Given your critique of the self or ego; do you think the historical characterizations of God as an individual (usually a He) have actually been harmful and led to selfish behavior?
This is a very fascinating question. Although, before I directly respond to this question, allow me to first say that the word ‘God’ is nothing more than a man-made name that is used to define a powerful unseen force of conscious energy. And historically man has been known to portray this mystical energy in ‘His’ own image.
When you confine such a sacred energy into the image of one individual, you diminish the ‘vast’ Universal nature of God’s true essence, which can result in a ‘selfish’ and ‘harmful’ behavior.
When we worship God as being a ‘man’ or in the ‘form’ of any individual image we are only worshipping a cultural concept that has been ‘formed’ by man. Each culture around the world bears its own man-made concept of God and these concepts are respectively ingrained within the psyche of each member.
These members are coerced into praising and worshipping only their cultural concept of God as being their one and only true Redeemer. Based upon this tremendous misconception of God’s ‘worldwide’ nature; we human beings tend to develop a ‘self-destructive behavior’ towards those who oppose our conditioned concept of who we ‘subconsciously’ think this Universe is. Since, we human beings fail to comprehend the mechanics of our subconscious mind; we are persuaded to live a mechanical life. Because we have never been informed on how to operate and control our subconscious minds we unknowingly allow ourselves to be manipulated by the beliefs of others that have been ingrained into our minds.
Whether we recognize this or not, the power of prayer is not based upon the man-made God(s) that we have been deceived to believe in. The power of prayer is simply contingent upon the bona-fide fact that “we believe!”
In other words, it is only our energy and the degree of ‘our faith’ that fuels and manifest ‘our beliefs.’ Therefore, it is this process in itself that truly spawns—and is responsible—for our prayers being answered. Thus the cultural God(s) that we have been trained to worship via prayer is nothing more than a figment of our man-made imagination. In conscious reality, there is no form of any man-made God that is actually basking in the clouds and taking our lives into consideration through ‘individually’ honoring our prayers.
However, since the majority of humanity believes that the man-made God(s) that we have been conditioned to worship are indeed responsible for addressing our prayers; this man-made deception will forever force us to ‘fear’ and ‘worship’ a false concept of God’s true shining aura. Unfortunately, this diminishes our true nature to love another human being as we would love ourselves because we have ‘selfishly’ relinquished all of our love, to a selfish man-made version of God.
In truth, God or this ‘Universe’ can never be defined as a physical or material image, because the true nature of this Universe is the ‘formless’ essence of ‘love.’ And love is the one and only sacred emotion that defines us all. If we take the time to ‘consciously’ think about it, there is actually nothing physical or material about love. However, what I do find intriguing is that love is something that you don’t have to ‘touch’ in order to genuinely ‘FEEL!’