One of the things I appreciate about being raised by a Christian Scientist is learning their definition of God. In the CS worldview, there are seven synonyms for a universal, single deity: Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle. It offers a different, meaningful, and far more accurate understanding of God than the traditional Christian trinity of Father, Jesus, and the Spook (the three of which, somehow, are just one god. Wrap your head around that one!) Some of the things I love about it include the following:
It removes gender from the concept of the godhead completely. What gender is Life? Could be any – and, in fact, includes every. If mankind really is made in the image of God, then, truly, either man is genderless, or God includes all genders. This concept of God really does equalize the sexes, and by changing it from an anthropomorphic entity, makes the genders equal – all of them.
It removes the patriarchy from any sense of sacredness or higher meaning, and renders it what it is: politics.
It makes God accessible not as a distant, judgmental entity, but as ever-present – here, now, universal, and complete.
However, if it were me, I'd add one more to the list: Beauty. Everywhere, everything that is created in nature is beautiful in its own way. I am surrounded by beauty; I have been, everywhere I've gone, from the deserts of Arizona to the forests of Europe to the lush jungles of Hawaii to the stark Aleutians, and even far out in the middle of the Bering Sea. I was born in the beauty of sugar maples in their fall plumage, raised in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Everywhere I look I see beauty: the face of a child, the expression on a mother's face as she nurses her baby, puppies and kittens, even a vulture soaring on the wind. I hear it in a meadowlark's clear notes, the chuckle of water over rocks, Jerry Garcia's fantastical guitar solos blending in harmony with the band. I feel it in the warm sun on a cool fall morning, and the fall of cool water on a hot day. I smell it. I taste it. It fills me with joy, and brings tears of gratitude to my eyes.
God is Beauty. How could She not be?