Is Your God Your Crutch?

"God as Crutch" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“God as Crutch” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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We all must get to the place where we ask ourselves this question.

As Krishnamurti said, “The word is not the thing.”

Neither is the thought. Or the belief.

Whether or not there is “the thing” beyond our thoughts, beliefs, or words is something each of us must seriously explore. But we must arrive at the place… and in my experience it is painful to get there… where we acknowledge that our beliefs have been conveniently manufactured and employed by our minds to comfort ourselves.

Only then, perhaps, can we approach what is real.

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10 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    “……….our beliefs have been conveniently manufactured and employed by our minds to comfort ourselves.”

    Awesome. Very good description of what theology really is IMHO.

    As I have heard it said:
    “Christianity is true for those who need it to be true.”

  2. Brigitte says:

    “……….our beliefs have been conveniently manufactured and employed by our minds to comfort ourselves.”–seems like a statement of belief that comforts many.

    Christianity gas nothing to do with Krishnamurty. In fact it is asserted that the world came to be from Nothing. And it came to be through the word. And the word is God, and he dwelt among us.

    You are looking for things to be One. They are One in this way.

  3. I understand and respect your mythology Brigitte, though it’s different from mine.

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    If we asked dogs to describe the characteristics of mankind, then they would use their 200 bark/whine/growl vocabulary to describe a ‘theology of man’ as best they could…. (225 descriptive terms, if we include tail wags and ear positions).

    The barks are not the people. The vocabulary is the closest proximity for communicating the theology. It falls short.

    If the dogs were asked to behave like mankind, even their best attempts at being human-like, would fall short.

    In that sense, Krishnamurti was brilliant, and accurate.

    The bible is, to me, the best collection of barks, whines, and growls possible… but still, God is greater than all those words.

    God has to be greater than any collection of words… or he/she is a very small god indeed.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    David, you wrote, “Our beliefs are manufactured to comfort ourselves”.

    Hmmmm… I offer that All humans have mental filters… I would offer that we all ‘cherry pick’ from the Bible (or a dozen other books).

    However, I would suggest that the ‘pain-pleasure’ continuum better describes why we manufacture our beliefs.

    – Some people gravitate towards pleasure… and hear only the verses of prosperity and promise. If you are poor, I understand. This mental filter gives you hope.

    – Some people gravitate towards deriving pleasure from causing pain in others … and hear only the verses for condemning others. If you are a bully or in need of power/control, I understand. This mental filter gives you pleasure and power.

    – Some people gravitate towards pain…. and hear only the verses for self-hatred and self-loathing. If you hate yourself and your attributes, I understand. This mental filter creates self-fulfilling prophecies, and gives you comfort that the world is truly against you, just as you believed.

    I think one of the great contributions of the Bible is that it challenges the mind – with stories, parables, examples, and instruction – to try different mental filters.

    And hopefully, over time, the readers of the Bible consider less destructive filters.

  6. I think we are saying approximately the same thing. yes.

  7. Brigitte says:

    Caryn, your barking example is the kind of thing one often hears, as if human speech was completely unintelligible and hardly communicates anything worth considering. It sort of contradicts what you say afterward about being challenged by stories, etc….

  8. Brigitte says:

    John 6 : 35-40 (Standard: ESV)
    35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
    36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
    37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
    38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
    39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
    40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’

    From today’s computer generated daily words of Jesus.

    It is comforting and meant to be comforting. And the way the world is, we are all looking for some sort of comfort and sense of safety or stability. Some do it in ways that are actually self-harming and addictive. Others do it by finding some wY of zoning out. — Lately, in my yoga class an instructor who is helping out in the summer, has been tacking on Ohm chanting at the end. Now, I am a singer and find that in itself not a bad thing, except now we really are getting unintelligible. Jesus went off to pray a lot, but it won’t have been ohm that he said. Instead, he taught simple, pround words, that are at the same time challenging and comforting.

  9. Brigitte says:

    Profound