Teilhard de Chardin teaches us that consciousness and matter are aspects of the same reality, the Within and the Without of things. Evolution of all forms physical and spiritual is a progression in consciousness—humans are increasingly more conscious of our own consciousness, more aware of our own Within.
But we fail when we try to capture it in words because words refer to individual ideas, and the Within is beyond any individuals. There’s a story that an Eastern sage tried to express the inexpressibility of what we call “God” by saying something like this: Think of all the ideas and objects that exist or could exist—this could go on forever—and after each thought, ask, “Is this God?” Always we answer, “No, not this.” The Source is beyond all and yet Within all. The second part of that has largely been missed in Western religion.
In Christianity the apophatic tradition appreciates the Within, but our liturgy perpetuates misconceptions with its insistent, boring, misleading repetition of “He” and "Lord" and "Father." I keep mentioning them because, in the present reactionary climate, deleting them or at least lessening their use would be the simplest way to educate humanity about God’s transcendence.
In public discussions about “God,” it is assumed to be an individual entity, a somebody with humanlike thoughts and will, a person or thing separate from us and the rest of creation. And so the misunderstanding persists. Public discourse about religion focuses on externals such as church attendance and religious teachings and which religion attracts more adherents.
The common purpose of all religions—to mediate the Within of things—gets no press. Unfortunate.
The Creator/Source of All That Is and Could Be is portrayed by traditional religions in ways that do not comport with present-day knowledge and awareness. I recommend Elizabeth A. Johnson's book, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse for a differgent view.
Although born and bred Catholic and from earliest childhood interested in spirituality, I began to question as a young child. Or did I perhaps question for that reason?I read extensively and tried many paths, stayed away from the Catholic Church for a time, but never from God. Since then I have made my peace with the institution, knowing that its officials have the faults and weaknesses of us all.I live an intense life of faith, celebrating daily worship by maintaining contact with the Creator/Jesus/God/One Source of all Being. From day to day, the face of this power shifts as my moods shift, depending on my experiences and sources of inspiration.My childhood image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, now gives way to images more diffuse, ineffable, exalted, unbelievably near and trusted, but formless Being. Whatever the form imagined, uniting with it brings solace, power, joy, confidence and hope.