“… the only way to truly know God is to abandon all preconceived notions or belief or knowledge about God and surrender to unknowingness, at which point you begin to glimpse the true nature of God.”
Richard Rohr, paraphrasing “The Cloud of Unknowing”
Can we ever really know God? I’d like to think so. I don’t know about you, but I want God to be personable.
But really, though – can we ever know him?
Counter-question: what do you – we – mean by “know him”? What is it you – we – are really wanting?
Thinking we know God, that we are able to have some grasp of the infinite love that is all, was all, and transcends all, brings us comfort. But still, only the most steel-headed go their entire lives believing the exact same things about God. No, you probably fall into the other 98% of people whose perceptions of God have changed at least once in their life. We learn. Some more than others, depending how open you are to questions and change. And by doing so (learning) you’re admitting in tiny bits at a time that you were wrong, you didn’t really know God. I’m only 21 and there are already more times than I can count when I thought I’d figured it all out – I’d learned everything there was to know about God.
Some have even spiritualized this phenomena, saying things like, “don’t put my God in a box!” or, “the moment you get comfortable in your understanding of God is when He’ll make you uncomfortable.”
Do you know that in claiming understanding of God (whether based upon gained knowledge or experience) you are thus calling millions of others who have contrary understandings based upon equally legitimate imparted knowledge or experiences wrong? Are you prepared to shoulder that burden? Perhaps we separate into like-minded groups so that we don’t have to explain ourselves.
Why isn’t anybody giving credence to the third option, that knowing God isn’t what we thought it was?
Why is nobody talking about the freedom and release of unknowing?
When did we sacrifice the opportunity of unity for the claim of “being right”?
What if God being personable and knowing him aren’t the same?
What if the thing that has killed our ability to experience God is our attempts to define it?