Introduction: Why We Need to Forgive God
“And don’t tell me that God moves in mysterious ways,” Yossarian continued, hurtling on over her objection. “There’s nothing so mysterious about it. He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about—a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomenon as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?”
—Joseph Heller, Catch-22
A friend recently told us that, of all the funerals he had ever attended, he had yet to hear a minister satisfactorily answer the question, “Why did God create death?” He went on to say that, in fact, he had yet to hear a minister (priest, rabbi, etc.) make any sense of why God had created anything at all! Our friend concluded that the most sensible explanation for this dangerous and mysterious universe is that there is no God.
We live on a tiny planet lost in a huge and seemingly indifferent universe. Life is a continuous struggle that inevitably ends with death. Life is a terminal disease.
Does life have any meaning or purpose? Is there a God? And, if God exists, why create a universe?
Many religions have tried to explain God’s motives for creating the universe—a universe filled with suffering and death—but these theologies are often illogical and filled with contradictions, and thus fail to provide comfort when a true test arises: when real disaster strikes.
A minister once told us that, in his experience, the death of a child was particularly difficult to explain, and often resulted in expressions of hatred for God by the parents, and even the abandonment of their faith.
After all, isn’t God supposed to be “loving”?
Whatever “His-Her-Its” motives (let’s not sex-type the ineffable!) how could a God of love knowingly create a universe that includes cruelty, death, concentration camps, torture, child molesting, murder, rape, war, disease, mental illness, starvation, slavery, greed, addiction, violence, racism, gossip, sexism, etc., etc., etc.
The child’s question, “Why did God let my puppy die?” cannot be satisfactorily answered by many of the world’s great religions.
We are taught we must love our creator, but how can we when we behold His-Her-Its creation—a creation that lacks any sensible explanation for suffering, ignorance, and death?
It might be argued that the positive aspects of life are reason enough to love God, but the question remains: Can all the good in the world justify the suffering of a single one of God’s creatures?
It would seem the best we can do is fear our creator, and suppress our anger towards a Supreme Being who chooses to remain silent and aloof while humanity writhes in ceaseless agony.
Some religions believe that the ultimate horror comes after life—to those who, after a brief sojourn in a world of total confusion, fail to locate and correctly believe in God. These “sinners,” “infidels,” etc. wind up in a place of never-ending torture called Hell.
Other religions believe in an endless cycle of birth and rebirth—that unless we live an exemplary life, we are doomed to return to the hellish struggle for another round.
Both theologies appear to have one thing in common: wretched humanity is held hostage by the whim of God.
Throughout the ages, so-called saints have taught that the only way we know we’re loving God is when we’re loving everyone.
If this is true, the loveless state of the world shows that “love of God” is, to put it mildly, exceedingly rare. There is a reason for this: something is blocking our love for God.
The source of all fear is the unknown.
The source of all hatred is fear.
What we fear is what we hate.
What we hate is what we fear.
We are afraid of a mysterious Deity who would deliberately make a universe of suffering, and we hate this Deity for putting us in it!
We cannot love God until we forgive God.
As long as we see the Creator as separate from creation, as most do, we can only be resentful towards the Creator (no matter how deeply we deny and suppress it), because She-He-It must have knowingly created suffering in others (this means us).
An all-powerful creator who willfully designs suffering in inferior creatures is a monster. The notion of “free will” (self-inflicted suffering) is ludicrous because God, as creator of all, must have created evil in order to give us a choice! And, observably, God created humans with an overwhelming inclination to choose evil (count the true saints). Therefore, even if free will was true (which it isn’t), to be punished by God for succumbing to the tempting evil She-He-It created is unfair, to say the least!
It is impossible to fear/hate God and love God at the same time.
We fear and hate God because we are misunderstanding God’s nature.
Until we face the reality of our fear and hatred towards God, and relinquish it by gaining a deeper understanding, we can never love God.
This book is about recovery in the ultimate sense of the word: in the sense of universal recovery. We will present a theory that the evolving universe is actually the recovering universe. What the universe is recovering is lost consciousness. What the universe is recovering from is the pain that is the result of lost consciousness.
Our theory proposes that the universe exists, in part, for the adventure of being lost and found.
In this book we will offer a model of God and universe as one. God did not create the universe. God is the universe—and more. The universe is a Game of God. We hold that this model allows us to understand, thus forgive, thus love, God.
In fact, as we will see, there is absolutely no forgiveness necessary.
Loving God is the only way to win the Game.