(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)
Religious Gatheka Number 51
Very often many who are ready to accept the God-Ideal question the personality of God. Some say: If all is God, then God is not a person; for 'all' is not a person, 'all' is what is expressed by the word all. This question can be answered that, thought the seed does not show the flower in it, yet the seed culminates in a flower, and therefore the flower has already existed in the seed. And if one were to say that in the image of the seed the flower was made, it would not be wrong, for the only image of the seed is the flower.
If God has no personality, how can we human beings have a personality, who come from Him, out of His Own Being, and we who can express the divine in the perfection of our souls? If the bubble is water, certainly the sea is water. How can the bubble be water and the sea not be water? Only the difference between the human personality and the Divine Personality, God's Personality is that the human personality can be compared, God's personality has no comparison. Human personality can be compared because of its opposite; God has no opposite, so His Personality cannot be compared. To call God all is like saying: a number of objects all of which exist somewhere together. The word all does not give that meaning which can explain the God-Ideal; the proper expression for God is the Only Being.
The God-Ideal is so enormous that man can never comprehend it fully. And therefore the best method which the wise have adopted is to allow every man to make his own God. By this he only makes a conception which he is capable of making. He makes Him the King of the heavens and of the earth; he make Him, Judge, greater than all judges; he makes Almighty, Who has all power; he makes Him the Possessor of all the grace and glory there is; he makes Him Beloved God, merciful and compassionate; and he recognizes in Him all perfection. This ideal becomes as a stepping-stone to the higher knowledge of God. The man who has no imagination to make a God, and the one who is not open to the picture of God that the other man presents to him, he remains without one, for he finds no stepping-stone to reach that knowledge which his soul longs for but his doubts deny.
Many would ask if it would not be deceiving oneself by making a God of one's imagination. Some one who is not seen in the objective world. The answer is that we are the germs of imagination, our whole life is based and constructed on imagination; and all that is in this objective world, if it were put together, – there is one thing which is more lasting in life, which is imagination. The one incapable, who has no value for imagination, is void of art and poetry, of music, manner, and culture. He can very well be compared to a rock, which never troubles to imagine.
Man is not capable of picturing God other than a person, a person with all the best qualities, the ideal person. This does not mean that all that is ugly and evil does not belong to the universe of God, or, in other words, is not in God Himself. But the water of the ocean is ever pure in spite of all the things that may be thrown into it. The Pure One consumes all impurities, and turns them all into purity. Evil and ugliness is to man's limited conception; in God's great Being these have no existence. Therefore he is not wrong who makes God in his imagination the God of all beauty, free from ugliness; the God of all the best qualities, free from all evil. For by that imagination he is drawn nearer and nearer every moment of his life to that Divine Ideal which is the seeking of his soul. And once he has touched divine perfection, in it he will find the fulfillment of his life.