A Thinking Person’s Guide to Discovering “God”

Excerpts from An Interview with Dr. Rupert Sheldrake: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Discovering “God”.

Rupert Sheldrake quotes are in double quotation marks.

  • “I don’t think many people arrive at a discovery of God through reason alone, but through various kinds of mystical experience, including a sense of divine presence, the experience of transcendent beauty through art, music or nature; visions; psychedelic experiences; meditation; through love and the experience of being loved; through religious rituals and liturgies; spontaneous mystical experiences, and so on. After one or more of these kinds of experiences people may enquiry further and at this stage religious stories, doctrines, liturgies and theology can be a big help.”
  • “For me it’s an important point about Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of heaven that one of the primary metaphors is of a wedding feast, a party in which people of all ages are included, and at which people are happy. His first miracle, the turning of water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee reinforces this image. The extra wine no doubt made it a better party.”
  • “The school of theology that makes most sense to me is panentheism, the idea that God is in nature, and nature is in God. The being of God on which all nature depends, and on which our own being depends, is not like that of an emperor or overlord but rather that of something that sustains all things.”
  • “In other words, I think nature is sustained from moment to moment by the being of God not just made by God in the beginning and then functioning automatically as a mechanistic universe or even as an autonomous living universe. A physical analogy might be the electromagnetic field. This is the ground of all electromagnetic being, including light. The electromagnetic field does not relate to light in the manner of a Roman Emperor or overlord of vassals, but rather as the basis of its very being and activity.”
  • “If God is light, then God is also the electromagnetic field that is the basis of light, and all the things that we can see through that light. God’s nature or image in the Christian tradition is that of the Holy Trinity: the Father, or the ground of all being; the Son or logos, the source of all form pattern and order, as well as words; and the Spirit the principle of movement, energy, and activity.”
  • “Light, it seems to me, is one of the main manifestations of the Holy Spirit, along with wind, movement, breath, fire and other energetic processes. So if God is light, God is also that through which we can see the light and interpret it. This is expressed particularly clearly in the Kena Upanishad: ‘What cannot be seen with the eye, but that whereby the eye can see; know that alone to be Brahman, the spirit; and not what people here adore.'”
  • “Yes, we can block out the light of God or ignore it, and there are many ways in which we do this, perhaps the commonest through a preoccupation with all the things that keep us so busy physically, emotionally and mentally. Even though modern people have more leisure than most people in the past, much of it is filled up with ceaseless activity including entertainment and social media, as well as excessive work.”
  • “God by definition lies beyond our powers of conception, as the ground of being and the source of all consciousness and activity. We have a variety of available models, and as a Christian the one I found most helpful is the Holy Trinity. There are parallels in other traditions like Satchitananda, as I just mentioned. We cannot explain the diversity and creativity of the world in terms of a single undifferentiated unity, but through a God who already includes a differentiation of being and function.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *