Did you know that when Einstein gave lectures at the numerous US universities he was invited to, the recurring question that students asked him was: Do you believe in God? And he always answered: I believe in the God of Spinoza. The ones who hadn't read Spinoza didn't understand... I hope this gem of history, serves you as much as it does me: Baruch de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher considered one of the three great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy, along with René Descartes in France, and Gottfried Leibniz in Germany. Here's some of his wisdom: God would have said: Stop praying and punching yourself in the chest! What I want you to do is go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to enjoy, sing, have fun and enjoy everything I've made for you. Stop going to those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and say they are my house! My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That's where I live and there I express my love for you. Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing! Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don't blame me for everything they made you believe. Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can't read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son's eyes... you will find me in no book! Trust me and stop asking me. Would you tell me how to do my job? Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry, or seek to punish you. I am pure love. Stop asking for forgiveness, there's nothing to forgive. If I made you... I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies... free will. How can I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How can I punish you for being the way you are, if I'm the one who made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of God would do that? Forget any kind of commandments, any kind of laws; those are wiles to manipulate you, to control you, that only create guilt in you. Respect your peers and don't do what you don't want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that your consciousness is your guide. My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step, not a rehearsal, nor a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing that exists here and now, and it is all you need. I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues... no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record. You are absolutely free to create in your life heaven or hell. I could tell you if there's anything after this life, but I won't... but I can give you a tip. Live as if there is nothing after... as if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist. So, if there's nothing, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, rest assured that I won't ask if you behaved right or wrong, I'll ask. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?... Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don't want you to believe in me... I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck in your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea. Stop praising me, what kind of egomaniac God do you think I am? I'm bored being praised, I'm tired of being thanked. Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world. Express your joy!... that's the way to praise me. Stop complicating things and repeating as a parakeet what you've been taught about me. The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, and that this world is full of wonders. What do you need more miracles for? Why so many explanations? Look for me outside... you won't find me. Find me inside... there I am beating within you. Spinoza.
"I'd rather be an American than a Trump Supporter."
Thanks xongsmith, I did not know such specifics of "Spinoza's God."
Sounds really good, actually.
Spinoza's wisdom writes:
Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry, or seek to punish you. I am pure love.
I am pure love.
I really like that part. That's what I've always thought.
If God is pure love... then Love is God. And we know Love exists, most of us experience (at least parts of) it every day. And if we know Love is there, and understand Love - there's no need for God, because they're the same thing.
If they're not the same... if some part of God is not Love... then that part of God isn't worthy of following/understanding anyway.
And, again, we come down to: understand, follow and fill your life with Love. No mention or understanding or following of God is necessary. For all things.