Do you believe in God?
It is a very normal question: 'Do you believe in God?,' but it always gives me pauze. Yes, I believe in divinity. Yes, I believe there is a divine source of All. Yes, there is more to this life than is immediatly apparent. No, I can't see that divine source as a person. No, how can God judge his creation based on whether or not they believe in him in the ways people have devised we should? No...
God is a loaded word. In the Bible it is the translation of several Hebrew words (though this differs per translation of course) Elohim and JHVH. The first is actually a plural, and theosophists generally assume that it stands for the higher conscious forces in nature, that in many cultures have been called 'gods', though they are likely not actually prone to the kinds of human adventures one sees in Greek mythology for instance.
If we make JHVH stand for the highest, unnamable something that is the source and the end of all there is... It would be the One Life, in 'which we all live and have our being' - in the words of St. Paul. The problem is of course that JHVH is claimed to be the personal property of the Jews. The Bible is very clear on that: you are my chosen people. But if they are His chosen people, how can He be the One Source, the Ultimate Absolute? So JHVH stands for (according to the Gnostics) a lower God that elevated Himself to a higher rank than He has... Theosophists would not give him that power. They would say that the Jews simply chose to see their personal God as the Ultimate Absolute that is at the basis of all Gods.
So I do believe in God? I believe that there is life in this universe, that consciousness isn't a mere byproduct of evolution. I believe Life itself is Divine and deserves our worship and our care. I believe human beings have been given a higher degree of concsiousness than any other being and that we are proving hardly up to the responsibilities that entails (need I mention wars, global warming, human rights violated?)
So do I believe in God? I don't believe that our ultimate fate is decided by anything other than our personal Karma. I don't believe some god in heaven will decide, based on our personal worship of him, whether we go to eternal Hell or eternal Heaven.
I believe there is a truth behind all religions that can only be found if the mystics of all traditions are taken more seriously than the theologians and dogmatists. I believe ultimate wisdom and right living can only flower where love isn't shackeled by personal likes and dislikes or the limitations of caste, creed, sex, nation, gender, color etc. (see the three objects of the Theosophical Society ) I believe in the potential of humanity to solve it's own problems.