Recently I took the opportunity to listen again to an audio series called “Wake Up to Life” by the late Fr. Anthony DeMello. In doing so I was struck by the following statement he made: “The reality is there is too much God talk; the world is sick of it, and sick from it. There is too little awareness, too little love, too little happiness. That’s what the world is suffering from, not from a lack of religion.” When I took a moment to ponder on that observation I couldn’t help but agree with him.
Billions of people on this planet are absolutely certain they know who or what God is, and these “God-concepts”” are what primarily lead to all the religious strife and violence in the world. Some are so convinced of their concept they’ll even kill themselves for it, and kill others as well, all for a belief they learned from someone else but in the vast majority of instances never personally experienced. And, this has been going on for centuries. It’s really amazing when you stop and rationally think about it.
On the audio Fr. DeMello also includes this quote from St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the most revered of Christian saints: “About God, we cannot say what He is, but rather, what He is NOT.” In other words, the highest form of knowledge of God is to know God as the unknown. Or taking it a step further, the highest form of talking about God is to know that one does not know. According to DeMello, the fact is we are all surrounded by God, but we don’t see God because we all think we know about God, and the terrible thing about religions is they think they know as well.
Based on all the religious-based violence on this planet, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a world where instead everybody just said, “We don’t know.”