Gender-Free God/dess

God is formless. Everything humanity has created to define God is both true and untrue. We are painting images on an invisible canvas; the colors disappear on contact. Only we don’t realize it. Over the centuries, various cultures and religions have constructed their own views of what God is. Each one differs somewhat: sometimes a male figure; sometimes the Divine Mother or Goddess. Or a multifaceted God with many forms and attributes. These beings become larger than life, seeming solid and “real,” rather than a reflection of our own human images and characteristics.

We humans form-alize the world, turning the formless into specific structures and concepts that we think we understand. Gender, for instance. Babies are assigned a gender at birth. Some languages give every noun a gender (la rue, le soleil; la paz, el tren ). In English, we don’t give nouns a gender but until recently, words like chairman and postman were commonly used, the patriarchal basis for social roles. And of course, many religions have defined God as male: a bearded, all-powerful man sitting on a throne among the clouds. Some religions have both gods and goddesses. All are attempts to make God relatable to humans within their particular cultural framework.

If we delve deeper, if we pull back the curtain, there is nothing there. Or everything. Ultimately, the universe, divinity, and life itself are mysteries. We don’t truly understand any of it. Yet we live it every day, trying to make sense of God and “reality.” The words we use often limit rather than expand our awareness. Perhaps it’s wisest to let go of it all, acknowledge the mystery, and live in a greater peace which allows all parts of life to just be.

Imagine yourself in a movie theater in which an endless series of films passes before you. You watch and react, but when you leave the theater, you don’t take the movies with you. You yourself are not those representations of reality, those people, places, and stories. Such is life. We are born, live lives full of images, experiences, and reactions—and then we transition to other realms, other experiences. On the other side of life as we know it here, everything is more fluid, without definition and boundary. The parameters we have set up on Earth—gender, mind/body, beliefs—dissolve and disappear. There is no “there,” only limitless Presence. And we are part of that. Indeed, we are all of that.

God, Goddess. Great Mystery. Universal Consciousness. Oneness. Every word we have invented to explain life is a story that is both real and unreal. Don’t get too invested in the outcome. It all turns out well. You will walk out of the theater and see infinity open up all around you. If you are fortunate, you may occasionally find yourself seeing glimpses of it now in your current lifetime. All you have to do is let go and accept the fluidity of all things, the gender-free God/dess that is everything, including you. The field beyond belief. Let’s meet there, shall we?

“If God is everything, then nobody is wrong.”—Panache Desai

What Is God?

Who or what is God? A question without an answer really—or with an infinite number of answers. For God is not really a concept that can be explained or a puzzle that can be solved. God is an experience, one that is as unique as every individual on this planet or every soul in the universe. And it cannot be contained within any description or answered question. Perhaps metaphor comes closest to expressing what God is.  And we each have our own inner metaphors for the experience of the Divine.

For me, God is the seed at the center of all creation as well as the flower that arises from the seed. It encompasses creation itself. God’s essence is gender-free, formless. God is birth and death, inhalation and exhalation, shakti and shiva, yin and yang. God is the eternal harmony in which there are no false notes, the truth within which there are no opposites, the Oneness that holds everything. God is an endless ocean of love, a light that shines from each individual soul and from the collective Soul of the cosmos. There is nothing I can imagine that is not God, nothing I can experience that isn’t God.

That has been my experience of God thus far in my life, so much of it arising from my time spent in Nature. When I am standing alone surrounded by the stillness of trees, God is an audible breath in the air: the sweet sound of the wind through the leaves. When the birds sing at sunrise, God’s voice uplifts my soul. When a butterfly floats by and dances in the sunlight before me, God’s tears fall from my eyes. At these moments, God is a loving Presence within me and all around me. There is no separation between the seer and the seen, between my soul and the Divine Soul. My mind has no questions, my heart is connected to all being.

Each moment of connection like this fills me to overflowing, and I long to live in that place always. Yet life offers us more than bliss and beauty. There is pain and sadness in the mix—and the longing itself. As I continue on my journey through life, I expand into greater inclusiveness of all parts of the human experience as God. I realize longing and pain are divine catalysts. They are moving me beyond the idea that I can only experience God as a peak experience. The truth is that God is ordinary as well as extraordinary. The dirt as well as the daisy. I know that on some level, but part of me is still caught in remnants of polarity, separation. I am One, and then I become distracted by everyday details like grocery shopping and making dinner. Or taking a shower….

Every single life event is a stepping-stone into more expansive awareness. Even a simple shower can be an opening to the cosmos. This morning, as the water poured over my head, and I looked at the sky through the small window above me, suddenly my perception completely shifted. I was aware of a consciousness looking out through my eyes, something that has happened fleetingly once or twice before.* I knew it was God experiencing the world through me, through my senses and awareness. Actually God is that awareness. An awareness that loves every experience, peak or mundane. As my gaze turned to look at the shower curtain and then the droplets of water running down my body, I realized at the deepest possible level that it was all God—because God was within me seeing it all, with love. This is what Ram Dass called “loving awareness.”

That shift in vision is available to us all the time as we open our hearts to the possibilities of life. We are each on a journey home to that loving awareness, which is who we are. We are awareness, infinite consciousness; we are God. In that awareness, the distinction between peak and mundane disappears, and there is only Presence. And the question “What is God?” disappears within it.

*See my blog “Whose Hands Are These?” 2015

Awakened Goddess

Photograph © 2013 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2013 Peggy Kornegger

“We are being pulsed by Earth and Universe toward a new stage of growth.”—Jean Houston

Last month, October 24 was Global Oneness Day, an online event created by Humanity’s Team and growing larger with each passing year. Speakers such as Jean Houston and Riane Eisler talked of a renaissance of oneness consciousness all over the planet and of historically suppressed feminine energy emerging through both women and men. The world balance is shifting from otherness to inclusion; from power over to power within, shared with all peoples. The time of the goddess has come.

In the feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, the goddess was often invoked in the form of Gaia, or Mother Earth, and the divine feminine, whose power and presence had been written out of patriarchal religions. We looked to heretofore-disregarded female attributes such as emotion, intuition, compassion, tenderness, and unconditional love as those that would help to heal the violence and separation of a male-dominated paradigm. We envisioned a transformation in consciousness itself, from either/or to both/and—the end of battling opposites. Our visions and voices were often ridiculed and undermined, but slowly shifts began to take place.

Today, we are seeing a new wave of awareness sweeping through the world. Both men and women are acknowledging the importance of female energy, infused with gentleness and empathy instead of dominance and hierarchy. Yet the soft but powerful divine feminine is an energetic essence not to be underestimated in its ability to shatter obstacles and redefine so-called human nature. Look at Diana Nyad, who at 64 years of age defied skeptics and swam 103 miles from Cuba to Florida in 53 hours, after multiple failed attempts. Her mantra, “find a way,” was pure goddess. Then there’s 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she spoke out against banning education for girls in Pakistan. After a miraculous recovery, she continued her activism, including addressing the United Nations on education for all children in July of this year. Again, goddess energy personified.

Many new thought leaders are also challenging old limitations in their visions of what is possible for women and men. Thirty-five-year-old spiritual catalyst Panache Desai (who often refers to himself humorously as a “goddess in disguise”) speaks of the necessity for addressing shadow aspects of the patriarchy that we have internalized (need for control, “better than” attitudes, intimidation/bullying), so that we can embrace the divine feminine and come into masculine/feminine balance and harmony within ourselves. Strength combined with compassion in each person. Whole human beings meeting whole human beings on equal footing and experiencing oneness. This is the long-held dream, being expressed and embodied by men as well as women in this post-2012 era.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an exceptionally vivid dream of an old abandoned church being torn down by a demolition crew and the steeple toppling into my back yard, crashing into an altar of crystals, stones, and tapestries I had created there. I rushed into the yard, only to find a young man in a dancer’s leotard with a colorful scarf around his neck carefully picking up pieces of crystals and placing them on the grass. Could there be a more obvious symbolic representation of the fall of patriarchy, the end of all previous paradigms, and the birth of something entirely new, with only small crystalline reflections of our inner shining souls to guide us? What is on the horizon is unlike anything that has come before. We are truly standing on the edge of greatness: the full flowering of our authentic selves, unpolarized, unlimited, and free. May the all-encompassing love of the goddess open our hearts to infinite possibility and global oneness.