Many of us were raised hearing;” Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” On the one hand we could take it as the encouragement to be more than we are. But really? Perfect? That’s hardly a realistic expectation of anyone, short of sainthood. Hardly appropriate to be an actual measure of what we expect of our children, or anyone in our charge. That we in the West have been saying that for centuries is just more proof of how useful/ useless our Christian theology has been for us. Such a statement breeds fear. It breeds guilt. It breeds powerlessness. It breeds unworthiness. It breeds smallness.
How we picture our God has a lot to do with how we live our lives and how we feel we fit into the Universe. Imagining God, the Source of all reality as male, limits our reality right there. If we ourselves happen to be female, the image of God as male is already a limiting belief. Historically though, the earliest images of Divinity were all actually female. And it would actually make more sense that the Origin of all reality, the energy that birthed reality be female.
Interestingly not that long ago during an important Camp David summit, saying a prayer prior to the occasion, the Pope at the time declared that God was even more Mother than Father. He was one of the shortest reigning Popes of all time. Rumour has it that he was murdered shortly afterword. It seems that there are many parts of our society highly invested in things staying just the way they are, thank you!
So how do we define God? Whether we picture God as male or female is only one dimension of the whole reality. Why don’t we just admit that our picture of God has been way too limited. As we mature as spiritual beings so must our grasp of the ultimate reality change as well. So if God is not goodness, what then? God is not good. God is. God is isness. God is everything: the good, the bad and the ugly. God is everything that is. God is you, God is me. God is all of us together. That’s what the Indians are saying when they put their hands together and bow in the greeting “Namaste”: “the God in me, bows to the God in you.” Amen to that.