The word God means many different things to many people. Some think that there is a “being” in the heavens – most likely a male with emotions, desires, and anger who can act with vengeance. Based on these particular thoughts and teachings people either ascribe to a certain form of religion, or at times completely reject it.
The truth is, believing that God is exactly like we are, but on a grander scale is silly. The English word God comes from Old German, and in its original form means “to call”. Interestingly, the original form of the word God was neither masculine nor feminine. The more you look at the history and theology that has come to surround it, the more you realize that much of what we understand of this word is based on changes to its meaning throughout history, rather than in its original, actual definition.
Probably the best way to come to an understanding of the word God is to try to strip away some of the baggage and unnecessary meanings added to our idea of God. The kabbalistic interpretation of God can be viewed as both clear and minimalistic; kabbalists do not have a big enough ego to think that we can possibly understand everything about this force, but we do have enough information to give us a basic understanding. Most importantly, based on this understanding, we can gain clarity about our lives and the purpose of life.
First, kabbalists generally do not use the word God, instead we use the term Creator, because the one thing we know is that there is a force, or an energy behind the creation of our world. And more specifically, we speak of the Light of the Creator – the energy that flows forth from the Creator. We can comprehend the Light and energy that is manifested in our world, but the totality of the energy force called the Creator is still too grand and unknowable to us. This is the secret of the ancient teaching “from your work and actions we know you.”
Next, we come to know three basic truths about the Light of the Creator:
- It is simple.
- It is good and has a desire to share its goodness with us – its creations.
- It never stops sharing its Light.
So why do we not feel the good and the Light of the Creator all the time? There is a spiritual law known as “affinity of form.” In our physical world there are two types of closeness: physical and emotional. You can be in close proximity to somebody you hate, but in emotional terms you are distant from each other. You can be physically distant from somebody you love, but in emotional terms you are completely connected and together. The reason you are close to the person you love, regardless of physical space and distance, is because you have affinity with them, you are similar to them and you like them.
This is the secret of how we can receive the endless Light of the Creator that is always flowing – we have to become like the Creator in order to have affinity with that Light. This then is the purpose of life: to deepen our understanding about the Light of the Creator, acting more and more like it, so that it can permeate our lives endlessly.
We begin with some basic understandings. The Light of the Creator desires to share, is loving, forgiving and happy. As we behave in these ways we receive and experience more of that ever present Light.
The Light of the Creator is not selfish, hateful, vengeful, angry or sad. Every action motivated by this behavior distances us from the Light of the Creator and does not allow it to enter our lives. This is the secret of life – one that is much easier to understand than to live completely. Yet as we live to know and understand this idea in deeper and deeper ways, and act more in affinity with this Light every day, then we can enjoy an ever-growing flow of this Light and the blessings and joy that come with it.
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