Erasing Our Concepts of God

From – The Contemplative Life
by Joel Goldsmith

No Theory or Concept of God Is God

There is a difficulty in embarking on a spiritual way of life, and one, which everyone has to surmount if he is to remain on the spiritual path. That difficulty concerns itself with three words, but once you are able to rise above the limitations of those three words, you will find that the spiritual path is much easier than you had ever believed it could be, and much more joyous and fruitful. For a time, however, the struggle lies in these three words, the first of which is God – G-o-d.

The hardest part of your spiritual journey is to rise above the concepts of God that you have always accepted. Whether your concept of God has come from a church, from your parents, or from your own experiences in life – regardless of where or how you acquired your particular concept of God and regardless of what that concept may be – it is not God.

There is nothing that you know about God that is God. There is no idea of God that you can entertain that is God. There is no possible thought that you can have about God that is God. It makes no difference what your idea may be or what your concept may be, it remains an idea or a concept, and an idea or a concept is not God. And so every student must eventually realize that he has to rise above all his concepts of God before he can have an experience of God.

Regardless of the concept of God entertained, whether Hebrew, Protestant, Catholic, or Oriental, it has done very little for the world. This world is in a sad plight, and every known concept of God has failed to bring peace on earth – not only collectively, but individually.


  1. God is not somewhere out there.. God is within you and GOD is your higher self.. As we learned from our childhood, the concept of GOD we thought was something like a separate being that we can communicate when we pray.. The truth is that we are never separated and we can never be separated from GOD.. The Kingdom of God is within YOU.. as stated in the bible..


    1. Joel is stating here you can have ideas about what God is, but that’s not what it is, even if you have new ideas about what God is. It still isn’t what God is. Words fail to express an experience of a direct contact with God, while that is the only real part of You. The invitation is to ask for an experience like that and if that is what you really want, it will be given. Then ‘God is’ will be revealed instead of described.


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