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Readings: Kensington

I am unable to believe in a personal God - in the sense of an incarnation - but I believe that what we call 'God' is an impersonal force, to be equated with "ultimate reality", the "infinite" of Buddhism, the "ground of our being" of Tillich, the "wholly other" and various other religious definitions.

This impersonal force, however, works 'personally' provided we do our bit to let the light shine through, eliminating the rubbish obscuring it.

I am unable to see God anthropomorphically and attribute human qualities such as 'love', 'goodness', even 'mercy' to Him, for if this 'Being' is all-powerful, all-merciful, it immediately raises the old theological problems: why does God allow evil, wars, suffering etc.

I tend to believe in Karma. We are entirely responsible for our acts, we have free will: there is no 'God' who will pull the chestnuts out of the fire for us. For the most part we ourselves are to blame for the circumstances we find ourselves in. "Know thyself" therefore, learn to be aware what you are doing and, above all, establish harmony in yourself, be at peace with yourself and the world: only then will you be able to spread it to others. "Love thy neighbour as thyself" - but it is sound psychology to start with 'thyself' and this often gets forgotten. If you are at peace with yourself you are less likely to harm others. If you follow your own 'karma', your own path, you are less likely to become a prey to negative emotions such as envy or jealousy.

Only in this way will you be in touch with the "ground of your being". Perfect examples of beings who have eliminated 'opaqueness' so that the light could shine through unonbstuctedly are Buddha and Christ. Though life is one it manifests itself at many levels and may require many lives to reach this stage of perfection.

Lory Adler (1987), Kensington Quest