Sunday, August 23, 2009

Osho's "God" Is Too Small...

While Osho claims not to believe in a god, it seems he exalts something he labels existence...or "cosmos"...something we need to connect to via Zen meditation.  I closed by saying that I thought his god is too small. I was reminded me of a quote from Richard Dawkins, the well known atheist:

If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.

And I agree.  None of us, at this stage of our spiritual journey can really comprehend the vastness of God. His magnitude ...nor can we truly understand how a being who is infinite can also be intimate...involved in every aspect of our lives. 

Today on EU, daniel posted a link to another online e-book.  No not Osho's God Is Dead...nor excerpts from Dawkin's The God Delusion...but rather an ageless classic, Your God is Too Small by J.B. Phillips. 

The first section of the book deals with deconstructing inaccurate or harmful images of God:

1. Resident Policeman
2. Parental Hangover
3. Grand Old Man
4. Meek-and-Mild
5. Absolute Perfection
6. Heavenly Bosom
7. God-in-a-Box
8. Managing Director
9. Second-Hand God
10. Perennial Grievance
11. Pale Galilean
12. Projected Image
13. Assorted

And the second section of the book deals with reconstructing our images of God:

1. God Unfocused
2. A Clue to Reality
3. Further Clues to Reality
4. Is There a Focused God?
5. If God Were Focused (I)
6. If God Were Focused (II)
7. Has _A_ Arrived?
8. Life's Basic Principles (I)
9. Life's Basic Principles (II)
10. Further Basic Questions
11. Christ and the Question of Sin
12. Satisfactory Reconciliation
13. Demonstration with the Enemy
14. The Abolition of Death
15. Theory into Practice

In the section in the deconstruction chapters of the book there is a section in the "assorted" unreal god's section entitled God For The Elite, Phillips says this:

It is characteristic of human beings to create and revere a "privileged class," and some modern Christians regard the mystic as being somehow spiritually a cut above his fellows. Ordinary forms of worship and prayer may suffice for the ordinary man, but for the one who has direct apprehension of God -- he is literally in a class by himself. You cannot expect a man to attend Evensong in his parish church when there are visions waiting for him in his study!

The New Testament does not subscribe to this flattering view of those with a gift for mystic vision. It
is always downright and practical. It is by their fruits that men shall be known: God is no respecter of persons: true religion is expressed by such humdrum things as visiting those in trouble and steadfastly maintaining faith despite exterior circumstances. It is not, of course, that the New Testament considers it a bad thing for a man to have a vision of God, but there is a wholesome insistence on such a vision being worked out in love and service.

It should be noted, at least by those who accept Christ's claim to be God, that He by no means fits into the picture of the "mystic saint." Those who are fascinated by the supposed superiority of the mystic soul might profitably compile a list of its characteristics and place them side by side with those of Christ. The result would probably expose a surprising conclusion. There is, in fact, no provision for a "privileged class" in genuine Christianity. "It shall not be so among you," said Christ to His early followers, "all ye are brethren"

And another section that, I think, addresses some of Osho's claims is called God Without Godhead:

This conception is one of the most "enlightened" and "modern." God is completely de-personalized and becomes the Ultimate Bundle of Highest Values.
Such an idea is usually held by those who lead sheltered lives and who have little experience of the crude stuff of ordinary human life. It is manifestly impossible for any except the most intellectual to hold in his mind (let alone worship and serve) a God who is no more than what we think to be the highest values raised to the Nth degree.

And about that freedom that mankind know, with God dead and all.  I will post about that tomorrow....

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