I have started to write poetry in the style of Rumi and Hafiz. These poems are poems that speak of the mystical connection with the all pervading power in the heavens and earth that some call God, some Goddess, some love, some Whatever. The name doesn’t really matter, when we think about it. All that matters is connection. I often use the word God, however, because of the difficulty that I once had with the word.

I do this is in order to reclaim the concept of God, and to reclaim the idea that was originally behind the word. The real meaning of the name of the God of Israel was one of two things: I am that which was, which is, and which will be, and I am that which creates. This name, the original name of God, is very deep and mystical. We have given up this name because someone with a sword came along and redefined the word so that it means a big man in heaven with a stick. Part of my reclaiming, however, is to reclaim it and redefine it by taking it back to the original meaning. There’s no need to look for a deep new concept of God, the deep old concept has always been there.

A very good exercise for anyone who would like to be free from the conditioning of positive and negative words or religious concepts, is to look at the origins of them, study them, and use them the way they were originally used. Look at the writings of the originators of religions. In this way we become masters of our own fate and definers of our own reality. This has been my quest for several years. It has been difficult. Some people really get upset about it, but it has given me a freedom and power that is worth all of the difficulty.

In order to really live and to truly be spiritual, it is necessary at one time or the other, to take that hard road. Every religion spoke of taking the journey on the hard path. They spoke of suffering and pain. More importantly, what is known as the dark night of the soul. These are the times when we seem to have lost every thing and we are being emptied of every false thought and idea that we ever had. Every thought and idea that we held onto because we were afraid, or because they were comfortable, is swept away and we are left there alone, face to face with God. Sometimes God does not even seem to be there. It is time to reclaim this part of the spiritual journey.

Over time darkness and emptiness was portrayed of as evil, instead of something good. Gods associated with this dark journey became the devil. The God of Abraham allowing one to go through such a journey was perceived of as punishment. The truth is, however, that journeying with God, or your concept of the power that lies at the center of the universe, is one of the best gifts that any of us will ever have when it comes to achieving spiritual growth. After entering the darkness several times, we ultimately discover that it is not darkness at all, only part of life. We discover that all things are working together to polish us like a mirror so we can reflect the face of God. This type of spiritual growth only comes about, however, when we reclaim the whole idea of God and life.

In the Hebrew Scripture God promised to give his follower mountain deer’s feet. These animals have study footing on the most difficult terrain. Even so, as we begin to deal with life and to understanding the weaving of dark and light, we will have study footing even in the most rugged places, and live joyfully through the most painful of circumstances. Like those mountain deer, we will be able to climb to the top—to the highest peak in good times or in bad times, because we will be able to understand reality and to live a life connected with God fully and completely.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. John Gilmore is a writer, spiritual director and certified healer. He is the founder of Universal Circle of Creation Spirituality, an interfaith mystic based service based on the spirituality of communion with the Divine and the mystical path. You can find some of his books and a link to the Universal Circle at http://www.dswellness.com as well as a free Practical Spirituality Journal.