Seeing God in other people

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Thumbnail image for goth god.jpgOn Joan of Arcadia, God appears to Joan in the guise of regular people. The people aren't delusions--everyone else can see them as well. It's unclear (to me, at least) whether they are people who exist when God is not speaking through them, or whether they exist only when God needs them as mouthpieces. Either way, though, every conversation Joan has with God is one with another person. My personal favorite God is Goth God (left), followed by Joan's original and probably most common God, Cute Guy God (right).Thumbnail image for cuteguygod.jpg Some of the God are irritating (Old Lady God and Little Kid God both bug me), some you forget as soon as you see them (the episodes are full of one-off Gods as delivery people, cafeteria workers, substitute teachers, etc.). Often, Joan mistakes people who are not God for God, based on what they say to her.

Maybe I'm dense, but I like a metaphor that hits me upside the head. I'm not sure I believe in God (nor am I sure I don't), but it's difficult not to believe in other people, given that they are overtaking the planet like cockroaches. On the show, God mostly gives Joan assignments, most of which are difficult for her to complete. God gives vague advice, rarely answers questions, and is generally kind of a pain in the ass. The non-God people she's surrounded by--her family and her friends--are usually more helpful to her than God, at least in seeing the results of her wacky actions. Yet she gives them none of the acquiescence she gives her many Gods.

Maybe that's the point. Maybe instead of looking for a higher power in a Church or even inside ourselves, we should look around us. I'm going to try to do a better job of listening and watching and paying attention to what other people are telling me. You never know, there might be God in there.

4 Comments

I had something kind of like this happen to me after I had my firstborn.

This sounds a little simplistic, but I got this huge instant realization that everyone in this world had, at one time, been a baby, a helpless squalling thing that needed to be lavished with love, and one of the main reasons people were the way they were was because they got that love or they didn't, and much of what they did was determined by whether they had gotten that love or not.

When I'm trying to remember to be compassionate, I remind myself of the baby inside of everyone -- that and the fact that everyone is dying are the two main posts of helping me feel compassion when it might otherwise be hard.

I do want to add that when I think of the helpless, unloved person inside a criminal, I can feel compassion for that part of him, but there's still anger and vengeance and demand for justice for what he did. I don't want to sound like a bleeding heart here.

This is quite possibly the most woo-woo thing I've ever put on the Internet.

I guess the other thing is I'm looking less for God in other people and more for humanity and what I might have in common with that person (sometimes all it is is humanity, really, but that's all it needs to be).

Krupskaya- i like the sentiment

i think to often we ignore what we as humans can do because of what certain cruel humans do...

I feel like god or spirits have historically been manifestations of our own wishes, fears etc.

If we lived in nature god was of nature, when we lived in a time when harshness was abound, you have the old testament and a vengeful god talking of sacrifice...

When feudalism, the king and his nobel court appeared... you had god, the trinity and his court of angels

Now that you have a more rational and individualistic society, you have more personal and individual conceptions of god... or spiritualities that have more to do with being good than worship.

not to turn this into my own soap box but i think we need to start believing in humanities ability to solve its problem, and participate in solutions... and not wait for a savior or heaven to come along.

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