What Is God And Who Is God?
Two of the most confusing and hotly debated questions of all time, what is God? Who is God? Much of this depends on your personal religion and understanding or perspective of the different scriptures in the different holy books. I think most people look at God as a spirit that dwells somewhere in the ethers. And what is prayer? Many believe prayer is a set of words recited without intention. Like Our Father and Hail Mary. Let’s take a look at some scriptures and I also want to share my own point of view.
What Is God
Is he/she a spirit? What is God? God is described in scripture as something that resides in everyone.
Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
There are many more verses eluding to this. It made me wonder, is the bible telling us that we are all Gods? Maybe we don’t know it. The descriptions from the scriptures make God sound like the water in the ocean, and us as individuals are simply cups of water from the ocean. We’re not apart from God, but really made of the same stuff and just don’t realize it.
Which means there is a responsibility with that.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,
Each person has God in them, and God does not reside in any building. So think about that for a second. If the temple God resides in is the physical body, then what is God … man or a spirit?
Who Is God
Who is God? Was God a man that lived thousands of years ago, like Apollyon? Maybe another man or woman who lived a long time ago between the Nile River and the Middle East. This question does not have a clear cut answer and the answers are very subjective and open to interpretation. There is religious bias, monotheistic religions will say God is one person, poly-theistic religions will say there are many Gods. Mormons believe John Smith was God’s intercessor on Earth, just as Christians believe Jesus Christ was, and Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammed was.
Were these people ideologues? Or were they people who understood the scriptures in the previous section, and channeled God as humans. So what is God and who is God? I have my own changing outlook on this.
Words Are Power. Actions Are Prayer
One of the greatest examples of Godhood in man or man becoming God (fulfilling human potential) was the relationship between Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson. First of all Muhammed means “praised” in Arabic. So the impact of Cassius Clay changing his name to Muhammed and the power that brought with it is a story in itself.
Mike Tyson, in his podcast “Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson”, he often describes how much he respects Muhammed Ali. In a particular episode with Rapper Xzibit. When Mike Tyson was 12 in youth detention, Mike had never even conceived the Idea of boxing.
But one day, Muhammed Ali came to speak to the youths at that detention center. Mike was completely moved by the talk. Another thing Mike noticed was how much respect he was given. Here were correction officers who treated everyone in there like subhuman animals. But were in complete adulation of Muhammed Ali. Mike Tyson said ” I wanna be like him, a boxer”.
Instantly, Muhammed Ali became a God, someone who reached the highest pinnacle of human excellence. Someone not without sin, but someone who embodied the virtues of God as described in the holy books. Being strong against the strong, willpower, fighting for justice.
So Mike Tyson began to train in detention. Once he became too advanced, he was introduced to his mentor, Cus D’Amato. Mike was still teen when his idol, Muhammed Ali was defeated by the much younger still in his prime, Larry Holmes. Muhammed Ali was no longer the machine he was known for much of his life any longer. He was 38 years old and showing early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Mike was infuriated by this. He swore to avenge this loss by taking out Larry Holmes himself.
Mike Tyson finally got a fight with Larry Holmes when Larry was 38 years old. Muhammed Ali attended that fight, got a pre-fight ring introduction by ring announcer Michael Buffer and a standing ovation. Muhammed went to shake the hand of Larry Holmes and then walked over to Mike’s corner whispered ” Go get him for me” in Mike’s ear.
Mike Ko’d Larry Holmes after knocking him down several times, avenging the loss of his God, Muhammed Ali.
I bring this up because I believe there may be a less abstract and practical definition of God. Mike Tyson cries when speaking of the bravery and life of Muhammed Ali, that was God for him, whether he says so or not. Cus D’Amato was the mentor who gave structure and the discipline. But without Ali touching his soul in that way, there is no “Iron Mike” Tyson, the youngest Heavyweight champion in the history of Boxing. Someone who is now a warrior-sage in my opinion and has ascended somewhat to that God status in his own rite.
These men could be considered Gods by the holy books standard. Reaching the heights of glory. Facing adversities that the average person can’t begin to understand. Rising above.
Most people will never be able to reach those heights. Because most people have self-limiting beliefs, lack of opportunity, don’t have the right mentors or people around them. The potential is there but most don’t make it. Just because most don’t make it doesn’t mean God is not inside you already. It’s just dormant. It also doesn’t mean you to fulfill that full potential, you don’t have to be a celebrity or famous person. You ever just meet a genuinely solid good person? The type that you want to be around because they’re hard-working, honest, and honorable?
I wanted to touch on this because I have a different belief about what prayer actually is. A prayer is an action you take towards fulfilling your own God potential. Mike Tyson’s actions of the relentless pursuit of the championship belts to be like Muhammed Ali, were his prayers.
A person who wants to feed an entire community through their farming efforts, that is their prayer. You want to be the best lawyer you can be, endless hours of study. That’s your prayer. Justice is your God (or money if that’s why you’re doing it).
Some people’s God is money. So their prayer is doing the work to get it whether it’s through business or some other means. The problem is that work is often boring and tedious. So those prayers so to speak, are not going to be answered because people do not want to be bored by monotonous intense work.
So just think about this section for a second when your prayers are not answered. It made sense to me when I put it into practice.
Pivoting a bit… in that same podcast episode, Xzibit dropped an excellent quote.
Hate is the lowest form of love
That really hit me. When you have real estate inside someone’s head, they really in actuality admire you in a twisted way. When I think about racism intuitively, I’ve known this to be true.
This is something to think about if you have a hate or jealousy towards someone but you don’t know why. Is it because they are doing something you can’t or won’t work towards? Maybe they have the courage to do something you want to do but won’t out of fear.
Something to reflect on. Spend that energy on appreciating not hating. Those are your Gods but you don’t even know it. They could be your Muhammed Ali but you’re busy hating. Take some time and try to learn their ways. If they have a biography or any books, buy them. Hating is like a counter-prayer to a God you really love.
In Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, he illustrates how certain people and things have replaced the original Gods and deities of history. In the TV series, the intro song shows different religious symbols and a way they have been bastardized and replaced. Buddha laughing with pills and drugs all around them points to how the practices of calming the mind and spirit have been replaced with pills and drugs.
So people like Mike Tyson find people like Muhammed Ali to idolize. Some others worship other less positive things. Their prayer is getting high, or stealing, or simply being lazy. Gods and prayers that bring negative results.
So do I believe in a higher power? Yes I definitely do. I also believe the scriptures like ” God helps those who helps themselves” that speak to inner power and magnetism. You may find a mentor that picks YOU as their student because they see that you’re industrious and just need guidance over someone who is excuse finding and arrogant at the same time.
Or “treat your neighbor as yourself”. I interpret this as your fellow man, to the racists out there. This isn’t limited to your actual neighbor next door down. Muhammed Ali said ” Ain’t no Vietcong ever called me a nigga”. He never was directly disrespected or violated by any Vietnamese person. So on principle, guided by Islam, he risked prison time and his career over the virtues of God.
So I personally believe each human has the potential to be a God, since we were created in the image of God, and God is inside us all. Most simply do not fulfill their potential, no matter what that potential may be.