As has been said, “You love the apple; yes, you are authorized to love the apple, but no one prevents you from also loving the mango.” -Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh.
As I have stated, I like fruit salad though I have a fruit in that salad. There are also many different degrees of the practicing of religion. For me, Christ is my Master and teacher. That is who I am, but the answer for me is that I don’t see God as separate from me at all.
However I don’t think of myself as God, or a god. The thought never occurred to me to be that.
I am a man and men have the spirit of God in them if they choose to be awake to it. It is as it is. I am comfortable with God as all and I as an integral part of all, therefore I love all and I love myself.
Father Thomas Keating agrees with this concept of God in a speech he made at one of the Buddhist-Christian dialogues at Naropa University. The idea that God is an object outside of oneself to which one relates through prayer is totally unscriptural. It is heresy, and should well be forgotten. It is an idea which is the result of a cultural conditioning originating in the world of philosophy and especially Descartes. The world view that affirms the subject-object dichotomy has produced the fruit of modern technology, but it has also cramped the intuitive faculties of the Western mind and left education totally bereft of its spiritual dimension.
Even as a teen I found no harm in looking to the East. The folks in the Doobie Brother’s song of the funky litttle Texas town of rock lore, China Grove did just that. Didn’t they?
I can never be offended by people of good intent with wise advice. Even phoniness doesn’t offend me. It just makes me more appreciative of the Truth and Descartes, I rekon, was just trying to figure things out.
I think that Love then will always be the best alternative for one’s own well “being” as well as the well “being” of others.