When I think of “God,” I translate that to mean “Energy of the Universe” and I am perfectly happy holding a conversation about “God” because I have translated an understanding to which I can relate. “God” does not translate into “Heaven” or “Hell” or “Angels” or “Trumpets” for me — I instead think of an unfillable empty space.
I feel comfortable listening and trying to understand everyone’s religious or scientific point-of-view because all those ideas — to me anyway — translate into a greater energy that is larger and more powerful than us. Recently, a friend of mine told me it was unacceptable to make those translations equal mark-for-mark because the belief systems I am translating are specific and coveted in a particular context:
Translation does not, and cannot, apply.
“When a person speaks of God and Jesus and Heaven and Hell,” my friend said, “Those are very real people and places. Hellfire that burns eternally against your skin is a fact for true believers, so when you say you ‘understand’ or let them think you also claim what they are relating because of your ‘translation’ — you are actually misleading them into thinking you are with them.”
I don’t understand what difference it makes if my belief systems include all belief systems under the “Energy of the Universe” ideal — but I guess there are others in the world who are more literally minded than I am and who narrowly believe in a specific “Devil” and in the niche of “72 Virgins” and in a literal “Witchcraft” — and for me to “go along” with claiming to understand them via a silent and invisible translation is something that mystifies and wounds. I thought I was just being open-minded.