One part of my office is given over to meditation. I have a single candle upon a table and upon the surrounding window ledge and frame are a myriad of images of Gods & Goddesses from around the world.
Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, Celtic deities appear within that space as well as upon my bookshelves. The reason for this is not that I am hedging my bets, nor that I am worshipping lots of gods.
So why so many gods?
There are three main reasons why I like to have images of the divine dotted around my office and the house.
The first of these is that it reminds me that to wonder of the great mystery is a universal experience. That by whatever name or practices people have sort to know the divine for millennia. Even the atheist scientist who is trying to unlock the secrets of the universe is locked into a mission to know the mystery. To understand our relationship with all that is and our place within creation is something shared with our ancestors, our time and those who in the future who will seek to know.
The second reason that I adorn my space with the divine is to remind myself that wisdom and truth are to be found from all over the world, they are not the domain of anyone tradition or country.
When we look, read and understand we can see the echoes of the universal truths in all religions and mystical traditions.
Wisdom and truth are also to be found all around us, when we speak to others, when we go for a walk, when a song appears on the radio. For those who listen the universe speaks to us in many ways.
The final reason I have these images around me is to remind myself that the divine, the great mystery is not some far off distant entity who we cannot reach. The mystery that some call God is all around us, we were born out of and into the great mystery.
The presence of that mystery is not a fiction. As you sit here reading this, think about your surroundings, yourself, the planet, the stars and the sun. And you can start to discover an awareness of the other, you can realise that there is still something there, unknown, ever present. We move within it and are of it. And I wonder, how you today can start to be more aware of your connection to the great mystery, the divine, to God.
As humans we attempt to portray the divine as human, or in an anthropomorphic
way. This is because that is all we know, when we think, we think in terms of what we know. God is not human, is not something that we can really comprehend. The divine intelligence behind the entire universe is never going to fit into a human skin. However in those moments when silence touches your heart, and beauty stirs within, in that moment, you can know without knowing.