Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

How Shall We View God, continued

The Bible tells us that God is a spirit and that God is love.  See, for example:

      [John 4:24] “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

and 

     [1 John 4:7] Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

     [1 John 4:8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Both of which attributes are consistent with the Buddhist view that there is a loving spirit which permeates the universe.

Nevertheless, some people (such as Jacob, who felt that he had wrestled with Him) have experienced God as if God were a person, some in visions and some, such as Moses, more‑or‑less face‑to‑face.  In the 12th chapter of Numbers, for example, we read: “If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face.” Although Moses, never actually claimed to have seen God, only His back or, perhaps, where He had been.

Others have also found God in nature, as illustrated by the poem, Vestigia, by Bliss Carman:

I took a day to search for God

And found Him not. But as I trod

By rocky ledge, through woods untamed,

Just where one scarlet lily flamed,

I saw His footprint in the sod.

 

Then suddenly, all unaware,

Far off in the deep shadows, where

A solitary hermit thrush

Sang through the holy twilight hush —  

I heard His voice upon the air.   

 

And even as I marvelled how  

God gives us Heaven here and now, 

In a stir of wind that hardly shook

The poplar tree beside the brook, 

His hand was light upon my brow.

 

At last with evening as I turned  

Homeward, and thought what I had learned

And all that there was still to probe —

I caught the glory of His robe

Where the last fires of sunset burned.

 

Back to the world with quickening start

I looked and longed for any part  

In making saving beauty be….

And from that kindling ecstasy,

I knew God dwelt within my heart.

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