the positive in everything’. This also should be our attitude towards God.
In silence we can gradually create a loving link with God. When we give time to silence and to reflection we can begin to feel God as the Father and Mother coming closer and closer. There is such sweetness in this experience that the soul begins to open like a flower in the warmth of the sun. This closeness, this communion with God, has been experienced by many people in different cultures throughout history. For example, Christ called God ‘Abba’, a word used by young children for their father expressing trust and confidence in his love. In India, the people say of God: ‘You are the Mother, you are the Father‘ and often God is called ‘Baba’, a term of great affection and regard.
God as the Father is Truth and as the Mother, Love. The combined qualities of these two roles create the imperishable sweetness of God. God is sweet. Sweet in the sense of being gentle, kind and good. Such sweetness is a sign of spiritual power. Unfortunately, emphasis on ‘repentance’, ‘hell’ and ‘punishment’ have obliterated our sense of God’s inherent goodness, His caring and His sweetness.
The ancient people of Egypt particularly remembered God in terms of Love and Truth and as the Lord of Sweetness. Their feeling of closeness can be seen from this ancient prayer to Ra, their sun god:
Hail to thee, Ra, Lord of Truth,
whose sanctuary is hidden. Lord of gods…
who hears the prayer of him…
who is in captivity
who is kindly of heart when one calls upon him…
who saves the weak from the strong,
the humble from the proud,
for love of whom the Nile comes Lord of Sweetness,
great in love, at whose coming the people live.
Source: ‘Alpha Point — A Glimpse of God’
Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centres
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