Philosopher and self-described Spiritual Entertainer Alan Watts accompanied me on a nice walk in the rain this morning, via my iPod. Today I listened to him wax eloquently on our images of God, and how any image of God is in fact an idol. We've spent some time here discussing our tendency to "put God in a box", and I've gone on about the twin errors of anthropomorphizing and "deifying" God, but this is the first time I've heard it described as idolatrous.
As Watts points out, God is:
"...beyond all conception whatsoever.
And you see, this is not atheism in the formal sense of the word. It is a profoundly religious attitude. Because what it corresponds to practically is an attitude to life of total trust, of letting go. When we form images of God they're all really exhibitions of our lack of faith. Something to hold onto. Something to grasp.
You can't grasp it - of course not. Why would you need to? Supposing you could. What would you do with it? You can never get at it.
So there's that profound central mystery, and the attitude of faith is to stop chasing it. Stop grabbing it. Because when that happens, the most amazing things follow.
That is brilliant, encouraging, and hopeful.