On Prayer and God

I’m just now getting around to considering prayer and God. It has taken me so long because my father had, during my formative years in the late 1950’s, decried the concepts as he had come to understand them, as being superstitious and ignorant. He was strongly influenced by a circle of “intellectuals” he came to know from the place where he was teaching at the time. They were scientists and artists and philosophers and defiantly ran counter to the social mainstream. In the “beat” community, prayer was roundly criticized and God was dead or more likely never existed. There was cachet in being outrageous. And I was obviously influenced by his beliefs.

 

It’s taken me many years to form my own views.

 

I am not a theologian. I am autodidactic and my beliefs are my own. I see prayer today largely being hijacked by organized religion. Or it has become about petitioning some supernatural deity to ask for specific consideration. Its real functionality has been lost. It’s easy to speculate why such communing could be billed as making a connection with God, for want of a word.

 

But it occurs to me that if one believes the universe is simply an artifact of one’s own consciousness, the (original) purpose of prayer lies more in the realm of meditation: An attempt to integrate that for which language fails us, absence and essence and that silence which lies beyond our understanding, and in so doing, access a state of clarity and perspective that would otherwise be obscured from us. Achieving this heightened state of awareness is the true function of “prayer”.

 

Could one then argue this is connecting with God? That might suggest God is in us, and also in everything which can be imagined, and everything which can’t, and everything else.

 

The only thing we can know is what we feel.

 

Everything else is only belief.

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