(Mis)Using G-O-D

(Mis)Using G-O-D

2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

The most misused word in the English language may be the one spelled G-O-D. It is a word used freely and frequently by hundreds of millions of English-speaking people who belong to the Christian churches, and even as a curse word by many people.

But how many really understand the meaning behind that word? How many have truly attained the state of consciousness known as God-realization? How many instead use the word to justify various forms of bigotry against those they perceive as non-believers? Can it be that misuse of the word has even given the being or reality the word may represent a bad name?

Christians profess belief in the Bible. Yet the word “God” never appears in the original language of the Bible. Instead, such words as Yahweh, Elohim, Ho Theos, or Ho Kurios are used.

According to the Reader’s Digest Family Word Finder, page 351, “Our word ‘god’ goes back via Germanic to Indo-European, in which a corresponding ancestor form meant ‘invoked one.’  The word’s only surviving non-Germanic relative is Sanskrit hu.” This form “appears in the Rig Veda, most ancient of Hindu scriptures [as]  puru-hutas,  ‘much invoked,’ epithet of the rain-and-thunder god Indra.”

The word “God” found its way into English-language Christianity through such translations as the King James Bible of 1611. But its origins are decidedly both racial and “pagan.” So in the most important word of their lexicon, Christians use a term that may be far-removed from the scriptures they profess to believe and often cite in looking down their noses at others.

What has probably done the most damage to the idea of “God” has been the use of religion by its adherents for the justification of war. Throughout history, more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion or its ideological derivatives than for any other cause. In this way, organized religion has often made itself repulsive to sensitive souls.  

The charge has often been led by Christians of the West. Immense damage was done to religion by World War I, when Christian nations murdered each other by the millions. The damage continues in what is obviously a latter-day crusade being carried out today by the U.S. military, and whatever allies it can muster, against the Islamic world. This crusade has been cheered on by many Christians, even to the point of burning the Koran in public.

The churches have also had little to say in criticism of the predatory system of Western-based capitalism that has increasingly polarized the world. The rich live in ever-increasing luxury, while increasing numbers are consigned to low standards of living or a growing hell of unemployment, poverty, and even starvation. While the churches rail against homosexuality and abortion, they say little or nothing about the corporate greed that places profits over people or destroys the natural environment.    

The hypocrisy of the Christian churches has led many to flee the usual denominations for alternative types of worship. This has included the formation of independent Christian congregations, reliance on the ethical standards inherent in secular humanism, or conversion to other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism.

Striking have been the emergence of movements such as the Nation of Islam among African-Americans, the spread of yoga as both a spiritual practice and way of life, and the widespread adoption of Buddhist forms of practice among the Western intelligentsia. Also notable are the growth of the Sufi movement, the revival of indigenous forms of spirituality, especially among Native Americans of the Western hemisphere, and the search among Christians for their authentic roots by study of the Essenes, the Gnostics, and early Jewish Christian teachings.  

One development dating from the 1960s is the Madonna House apostolate within the Roman Catholic Church that brings the Orthodox Russian practices of the prayer of the heart and poustinia into a Western context. Another important source of teachings is the Spiritis movement, deriving, it says, from direct appearances of Jesus Christ himself to its adherents, resulting not only in new and vibrant explanations of Christian scripture but also integration of spirituality with scientific discoveries in unified field theory.

Spiritualism too has played a role through such figures as Edgar Cayce, the appearance of channeled teachings like A Course in Miracles, and even the search among accounts of extraterrestrial contacts for the spiritual messages therein.

Notable among the new forms of spirituality is the rejection of archaic definitions of sin and guilt. Instead, errant behavior is viewed as an error to be corrected through greater awareness and understanding rather than a permanent stain leading to hellfire and damnation. The new forms also seem much more open to concepts of human equality and freedom and far less beholden to rigid social, economic, political, and ecclesiastical structures. 

Faced with this plethora of new avenues of profound soul-searching, the standard Christian denominations often have little to say, except to retreat more deeply into doctrinaire interpretations of scriptures they do not really seem to understand. No wonder Gandhi said: “I like your Christ. But I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

But what all these movements point to is that in spite of the rejection by many of the forms of religion historically practiced in the West, the search for spiritual meaning and experience has never been stronger. So the likelihood remains that whatever the truth may be that hides behind the word “God,” it is a truth that continually calls to humanity for its exploration, understanding, and expression. For many, this search for truth has become a living fire. 

Copyright 2011 by Richard C. Cook


16 Responses

  1. Elohim is PLURAL. It is borrowed from the Sumerians and their use of the word “Anunnaki” both of which mean, “those who come from the heavens to the earth.” The original names for the various Elohim/Anunnaki were crossed out and replaced with “God.” There never was such a thing as a singular “God” and as such there cannot be a “son of God.” In fact, “Jesus” is NOT a name, but a title, bestowed upon the leader of The Order of Melchizedek, a secret society similar to modern day Freemasonry. Secret societies allegorize their knowledge in allegories involving a prosopopoeia, a fictional character that was created to illustrate universal truths. The big LIE is to interpret things literally, that were originally meant to be interpreted allegorically. Great article!

    Comment by Ken D. Webber on May 9, 2011
  2. How do Buddhists ‘justify’ war?

    They don’t.

    Instead of believing in ‘God’, they believe in a Doctrine of ‘Rebirth’; and that negative karma is associated with acts of violence.

    (Is there not a clue in this for the intelligent?)

    How much LESS violent this world would be if Jews, Christians and Muslims, instead of believing in ‘God’, understood that the Doctrine of “resurrection” is similar to the Buddhist Doctrine of ‘Rebirth’.

    But that would impoverish both the monotheistic religious ‘authorities’ and the weapons manufacturers…

    So, instead, they believe in ‘God’–who not only permits but demands the extermination of those with different beliefs… about ‘God’.

    Comment by Michael Cecil on May 9, 2011
  3. “Yet man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to particular time and circumstance and thus claims to be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or any other sect. Such designations are non-sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim change his faith to become a Hindu, or a Christian may change his faith and so on.

    But in all circumstances the change of religious faith does not effect the eternal occupation of rendering service to others. The Hindu, Muslim or Christian in all circumstances is servant of someone. Thus, to profess a particular type of sect is not to profess one’s sanatana-dharma. The rendering of service is sanatana-dharma.

    “Factually we are related to the Supreme Lord in service. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are His servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we participate in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we become happy. We cannot become happy otherwise.

    It is not possible to be happy independently, just as no one part of the body can be happy without cooperating with the stomach. It is not possible for the living entity to be happy without rendering transcendental loving service unto the Supreme Lord.”

    Comment by hp on May 9, 2011
  4. The truth is a person named Jesus the Christ. He is the word that issued forth from the Father. He is Gods son.firstborn of the new creation.

    Comment by charlene on May 10, 2011
  5. ‘How do Buddhists ‘justify’ war?

    They don’t.’

    Except the Buddhists of Wu Tang, Shao Lin, and Imperial Japan.

    I must disagree. Buddhists justify violence under any number of circumstances.

    White people who are ignorant of all history, particularly Asian history, have a sanitized, delusional notion of Buddhism.

    Comment by yfr on May 10, 2011
  6. Did any of you read the article? Richard writes about the mis-use of the name God and then you all proceed to argue religion.

    Well, let me tell you, there is no ‘God’ and there is no religion. There is a Spirit that I prefer to call Universe. It is everywhere, inside everything and inside everyone.

    By defining It through your religions, you set limits on It’s vastness and greatness. By naming It you put a face on It that It does not have. It does not belong to anyone, but, belongs to all living things. You would do better to stop trying to define It and learn how to experience It. It is inside You and Me.

    Humanity is entering the next phase of It’s existence. Like adolescents, who know a lot, but don’t understand much, We are about to enter into adulthood. We will be made to be responsible for Our existence. Universe tried to teach Us through logical consequences. Some have learned and Some haven’t. Well, now We will create Our own consequences.

    Until We understand that each of Us is just a part of Universe and that it is Us who are the Universe, We will continue to divide Our common existence. We will continue to recognize ethnic differences, nationalistic differences, social differences, religious differences etc.

    We are exiting the Age of Religion and entering the Age of Psychology. We will be more independent and interdependent. We will need to grow up, in order to survive.

    Comment by Richard W. on May 10, 2011
  7. Mr.Cook, you have touched upon a very touchy subject, and it was right of you to do it, the time is right, the world needed it, mankind is crying out in pain, but is not sure what to say. I hope you will write another follow-up article.

    In the last 40 or more we have seen a lot of editing, revision and corruption in the bible and dictionaries. Both are books of/for reference. For reference about “God” I checked in a 40 year old dictionary, “Oxford’s Concise Dictionary of Historical References”, it says = pagan deity, idol, also spelled as gad, gave ref to Isaiah 65:11, also gawd, from which came the word gaudy,= obscene, loud, uncivilized.

    So we go to Bible.com, for the Amplified Bible, not KJV,
    http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Isaiah+65%3A11&version1=45

    Passage Isaiah 65:11:
    11.But you who forsake the Lord, who forget and ignore My holy Mount [Zion], who prepare a table for Gad [the Babylonian god of fortune] and who furnish mixed drinks for Meni [the god of destiny]–
    12.I will destine you [says the Lord] for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen or obey. But you did what was evil in My eyes, and you chose that in which I did not delight.

    Here we find Gad is Not acceptable, is rejected, there is admonishment too,

    Comment by Najam on May 12, 2011
  8. Bravo, Rick! Well said.

    Many have discovered that the characteristics we typically associate with ‘God’ are also the attributes of ‘energy’, and that we and our world are simply manifestations of that universal force, that universal ‘being’. “So as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

    This was one of the main reasons I was so moved by Greg MacLeod’s book, “From Mondragon To America”. Beyond merely complaining about what’s wrong with the world, he insists we must begin to imagine and actively create a new one. As you have stated in a previous article:

    “So let them have their weapons and wars. With all due respect to those brave enough to protest, it’s time for people simply to walk away and set up their own economic and monetary systems as a prelude to a rebirth of humanity as ethical beings in sustainable communities of choice.”

    Of all the important work you have done, Rick, I hope this one statement makes the greatest impact.

    Comment by David Kendall on May 14, 2011
  9. You have become a true teacher. It is no small matter. There are those who will churn their idle beliefs into a bitter butter they would ask you to spread upon the world, but your heart speaks to you of greater fare. Listen to it. And know that there are many who watch in silent support of the man who stands alone against the wind. You are not alone. You have never been alone. Michael.

    Comment by Michael on May 23, 2011
  10. This is a very good article. Religion is a way of controlling people. It layers on top of the laws that govern society. Just like the laws of man, they can also become corrupt or dogmatic or even irrelevant. Richard is on a path that many people have begun to follow and I just love him for it. There is more to the Universe than what meets the eye. The eye can only see visible light. There is much more that is invisible.

    I had an experience while deep in prayer (do it a lot) where I wanted to know the most sacred place in the Universe. It is not Earth by the way. It was like warping in my mind like in a Star Trek movie. I was taken to a place that appeared to be empty. It was far from any stars, galaxies were spinning faintly behind me. I looked and saw nothing. I was not alone and three voices began communicating with me then they began to sing, not like music, but in a multitude of energy vibrations. They told me to close my eyes and see with my heart. I could sense a great multitude. Yet it was all blended as one. I had been taken to where it all began. Everything, matter, energy and everything else had all been one. From this “one” everything is. It still is today.

    Our physical minds can not see it, especially with our eyes which can only focus on the visible light, or ears that sense vibration. It is with our heart and souls that we can experience it for our hearts are part of the oneness of the universe. Humans once knew this. We have to learn this all over again. Why? It is because religion has imposed their rules on our mind which have over ruled our hearts and souls. I know that the one they call Jesus “knew” this and tried to teach us the way as have other great teachers. Somehow their lessons were corrupted by those who crave power over others, be it at the family level or at the nation state level. What is so hard about the simple teaching of “Love One Another” I don’t know. Like I told my children and step children growing up, “Love each other! Find a way!” However I have discovered that the ways of the world often stand in the way. So even though I have had many defeats and set backs in life it is all about learning. There is a great “awakening” happening all over. The Earth is going through some rapid changes. Humans are evolving at a quickening pace, not physically but spiritually. I’m only visiting this planet and I thank the Creator for one heck of a ride. It is not over yet. Never give up, never surrender… and don’t forget to pray. In’Lakesh

    Comment by Marc Joseph Custer on June 9, 2011
  11. Admired Richard C. Cook:

    Following your recommendation to study deeply the Monetary System, I introduced myself in this subject and summarized the issue best I could in the following clips, which I dare to send you.

    God bless you for carrying through the “American Monetary Reform Act” and bring it to the Congress. Such huge efforts are wonderful for the whole planet.

    ->Monetary Reform I ( 5 min.): http://youtu.be/MlwUOxtMRXM
    ->Monetary Reform II (15 min.): http://youtu.be/rrqygBw3dmk
    ->Monetary Reform III(15 min.): http://youtu.be/w2_9Aka5e0s

    Let me wish you a pleasant and beauty summer time, Cesar.

    Comment by Cesar on July 4, 2011
  12. Admired Richard Cook:

    Just updated the first clip:
    ->Monetary Reform I ( 5 min.): http://youtu.be/TU3cT7n1zmY

    Here the other two unchanged links:
    ->Monetary Reform II (15 min.): http://youtu.be/rrqygBw3dmk
    ->Monetary Reform III(15 min.): http://youtu.be/w2_9Aka5e0s

    All the best of the world!

    Very gratefully, Cesar

    Comment by Cesar on July 5, 2011
  13. Admired and dear Richard Cook:

    After seeing your interest in meditation, I’ve created two clips which eventually you would enjoy watching.

    * Religions (15 min.): http://youtu.be/qXSnSims4Z8
    * World’s Configuration (15 min.): http://youtu.be/WkqMwD-UaJQ

    Once more, I wish you all the very best,
    César

    Comment by Cesar on July 11, 2011
  14. Admired and dear Richard Cook:

    In order to give easier access to the Monetary Reform problem (still generally ignored), I set up a new website embedding the clips. Here the link:

    http://monetary-reform.blogspot.com/

    Warm regards, César

    Comment by Cesar on August 5, 2011
  15. Admired Richard Cook:
    Let me wish you a happy birthday this Saturday and all the best for your brand new year… besides sending you some ideas related to the economic crisis: http://world-wide-depression.blogspot.com.es/

    Remembering the big question related to the misuse of the word ‘God’… here a possible explanation: http://itccs.org/

    Christ decided to die in order to leave the clearest message. The Church, the most perfect anti-Christ, desecrated that legacy to create special privileges which allow them to perform the biggest atrocities ever known. Therefore, the word ‘God’ is generally misused… an empty word… just a tool to dominate and slave people.

    Again, all the best of the world, César

    ==========================================================================

    Links:
    ——
    Extract 1: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/135/135-h/135-h.htm#2HCH0008
    Extract 2: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/135/135-h/135-h.htm#2HCH0050

    Transcription:
    ————–
    PHILOSOPHY AFTER DRINKING
    What an excellent and really marvellous thing is this materialism! Not every one who wants it can have it. Ah! when one does have it, one is no longer a dupe, one does not stupidly allow one’s self to be exiled like Cato, nor stoned like Stephen, nor burned alive like Jeanne d’Arc. Those who have succeeded in procuring this admirable materialism have the joy of feeling themselves irresponsible, and of thinking that they can devour everything without uneasiness,—places, sinecures, dignities, power, whether well or ill acquired, lucrative recantations, useful treacheries, savory capitulations of conscience,—and that they shall enter the tomb with their digestion accomplished.How agreeable that is!
    I do not say that with reference to you, senator. Nevertheless, it is impossible for me to refrain from congratulating you. You great lords have, so you say, a philosophy of your own, and for yourselves, which is exquisite, refined, accessible to the rich alone, good for all sauces, and which seasons the voluptuousness of life admirably. This philosophy has been extracted from the depths, and unearthed by special seekers. But you are good-natured princes, and you do not think it a bad thing that belief in the good God should constitute the philosophy of the people, very much as the goose stuffed with chestnuts is the truffled turkey of the poor.”

    Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” (Book 2 – A JUST MAN)

    CHRISTUS NOS LIBERAVIT (Christ has set us free)
    What is this history of Fantine? It is society purchasing a slave.
    From whom? From misery.
    From hunger, cold, isolation, destitution. A dolorous bargain. A soul for a morsel of bread. Misery offers; society accepts.
    The sacred law of Jesus Christ governs our civilization, but it does not, as yet, permeate it; it is said that slavery has disappeared from European civilization. This is a mistake. It still exists; but it weighs only upon the woman, and it is called prostitution.
    It weighs upon the woman, that is to say, upon grace, weakness, beauty, maternity. This is not one of the least of man’s disgraces.
    At the point in this melancholy drama which we have now reached, nothing is left to Fantine of that which she had formerly been.
    She has become marble in becoming mire. Whoever touches her feels cold. She passes; she endures you; she ignores you; she is the severe and dishonored figure. Life and the social order have said their last word for her. All has happened to her that will happen to her. She has felt everything, borne everything, experienced everything, suffered everything, lost everything, mourned everything. She is resigned, with that resignation which resembles indifference, as death resembles sleep. She no longer avoids anything. Let all the clouds fall upon her, and all the ocean sweep over her! What matters it to her? She is a sponge that is soaked.
    At least, she believes it to be so; but it is an error to imagine that fate can be exhausted, and that one has reached the bottom of anything whatever.
    Alas! What are all these fates, driven on pell-mell? Whither are they going? Why are they thus?
    He who knows that sees the whole of the shadow.
    He is alone. His name is God.

    Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” (Book 5 – THE DESCENT)

    Comment by Cesar on October 18, 2012
  16. Admired Richard Cook:
    Let me wish you a happy birthday this Saturday and all the best for your brand new year… besides sending you some ideas related to the economic crisis: http://world-wide-depression.blogspot.com.es/

    Remembering the big question related to the misuse of the word ‘God’… here a possible explanation: http://itccs.org/

    Christ decided to die in order to leave the clearest message. The Church, the most perfect anti-Christ, desecrated that legacy to create special privileges which allow them to perform the biggest atrocities ever known. Therefore, the word ‘God’ is generally misused… an empty word… just a tool to dominate and slave people.

    Again, all the best of the world, César

    ==========================================================================

    Links:
    ——
    Extract 1: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/135/135-h/135-h.htm#2HCH0008
    Extract 2: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/135/135-h/135-h.htm#2HCH0050

    Transcription:
    ————–
    PHILOSOPHY AFTER DRINKING
    What an excellent and really marvellous thing is this materialism! Not every one who wants it can have it. Ah! when one does have it, one is no longer a dupe, one does not stupidly allow one’s self to be exiled like Cato, nor stoned like Stephen, nor burned alive like Jeanne d’Arc. Those who have succeeded in procuring this admirable materialism have the joy of feeling themselves irresponsible, and of thinking that they can devour everything without uneasiness,—places, sinecures, dignities, power, whether well or ill acquired, lucrative recantations, useful treacheries, savory capitulations of conscience,—and that they shall enter the tomb with their digestion accomplished.How agreeable that is!
    I do not say that with reference to you, senator. Nevertheless, it is impossible for me to refrain from congratulating you. You great lords have, so you say, a philosophy of your own, and for yourselves, which is exquisite, refined, accessible to the rich alone, good for all sauces, and which seasons the voluptuousness of life admirably. This philosophy has been extracted from the depths, and unearthed by special seekers. But you are good-natured princes, and you do not think it a bad thing that belief in the good God should constitute the philosophy of the people, very much as the goose stuffed with chestnuts is the truffled turkey of the poor.”

    Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” (Book 2 – A JUST MAN)

    CHRISTUS NOS LIBERAVIT (Christ has set us free)
    What is this history of Fantine? It is society purchasing a slave.
    From whom? From misery.
    From hunger, cold, isolation, destitution. A dolorous bargain. A soul for a morsel of bread. Misery offers; society accepts.
    The sacred law of Jesus Christ governs our civilization, but it does not, as yet, permeate it; it is said that slavery has disappeared from European civilization. This is a mistake. It still exists; but it weighs only upon the woman, and it is called prostitution.
    It weighs upon the woman, that is to say, upon grace, weakness, beauty, maternity. This is not one of the least of man’s disgraces.
    At the point in this melancholy drama which we have now reached, nothing is left to Fantine of that which she had formerly been.
    She has become marble in becoming mire. Whoever touches her feels cold. She passes; she endures you; she ignores you; she is the severe and dishonored figure. Life and the social order have said their last word for her. All has happened to her that will happen to her. She has felt everything, borne everything, experienced everything, suffered everything, lost everything, mourned everything. She is resigned, with that resignation which resembles indifference, as death resembles sleep. She no longer avoids anything. Let all the clouds fall upon her, and all the ocean sweep over her! What matters it to her? She is a sponge that is soaked.
    At least, she believes it to be so; but it is an error to imagine that fate can be exhausted, and that one has reached the bottom of anything whatever.
    Alas! What are all these fates, driven on pell-mell? Whither are they going? Why are they thus?
    He who knows that sees the whole of the shadow.
    He is alone. His name is God.

    Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” (Book 5 – THE DESCENT)

    Comment by Cesar on October 20, 2012
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