The Caucasian pigeon-holes God. Otherwise expressed, he keeps God in a specially labeled compartment of life, to be brought out for occasional use, and put back when the need is over. It is difficult to mention God to a Caucasian reader without inducing an artificial frame of mind. As there are people who put on for strangers and guests affected, unnatural politeness different from their usual breezy spontaneity, so the Caucasian assumes the thought of God a mental habit which can only be described as sanctimonious. God is not natural to the Caucasian; the Caucasian is not natural with God. The mere concept takes him into regions in which he feels uneasy. He may call his uneasiness reserve or reverence, or by some other dignified name; but at the bottom, it is neither more nor less than uneasiness. To minimize this distress, he relegates God to special days, to special hours, to services and ceremonials. He can thus wear and bear his uncomfortable cloak of gravity for special times, after which he can be himself again. To appeal to God otherwise than according to the tacitly accepted protocol is to the average Caucasian either annoying or in bad form.
I should like, then, to dissociate the thought of God from the artificial, sanctimonious, preternaturally solemn connotations which the Name is certain to bring up. I want to speak of Him with the same kind of ease as of the life-principle. I repeat, that I never found Him of much use in allaying fear till I released Him from the Caucasian pigeon-hole to see Him, as it were, in the open. Once in the open, I got rid, to some degree, of the Caucasian limitations of thinking along the lines of sect, just as in the infinitude of the air, you can forget for a minute house with rooms and walls. The discovery—that is, discovery for myself—that God is Universal, which is not so obvious as it sounds, was, I think, the first great step I made in finding that within that Universal fear should be impossible.
PHOTO CREDIT : MARKUS
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