As an apathetic INTJ Enneatype 5W4, I am a concrete thinker who questions everything. It's in my nature to do so. I question that, too.
Religion and Faith, these are two things which the world rests upon.
The two serve as the heart of civilization. These two facets are within every culture in the world, in every community and every family to some extent. Religion itself is an abstract concept, as is Faith, and for some (such as myself), these are two subjects which are difficult to understand and conceptualize. A more problematic question is one I have asked myself, one I have pondered, many a time.
What Is God?
When I think of the word 'God,' I think of Abrahamic Faith in general.
This is likely a common thought for many people, especially if they grew up in one of those three faiths. I was "raised" as a Christian, though the rearing on that end wasn't all that strict. From a young age, I was encouraged to think for myself and to pursue whatever caught my interest. When I was young, those interests centered on art and Creative Writing. Now that I'm older, my interests have evolved.
I'm fascinated by paganism, by theology in general, with old religions and beliefs, the division between abstract and concrete thinking - my views are, in their way, interconnected. They stack upon one another. As I've gotten older, as I shifted from one system of faith to the next, the same question has dogged after me.
What is God?
The question isn't, "Who is God?"
The question is: "What is God?"
What. That's the question that keeps coming into my mind. What? It is one that I've always asked. What is this? What is that? Why does this? Why do that? As an INTJ and Ennetype 5w4, I can easily, and confidently, say I'm not an abstract thinker. I'm more black'n'white, more 'why is this the way this is and is that correct?' I like to put together tricky pieces of information, so I can understand whatever caught my eye.
'What is God?' is one question I haven't found an answer for.
It is, however, something I ponder.
When we get to the meat of the issue, when one considers 'God,' we must also take religion and faith into consideration. All religions, not just one. When one is to contemplate what God is, the answer isn't black'n'white. It's abstract. Logically abstract, in an odd way that makes sense while not making sense.
When trying to determine what God is, one must also take a look and understand the rest of the picture. Definitions set up the ground for a broader, more open process enables us to understand something beyond comprehension to a degree.
What Is God?
In monotheistic religions, God is the creator and ruler of all things.
In polytheistic religions, a god is a superhuman entity/spirit governing some aspect of nature and human fortunes. There are more than one, as 'poly' means 'many.'
These are general definitions. They can be found online or in a dictionary. When it comes to defining what God is, as a whole, the correct answer is, most likely, a mix of the two. It isn't the easiest thing to consider, granted, but the two do encompass a more significant aspect of what, exactly, created everything in this world.
For instance, if one is to go to a polytheistic belief, one would find gods and goddesses of yore. These deities came about in some way; they have lineages, family trees, and histories of their own. They're people, in a sense. Immortal people, but people nonetheless. Inhuman but humanistic in their functionality.
In some cultures, the world is made of a giant. In others, the planet was drawn from the depths of Chaos. There are faiths which suggest the world itself was made of dark waters, and, from it, the earth was pulled from the depths. In many of these stories, there are gods/goddesses already present. They were there, for some odd reason I can't quite put the finger on. In Anglo-Saxon customs, for instance, there is a cow in the "Abyss" when the earth is being formed. How there is a cow there before the Earth is formed is beyond me, though I think that may have been a minor slip in the narration.
Every culture has some inconsistencies in their Origin Stories.
As a concrete thinker, I asked: who created the gods/goddesses of other cultures?
When I was a Christian: If God created all the world, then who created God?
That's always been the question. In my mind, something had to have created this divine, all-powerful, all-knowing entity that judges souls when they leave their mortal husks.
Nothing is made of nothing.
So, as always, I ask: What Is God?
Perhaps this is where Faith comes in.
One must have Faith that, even when the mind is asking these questions that no one has an actual answer for, there will be an answer when we die. Many people probably have been in church and asked questions the Pastor/Father didn't have an answer for. Then there's that moment of silence as the Pastor/Father tries to think of something to say, can't think of anything, and then replies:
Have Faith In God.
What Is Faith
If we look at the definition, it will, roughly, define it as such: faith is the complete and unshaken faith in something or someone even if there isn't physical, tangible proof or evidence to support it.
When this comes to mind, I think of Luna Lovegood from 'Harry Potter.' She has faith in magical creatures no one has ever seen and continues to believe for a very long time. She keeps believing even when she's bullied in school for it. Whether or not she is actually "loony" is up to debate.
Faith believes regardless of proof. It is, in a way, like madness. It is similar to the belief in gravity. While we cannot see gravity, we feel it every day. While we don't know the air we take into our bodies, we know it's there. When it comes to God, I think the same concept applies.
Religion As A Whole
When God and Faith is the center of a topic, the third piece of the puzzle cannot be ignored. It would be in bad taste to skip over religion. For many, this topic (and this entire article in general) is a sensitive subject.
Religion's defined as the belief in and worship of superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. For many who believe in a singular entity, who created all things on this planet, then that entity also is responsible for the creation stories seen in every corner of the world. It would be the entity itself showing itself to a corner of the world in a way that makes sense to the people in question.
This is what one would call Omnism. The belief in all religions. It is the complete opposite of Atheism, but some would say Omnists are likely the ones who have the most precise understanding of God because they do not deny God's many faces.
Faith, Religion, and God are far from a simple topic. Everyone has their thoughts. There will be many who disagrees with all the above, and there will be some who will be thinking deeply over the words and insight provided. When it comes to a topic such as this, an open-minded individual is more likely to find enlightenment than one who keeps all the doors shut.
The truth of the matter is the fact God, in all its creative glory, is a force beyond reckoning. It has watched over this world from the moment of its conception. It has witnessed miracles and inhumane nightmares, seen the world flood and has seen it burn. It will exist long after humans are nothing more than a figment in Earth's long history. The Creator will still be there long after our world vanishes, drawn into a dead star.
The need for a cosmically, all-powerful entity is a universal force in human thought. It had been present from the Dawn of Time, a means of explaining a world ruled by chaos. This thought can be seen in all cultures around the world.
When it comes to this force of creation, there are many names for it. It is known, intimately, by thousands. It is a mystery, something strange and unknown and beyond mortal comprehension. It is sexless, ageless, and always present at all times. It is within reach while being beyond our grasp. It is, in a way, everything while also being, in the same instant, nothing.
What is God?
This is a question no one has an answer to. Not really. Not truly. How can something as broad and infinite and ever-creating be described? Is it even possible?
What is a god other than a placeholder? 'God' is a title, in a way. It attempts to define something beyond definition. Something that encompasses all things, and is nothing, is a force which makes blessed minds ache and the dull bright. God is a road, a blueprint, a map, and an imposing, yet enticingly interesting, gate.
The only thing any of us can do is live as well as we are able. To live gently, with compassion, with acceptance, and with love. Believe what you will. Pursue the unknown, reach for the starts.
Know that we are never alone.
© 2018 Britta Nicole Miller
Amanda Buck from Indiana on October 24, 2019:
An interesting article. I get it. I was also raised Christian, but my beliefs have changed over time. The hard part for me is trying to explain to Christians how my beliefs are different from theirs. I think they see God as an old man who lives in the sky and grants wishes. For me, that view minimizes who (or what) God is. God is ineffable (indescribable) as you say. We have our existence within whatever God is, so it is impossible to be separate from God... except in our mind. A tricky subject indeed. I enjoyed your article.
Britta Nicole Miller (author) from Earth on December 03, 2018:
When it comes to my own thoughts, I'm not shy about sharing them. Transparency is a good thing, I think, as it has been the only way I've been able to communicate my thoughts and feelings to others. I'm not overly good at verbal conversation, but my writing is able to express what I think, and what I want to say, in a way I cannot in person.
"Finding" God is a crazy endeavor. It is, in many ways, madness. For me and for everyone else in the world, though some have an easier time at it.
Supermalls specializing in 'God Sellers.'
That's an odd thought. Though I have been to many shops that have products on religion, and I think that's the best image I have in mind.
Dogs are humanity's best friends. Truly loyal creatures. I think they look to us humans as we do to God, trusting in us despite the injustices that came come from that trust.
Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy reading!
gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on December 03, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your thought on God through your article. I think the search for God is the craziest business for any individual. While on the other side there are supermalls of God sellers.
Sometimes, I also get mad while the search for God is infinite. So I play with the spell at times. God or Dog. Thank you,
Britta Nicole Miller (author) from Earth on December 01, 2018:
Thanks for the input, Poppy!
Adding polls would be a good idea, I'd say. I've thought about adding videos from YouTube, but I haven't found too much information on how that would go, as of yet. There's a lot of things I find when I'm surfing the Tube that makes me laugh and it's always fun to share with others.
I'll have to look into that.
I think I'll go through my articles sometime soon and see what polls I could add to the mix. Maybe add a few pictures to a few others. Spice it up a bit. I'm glad you're enjoying the articles, thus far!
And not knowing what we believe is perfectly normal. I'm in the same boat.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 30, 2018:
This is a good essay on the ponderings of what God may be. After all, some cultures believe in thousands of gods, others believe in just one, and some people believe in science and chance.
It is good for people to have a higher power to believe in that motivates them to do good and to comfort them when they feel alone. I was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness, and I remembered praying to God when I was scared and feeling much better afterwards. Now I'm not sure what I believe.
You mentioned you were struggling with HubPages tools. May I suggest adding a poll between the text capsules, perhaps asking something like "Do You Believe in God?" if you'd like to add a poll.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Britta Nicole Miller (author) from Earth on November 18, 2018:
All good points. Faith isn't easy for lots of people. It may be impossible for others. It is possible that matter and energy, both which are creative forces, could be "God."
There's no right or wrong answer, here. I do thank you for your input. Gives me plenty to think about.
Ron Hooft from Ottawa on November 18, 2018:
God is whatever produced or created all this. That doesn't necessarily mean a conscious being. It could be a process.
Quantum field theory tells us the energetic non-material creates the material. So perhaps that's god. At least we know it exists and we know it produced all this by its nature.
Is there also a conscious god? We don't and can't know. But we know energy (for lack of a better word) does exist and its ultimately creative. Was it created? Not necessarily, and there's no reason it had to be.
Yes, if something did not always exist, nothing could now exist. You can't get something from absolutely nothing at all.
So either a conscious being, or a substance, has always existed in one form or other.
But because we can't prove or falsify a conscious god it's a matter of faith. Something I don't have.