You will not need to seek for very long before you encounter the concept of God, because it is central to many, if not most, spiritual traditions. Indeed, the concept of God that is held by a particular tradition is often used to categorise it, as follows:
– Monotheistic traditions say that there is one God. This is usually a divine being who created the universe and oversees every aspect of that creation.
– Polytheistic traditions say that there are multiple gods and/or goddesses. Some traditions have a hierarchy of gods, with one or several being more important than the rest. Others say that all of their gods are fairly equal, but that each one governs a different aspect of life.
– Pantheistic traditions say that absolutely everything is God. The oceans, mountains, rocks, trees, animals and human beings are all different expressions of the same thing. Because this concept of God is often non-personal, many pantheistic traditions refer to it by other names, such as the Universe, the All or the Tao.
– Atheistic or agnostic traditions either say that there is no God (in the case of the former) or that they have no particular view on the topic (in the case of the latter).
There are many variations and nuances within each of these categories, and so it will quickly become apparent to the Seeker that there are just as many concepts of God as there are traditions in the world. For example, some view God as a very literal being, whilst others view God only as a metaphor, as an ideal to pursue, or as a point of focus for their prayers or affirmations.
This wide variety of ideas can seem confusing at first, but when you remember that the concept of God is just that – a concept – you can consider which one of them, if any, suits you best.
Creating your own spiritual path is just as much about getting in touch with your intuitive understanding of various matters as it is about exploring the ideas of established traditions. That being the case, you should take some time to consider what views you might already have on the subject, if any. Also remember that you are free to come up with your own personal concept of God or, if you prefer, to avoid the concept altogether.
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