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5/14/03

The Spiritual ChicksSM Speak Out!
Where do we come from?

"He who knows himself, will also know from whence he was derived."

--Plotinus, vi, 9, 8

The other day during a radio interview, we were asked the question, "Where do we come from?" To be honest, we were a bit taken aback because we weren't expecting to engage in a deep philosophical discussion during the last few seconds of our short segment on drive time radio. But after the shock wore off, we replied that we come from God. It's no mystery how we came up with this pithy answer. The underlying idea behind most religions is that God is everywhere, filling all conceivable space, seen and unseen. We come from God because there is nothing but God. Great, but then who are we? Well, when we accept the omnipresence of God, it's a snap to answer this question too. If there is nothing but God, then we are all manifestations of God. Great, we're done, right? Not quite. Before we put our philosophy books away and turn the television back on, we need to ask ourselves, what exactly is "God"?

The word "God" is thrown around by every Tom, Dick and Harriet to describe the indescribable but everyone seems to mean a different thing. According to Merriam Webster, God is defined as "the supreme or ultimate reality; the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe." And while most of us are familiar with the second definition-the idea of God as a perfect Being whom we worship, like an exalted Big Daddy or Mama who rewards those who follow orders and punishes those who don't-many of us have no clue as to what is meant by "the supreme or ultimate reality." And it is just this idea that is the key to understanding where we come from and who we really are.

While it is admittedly hard to believe while watching the evening news, the big three Western religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, all agree that there is but one God, one Creator, one ultimate reality of which we are all a part. In the East, there is an entire pantheon of Hindu gods, but Brahman is recognized as the source of all. In Buddhism, the idea of the "absolute" replaces the idea of "God" and the goal of Buddhists is to attain nirvana or union with this supreme essence. At their core, all religions accept the idea that "all is one" or what we Spiritual Chicks like to call The One Life Principle, which says that there is a single underlying power in the universe, but the expression of this power takes many forms-baseball players, puppies, exotic dancers, Supreme Court Justices, rocks, trees, even criminals. This "God" then is Life itself, a sort of spiritual electricity that runs everything and everyone.

If we accept this definition of God, then God cannot be a personal divinity. Rather, it is the job of each and every one of us as manifestations of the One Life to express the personal aspects of the divine. Interestingly enough, the words person and personal come from the Latin word persona, which means an actor's mask or a character in a play. It seems Shakespeare was right when in As you Like It he said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Something cannot come from nothing. Life can only come from life. At the end of our personal performance, when we take off our masks, we need not be surprised to find the face of God.

SM & Copyright 2003 K. Weissman & T. Coyne

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