One For The Road

2018 July/August

Which God should I fear most?

I’m a Hindu but my parents sent me to a Catholic school. We have many idols in our home, but I was taught that idolatry is forbidden. In a pique of rage, I smashed my mother’s favorite statue of Ganesha. I bought her another, and she forgave me. But I’m not sure about Lord Ganesha whose image I smashed, or about God who applauds my smashing of idols. Which God should I fear most? 

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Responses are moderated and if published they may be edited for length and clarity; all are published anonymously.

Seattle, Washington

Revere, not fear. you have nothing (no thing) to fear from an all-loving God.

Coram, New York

You should not fear any God. My understanding of God is that it exists in all and is a loving energy. Religious dogma hasn’t helped much in the fact that it comes from man and is fear based.

Catholics preaching that idolatry is forbidden seems hypocritical given that every protestant sect criticizes Catholics for that feature. God would not like idols smashed as they help people feel closer to God. Also, they are made of precious materials and labor so to smash them could be considered a sin; a forgivable sin obviously, yet a sin. Try to think of your being exposed to Catholicism as a cultural experience rather than THE way. No religion is better or more correct and all have strengths and weaknesses. I hope that you enjoy school and that you are learning as much as you can.

Delafield, Wisconsin

It is not about living in fear of 'which' God but transmuting the shadow.  Ganesha is the representative archetype of 'the remover of obstacles'.  Maybe your spiritual work is about containing and transmuting your rage in more constructive and creative ways than smashing what is sacred to others and the world at large.  This is powerful shadow work and the 'forgiveness' you seek may be embedded in the transmutation of this pattern so it is not an obstacle on your path.  The outer is a reflection of our inner life.  This is where the work is.  Namaste

Zephyrhills, Florida

I find it disturbing that you pose the question “which God should I fear most?”. I believe there is something more than us. I don’t believe that is to be feared. I believe the human ideology of God or Gods has become a bit askew. I choose to believe that God is not meant to control but to give us hope that our spirit, our essence, our soul goes on. I believe that God is all things positive and undeniably, love. Each culture, faith, and /or religion embraces God differently and yet at their core they share this commonality. Open your heart and open your mind and have respect for the way others experience God. Trust in your truest self to have your own experience.  Your Hindu parents sent you to a Catholic school for whatever reasons. It speaks volumes that deep down they understand too there is more than just one spiritual path to walk.