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Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My concept of God is a deistic one; God can be referred to as the Supreme Being, Divine Watchmaker, Grand Architect of the Universe, and Nature’s God, among many other names and titles. All the multiverse’s religions have a partial glimpse of the true nature of the Supreme Being. God exists, but this cannot be proven or disproven. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. God is within each individual. The multiverse is pantheistic and henotheistic (there is a single god, but the existence of other deities is possible). We live in a panentheistic universe.

My Beliefs

My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when I came up with an idea of how creative visualization works. I had just finished watching a documentary about the atom and it talked about the concept of the multiverse. According to the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are an infinite number of parallel universes, where every possible quantum mechanical outcome for each and every atom in the universe exists somewhere. The measurement problem of quantum mechanics means that every atom, which is a multiversal object, is in many states at once until it is measured or observed. Because we are constructed of atoms, we too exist in every possible configuration of matter until observed. My own metaphysical theory is that creative visualization is that observation which causes us to manifest into a particular reality that we perceive.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator considering the possibility that there is no afterlife. According to the law of conservation of matter and energy, our bioenergy cannot be destroyed, only transferred. To me, this was evidence of the existence of an immortal soul. When I had the idea that the potential energy of decay could account for the bioenergy resident in our bodies, that was my greatest moment of doubt ... it still is my greatest doubt about the existence of an afterlife.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator all separate "spirits", when connected, form a greater unity, the Spirit, which has an identity separate from its elements plus a consciousness and intellect greater than its elements; an ultimate, unified, non-dual awareness or force of life combining or transcending all individual units of consciousness.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Deists think that prayer is a waste of time; this is not the case with Spiritual Deists, who practice meditation and make frequent use of Affirmative Prayer, a non-supplicative form of prayer which is common in the New Thought movement.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes, he's a fictional character. Life force, The Force, and Ki are all synonymous with the same kind of esoteric energy. When it is properly understood, all things are possible. I just recently found this: True Story by Dr. David Walker; It happened when we where leaving the Grove Theater, here in Los Angeles. It just so happened that George Lucas (the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade) was sitting in the lobby with a ladyfriend. I approached him and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Lucus, May I ask you a question?” “Sure,” he said. I continued, “I have a picture of you standing in front of a library of books, and I noticed that one of them was The Science of Mind.” Immediately his ladyfriend said, “Yes, Ernest Holmes, I bought you that book.” “Yes”, I said. “In any case, were you influenced by Ernest Holmes?” His reply was, “Yes, I was. Where do you think THE FORCE came from?” --Dr. David J. Walker, former pastor of the Los Angeles Church of Religious Science.

My Faith History

My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a circle. When I was a kid, I went to my Aunt Noel's Unity church with my mom. I didn't know it was a Unity church. In recent years, things that I've read about having an attitude of gratitude, and New Thought have brought me to attend a Unity congregation. It was about the time that my mom passed away that I learned that the Daily Word that my mom read for years is a Unity publication. The religion that I am only now learning is closest to what I believe is what my mom believed for decades.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a kind of Unity Deist. I think the concept of understanding the creator by studying the creation came from my dad, and Unity was my mom's influence.
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Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I view Spiritual Deism as being midway between Deism (most similar to my dad's beliefs), and New Thought (most similar to my mom's beliefs), although I never thought of it that way until now. It's the belief system that makes the most sense to me in light of what we are learning about the universe.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator If I have children, I will teach them why I believe in a Creator. They will decide for themselves what they believe.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I respect the sacred texts of the world's religions. Although I don't believe or obey every word of every text, some good advice can be found in all of them. In the first book of Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 17, readers are instructed to "pray without ceasing." How is this even possible? Just as each of us is an individualized expression of the Divine, each of our lives is an individualized expression of communication with the Supreme Being; in other words, our entire life is a prayer, although we can become more conscious of the prayer through deliberate concentration or cease praying in times of anger or apathy. Because the Universal Mind is omnipresent, the answer to the question of where and when I practice my faith is that I try to practice it everywhere and all of the time.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I think my brother is perhaps an Atheist or an Agnostic. My sister used to be Baptist, but I think she is moving towards Deism or Taoism due to the influence of her fiancee. With respect to other religious traditions, my beliefs are like those of Unitarian Universalism in that it draws on many different theological sources. Continual curiosity about what my family believes will allow me to blend their faiths with my own.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator books. The invention of written language allows the natural philosophers of all ages to communicate with me about all aspects of reality.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator New Age spirituality is metaphysically similar to New Thought. I find new age music conducive to contemplation of the infinite. Music is a mood altering substance; to narrow it down to one artist, I'll pick Enya (although she doesn't consider her music to be New Age). To choose one song, I'll select Aldebaran. The book that most represents my faith is Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes. The movie which has best exposed quantum concepts to the public consciousness is What The Bleep Do We Know?

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The founding fathers of the United States of America were Deists. The first six American presidents were Deists. However, a national government should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There should not be public schools. The government taints everything it touches; in a private system, if the parents don't like what's being taught, they simply remove their children from the school, take their education dollars with them, and there is no controversy.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There shouldn't be public schools. If you send your children to government school, you have to pay for it; if you don't have children or don't send your children to government school, you still have to pay for it with taxes (which are collected by force, if necessary). Given the existence of an institution funded with coercive force, I don't care what books are read inside of it.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator When deciding upon my beliefs, I examine many different theological sources. Interfaith dialogue is the best way to accomplish this.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It depends. Some people are absolutely sure that their interpretation of sacred texts and what God wants is completely correct and there can be no room for discussion. I don't even bother trying to talk about something so subjective to people who are that intolerant. Otherwise I'm happy to discuss my opinions.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A certain critical mass of people with a highly spiritual consciousness will bring about a sudden change in the whole population. Humans have a responsibility to take part in positive creative activity and to work to heal ourselves, each other, and reality.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Zen Spiritual-Deism is the religious philosophy of non-aggression; Libertarianism is the political philosophy of non-aggression - they both compliment each other. Other religious beliefs may be compromised by other politics.
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I read a Freethinker article that said that belief in an afterlife caused the events of 11 Sep 01; I had never thought of it that way before. I was more interested in learning about other religions after that date, but not necessarily because of what happened on that day. I feel more comfortable about expressing my religious beliefs now because I was unsure (literally agnostic) about what they were until recently.

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Published October 11, 2010

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