A God By Any Other Name


Perhaps this has to do with the power of words, but I was wondering, once we NAME God or any other being that has not, to our knowledge, been in human form, must we give it a human form and characteristics? Is that part of the problem of religion? Do we not only join together in the name of "our" God, but build a wedge between others who have a different visualization or name or characteristics of "their" God? My God is better, stronger, more handsome or beautiful than your God or Goddess? Or do we need to do this to somehow feel more connected? I admit that my just visualizing the Universe as my "God" isn't as personal as people I know who visualize God in a human form, even though they feel he isn't really in human form.

I have given up my notions of a supernatural being years ago. Not that I don't believe in something bigger than I am, I just don't ascribe certain characteristics or form to it. I think in terms of the Universe, which for all intent and purpose, is my "God".

Now I do have buddhas around my home for inspiration. Special beings who we once at least thought to be human or have proof were human, having some sort of picture or idea in my head about them, correct or not, seems ok. Much like I could have a bust of Plato or Mozart.

I'm just wondering, are we better off naming "our" God, if we believe in one, and giving he or she characteristics or not? I can think of pluses and minuses.

Anyone else ever think about this? Thoughts?


I think I may lack imagination of the unknown and it's easier and makes me more comfortable to get a handle on the notion of god/higher power, if I give it human form and characteristics. I would say I do it for convienece sake rather than truly believe my god is a human shape.

I never thought about the "why" behind naming god. Now I have to think on that....;)

The crowned one

It is, I feel, so we can relate. Same inputs , same outputs, they may have "super versions" or "amazing extensions" of our senses and feelings, but they are things we can relate to, these Gods we "name". It is anthropomorphising of deities. We create them, not them us so they fit our image.


Thanks for your perspectives, Glitterbird and TCO

I have pondered this in the past, about our humanizing what really can't be humanized. I grew up as a child with the pictures of God in the heavens as a kind of powerful stern old man. Probably a lot of us did, if we were raised Christian.

Sometimes it seems a double-edged sword to me. Naming and giving characteristics to something that can't really be named or characterized. I see that it would definitely help us to connect in a way we could comprehend. I so get what Glitterbird is saying. And you encapsulated your thoughts well, TCO.

I see the upside and I see if not the downside, the possible downside of groups who are so entrenched in their view of "God", that they leave no other room for others.

Sometimes I think I am a little envious because I don't "see" God or a Goddess in a certain human way, but just as energy. I don't even think in terms of God or Goddess although my beliefs, in some ways, may be quite similar to those of various faiths.

Now...about angels and other beings....same thing?


I like Glitterbird and TCOs ideas on this as well as yours, GD. I grew up, like yourself, with this idea of "GOD" being this white haired older stern man, sitting on a throne in the clouds and watching over everything I did and said. He always had long white wavy hair too, and a long white beard. Somewhat frightening, but also comforting.

It use to confuse me as a child on a number of levels, because God had long hair, however, when my brother decided to grow his hair out long, my parents and the school had a fit! (it touched his shirt collar, -this was in the late 1960s and caused QUITE a stir in the community as well as in our household! ). I never could understand that, though, I'm getting a bit off course here.

It also confused me that there was this "GOD" in heaven, father of Jesus Christ, but that Jesus Christ was our Lord God. lol, talk about screwing up young minds!

I now believe that "GOD" is energy and not in human form. He/she/it is the energy of all of us and all that has been created--the plants, the earth, ect. you get the picture. We all are a part of this energy--this God energy, if you will.

However, when I pray to this 'energy' I still picture in my mind this human man, with the long white, wavy hair and beard, and of Jesus, his tanned face, and long dark hair and dark eyes, and beard. As was already noted, I think it is easier for us humans to think of our "GOD", in a human form. be that of the older white haired man or Buddha or a female, or whomever. We relate to that, so we conjure up the image that is acceptable to us like that.

I also have pictures and statues and such all around our home of God, Jesus, Buddha and more. You are envious of not seeing God as a human, and I am envious of not seeing God as pure energy--though I do believe this is what God is. I just cannot shake the idea of having to put God into a human form.

As for angels and other beings--well...yes, angels are also in human form for me. Other beings, well, I again tend to think of them in the context of how we were told to see them. aliens as these funny creatures with big oval heads and the almond shape large eyes, etc. :p they probably do not look anything like that, who knows? but, society has shaped my mind into seeing them that way now.

I wonder sometimes about how people who have died and then come back speak of walking through a tunnel of swirling light. I sometimes wonder if this swirling light is the energy of "GOD". I fully believe once we do pass, we merge with this energy. I do also believe in reincarnation, so we can come back again in a human form, (or who knows--perhaps as an animal or plant?!). I, as a medium, often speak to spirits passed over, and they always speak of a feeling of pure peace. Its funny because when I do 'see' them, I see them as they are remembered by us--in that form, and yet, I know we don't 'keep' our form when we pass. this is also true of animals. I've had many pets come through to me in spirit form, just as they appeared here in life to us.

Interesting topic, again, GD! :thumbsup:


Well......today I saw a license plate that said "Godlike" LOL ! I'm not really sure what was so "Godlike" about the young guy driving the car. Maybe that's to go with the girls here who say they're highly favored (by God)

To answer the question.....NO I have never thought about this.....BUT....in thinking about this......if giving God a face, personality, or whatever it is helps "you" connect to "your" God then I don't see anything wrong with that. It's kind of like when someone you know talks about someone else you've never met. In your mind you draw your own picture of that person, and every time that person is mentioned your own image (of that person) comes to mind.


CelticNoodle and DownwardSpiral

Thanks CelticNoodle and I enjoyed reading your perspective. Maybe we're wired to think of things in certain visual ways so it's just easier to connect. So yes, DownwardSpiral, I so get that and never thought there was anything wrong with it. I just can't do it. And think it would be easier if I could! I think in terms of light and energy, just how I'm wired I guess. Where some people connect to a human image, I think of connecting to light and energy and I don't think either is right or wrong. It's whatever works for someone.


I try not to give it much thought....I just believe that there's something greater than me out there.

Once I did have this dream....Up in the sky the clouds parted and this huge face appeared.
I said "your real?" and in a booming voice the man said "of course I'm real" That dream really shook me up.


God is I, you, whoever. As above, so below. As internal, so external. As DuQuette said, "It's All In Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is." Concepts like this cannot be objectified. Our usual way of thinking is Aristotelian, objective; and is conditioned by our educational and religious instutions. I think that we don't think right, and probably I don't either, for that matter. :)


I don't think it matters how you perceive God, or if you perceive God, or what you call it, or how you honour it. Or him. Or her even.

I perceive God as a mysterious energy running through all things and through the universe. Sometimes I call God 'Universal Energy' or 'the Universe'. Sometimes, 'Lord'. This energy may or may not have consciousness in a way we understand...but is itself Universal Consciousness. I sometimes call it that, too. I feel that this energy has a detached benevolence toward all things. Maybe detached is the wrong word. It doesn't pay particular attention to us, in the way that we don't pay particular attention to our own little toe. Or like, the little hairs inside our ears. Something that's so much a part of ourselves we don't even know how to pay attention to it. I think that's Universal Consciousness's relationship to us. It's us who have to figure out how to feel part of that whole, because it (he, she) already knows.

Well, it's an imperfect explanation, for sure, and subject to change, but that's kinda how I feel about it.