How I Talk About God

Exercising My Imagination


I rotate certain books on my desk to keep higher thinking handy. It’s a gratifying habit to start most days with a couple minutes in the company of good people. Not serious study or contemplation; more like random roaming around… flipping through pages searching for a timely lesson. That’s why I rotate the books; different perspectives broaden my knowledge.

It could be a Bible or Quran or a section of the Torah, or a contemporary interpretation of something mystical and obscure. Maybe Rumi, Bukowski… I don’t discriminate. Any story that lifts my thinking is worth a few minutes of my time. I sample the words of wise men looking for something healthy to feed my soul.

how I talk about God

Normal, Not Strange

Don’t get weirded out. I’m not going to sideswipe you with a testimony or hard-sell a promise of enlightenment. I like to talk about spiritual stuff, but realize it makes people feel uncomfortable. Especially religion; nowadays it separates and divides people, which is the opposite of what I like to do. But even if the topic is spiritually inclusive, people get fidgety when I talk about God.

Same thing with Love. If you want to make a bunch of Marines or crusty old mountain men uncomfortable, start talking out loud about Love. It is (and always has been) a favorite social experiment of mine, and one I am particularly well-suited to conduct because I like to talk about God and Love. Especially when it makes tough guys uncomfortable.

Tough Guys Feeling Uncomfortable

Sometimes I sneak the topic into conversations. It’s easier when I don’t dig for opinions. Opinions have emotional weight; they’re “our” opinions which means we defend them. And that can kill a conversation.

It’s better to share observations. We’re not attached to them. You can observe where two lines of thought converge without getting hung up on what that means to your opinions. In the company of good men, we share observations, discuss their application, and leave a little wiser.

The Benefit

The benefit is the energy, that good feeling when we vibe together. People generally acquire some of the energy they helped create as a group and leave the conversation humming at a higher frequency. That’s why folks go to church; they get tuned, re-calibrated, and feel empowered for the week ahead.

That’s why I talk about God, even if I’m just talking to myself; it’s good to stay mindful of the magic in my life. It’s too easy to get caught up in the dull and dreary day-to-day effort of living in this world. Life loses its magic, its shine… depression is common in the world today. That bad energy can be replaced with good energy and the perspective can be refreshed.

Be Mindful

Religious people are refreshed through prayer. Almost every human is refreshed by contact with Mother Nature, which is another personality that people associate with God. Or dark energy, or entangled particles… whatever the preferred identity.

In every metaphor, we are part of something bigger and more powerful, and naturally it feels good. Which is why we shouldn’t be shy to talk about it, to point out its presence in moments throughout the day, and to share how we use that cooperative and intelligent energy to do something cool in our lives.

That’s important – especially in the context of this blog. The purpose of this site is to share what I’ve learned about living a happier life. And one of the things that makes me happy is the right frame of mind… looking at the world from the best perspective. Thinking about and talking about those kinds of things keep me in the right frame of mind.

how i talk about God
My Son in Touch with Nature

Young people are another reason to talk about God. I raised three children and wanted most of all that they be spiritually literate. They needed to know Right from Wrong, how to navigate the middle ground, and how to navigate this dark and dangerous world. Now that they’re grown, they thank me for talking about God with them, for showing them how to look for comfort or insight. We still talk about the best approach for a situation or circumstance.

Unexpected Wisdom

Today, there’s a Gita on my desk. I’ve been a fan of oriental storytelling since I was a teenager. Krishnas would gather in small groups in the concourse at the airport where I worked and chant. They always had a bag full of Upanishads, Vedas, or some other Hindu story books to trade for donations.

They never claimed the books were scriptures or the written words of God; just stories written by wise men to communicate a concept. The rishis explained that some ideas were best conveyed in the context of a story. The words were not holy, nor were the characters in the story; in fact, there was nothing sacred about the stories at all. They were simply great ways for people to talk about God.

My son came into the office once when he was young and noticed a Gita on my desk. A blue elephant with golden jewellery on the cover caught his attention immediately.

A Blue Elephant

“What’s that?”

“A battle elephant,” I explained. “From an epic battle between royal families. Out of thousands in the beginning, only a handful of the warriors survived.”

“Seriously?”

And just like that, we were talking about God. He reached for the book because he wanted to know more. Not because it was a Hindu book or a God book, but because the narrative was appealing. He soon learned that the Gita is a guide for navigating the battlefield of life. Even now, that’s how he thinks of it.

“You don’t have to read the whole book; that’s one of the coolest things about it. If you’ve got something on your mind, you can pick up the Gita, open to any page, and likely find something useful.”

“From a battle book?”

“You can do it with pretty much any book, but I’m a guy so I like warrior wisdom. Remember Aesop’s Fables? Like the tortoise and the hare, or the goose that laid golden eggs?”

“Oh yeah. When I was a kid…”

“Like that, only next level. There’s a few things in every book of wisdom that I will always remember.”

Use Your Imagination

We made it fun to be free to talk about God like that. Using Hindu stories, Buddhist stories, or stories from monotheistic religions. Stories that conveyed lessons we could apply to our lives. Truth be told, every written history gave it a different name, but every civilization, every culture, every flavor of Man recognized and wished to leverage that undeniable natural intelligence. Some saw it as a great life energy that directed all natural events. Others gave it a personality and special powers. The most interesting ones talked about how The Whole Thing worked and how we could us the life force as a super power.

Everywhere, I see the magically intelligent organizing power of the universe. We should talk about it, even if only with ourselves, maybe figure out how to use it for something good. It’s the thinking thread that binds us and I want to know more; that’s why and how I talk about God.

how I talk about God
Same lake… different day.

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3 comments

  1. Man knows God in different ways. Conversation about God is one way, and so is our life. The search for God in the philosophy of religion is a difficult but interesting art. However, a separate issue is the question of the impact of these conversations on human life. To what extent these conversations affect people and their lives. Is their life a reflection of faith and these conversations?

  2. Hi Pat,

    it’s great to hear from you. I still remember the day you and I walked around Walden Pond talking about the Cosmos and the nature of things. That was over 20 years ago!

    Fortunately for all of us, God is alive and well, contrary to popular opinion. He is always there for us if we tune ourselves to receive him. Part of this tuning is finding where we belong and how we sustain ourselves in our lives. For me, it’s surrounding myself with like minded people that love God and allow themselves to enjoy his many gifts including; Music, community, nature, creativity, art, respect and personal responsibility.. I am fortunate, but humbled by the grace of God that has directed me to this place at this point of my life. Life is good.

    Travel in peace my friend. If you ever get to Nashville, look me up. I will show you a good time

    Love

    Marc

    • Marc, how great to hear from you! Thank you for taking time to share, especially for your reply. It’s nice to know we’re in touch again. I appreciate it.

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