This post is about how one should seek God, if they actually wanted to understand Him.
The beginning of understanding, whether you believe in God or do not believe in God, is to view Him as a separate being from man. Not to say He would not be involved with us, but simply to theorize God as a real being, just as humans are real beings.
Now we take it a step further. If God’s quest for man is to take man back to where he resides, how would this theoretical God do such a thing? By bringing man, a being of the natural, to the way of the divine.
I think it can be said that man is most likely to turn to God in times of struggle, and most likely to turn away from God in times of worldly success. Therefore, it would be an error to assume the bad things that happen to us on earth are a result of God not caring about us, and very much can be seen as the opposite – God giving us a chance to come to him.
Is this to say all blessings would then be curses? No. This is to say God’s ultimate goal for those whom he calls is to build a reliance on His way, rather than man’s own. Again, in seeing God as a real being, it no longer becomes about specifics as far as ‘do this and get that’, but about building a reliance on Him as a whole. It then becomes leaving the way of the world, man’s natural state, to the way of the divine, which can be said to be a way alien to the way of humanity. Again, even in theory of seeing God as a real being, we can come to the conclusion that man in no way represents God’s own values, for they are two separate beings.
The goal of the natural man is power for himself. To achieve and take what he can. To protect himself, to flourish. This is not the way of love, but the way of survival, which is only sensible if one was to say they did not believe in God. If you do not believe in help from above, it is then your duty to help yourself.
The way of God, then, becomes reliance on God, on a different being. God seen as love becomes the opposite way – Providing for others. Doing good to others over yourself. Seeing misfortune and ‘curses’ as opportunities to rely further on God. Seeing worldly glory as a way to announce what God has done good for you, for you did not seek it for yourself, but another sought it for you.
I hope this clarifies things in a very real way. The point is very simple – Even in theory without believing, it is an error to form a judgment of God by man’s own values. The beginning to understanding the ways of God is to see him as a real being rather than an ideal humanity has power over.
– Thomas M. Watt