How People Believe in God
Dec 3 2012

Buddha Stone Statue in China

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A movie and a book intersected in my life recently with stories about how God is experienced and perceived by us humans throughout the ages. Life of Pi (the movie, released in 2012) was made from a book written by Yann Martel in 2001.  A book written by Deepak Chopra called God: A Story of Revelation(Amazon link) happened to come to my attention through a marketing email, and I read it on my iPhone Kindle reader over the last couple of months.  I have been fascinated with stories about God, psychology, and philosophy since I was about 11 years of age.

The movie is intense, full of metaphors, and starts with the statement that once you hear Pi’s story, you will believe in God.  I don’t want to ruin the punchline, but it’s worth noting that Pi says “and so it goes with God” when he finishes telling the two versions of his story about the time he was lost at sea and the character listening to his story tells him which story he prefers.  One is a magical story of triumph with God’s help, the other reflects the darkest side of humanity and “survival of the fittest.”

Deepak Chopra’s book described the lives of several people of differing faiths and the paths that led them to profess that they heard God speak to them.  The people he writes about are: Job, Socrates, St. Paul, Shankara (similar to Buddha), Rumi, Julian of Norwich, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Baal Shem Tov, Rabindranath Tagore, and Einstein.  It’s interesting to note that all except one are men.  I guess women were too busy raising kids and taking care of their husbands to have the time to wander the streets, write poetry, or be thought anything other than heretical/batty if they proclaimed God spoke to them.

Those on a path to find God usually lead pretty persecuted and misunderstood lives where “bliss,” for lack of a better word is only sometimes achieved after much affliction combined with not “fitting” in to the time they were born.  But they all seemed to have felt as if God was within them and inside all living things.  Even probably 50 years ago saying things like God was anything other than someone up on high looking down on us (randomly helping us), would result in persecution.  However, now as Eastern philosophies blend with Western, it’s not so odd to think that we and everything on this planet are pieces of God.  Science has even started to prove that we are made up of vibrating energy.  His book states that science moved us away from mysticism/faith to cold hard facts and is now moving us back to the unexplainable and cohesive universal force that keeps things in order.

It seems that our belief in God and what & who God is evolves and changes based on the stories we tell about the human condition. Apparently, the more we explore ourselves & the universe and the more we share our stories, our relationship to and with God changes.

Author: | Filed under: book review, movie reviews, poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “How People Believe in God”

  1. 1 Robinsh said at 5:16 AM on December 4th, 2012:

    Our relations with GOD keep changing because of coming movies, books or stories. We gives response to the fact that we believes would be real and hence no doubt it will always be changing in nature story after story.

  2. 2 Jameson Blake said at 3:23 PM on December 6th, 2012:

    I haven’t seen the movie “Life of Pi” but I did read the book and oh man that really blew my mind at the end. I didn’t see his second story coming. I was totally believing him and on his side.

  3. 3 Aruni said at 10:01 PM on December 16th, 2012:

    @Robinsh – Yes, our lives our many different stories that combine & mesh with others in our lives. All of our stories are the pieces of the human mosaic.

    @Jameson – I also very much believed him throughout the movie, because I wanted to believe. When he started saying his 2nd story, I found myself asking why would he lie and give in to what they wanted to hear instead of the magical, adventure laden true story? No one wants to hear the horrific true story…it’s just too gory and makes you question the existence of God even more.