365 Names: The Encounterable

THE ENCOUNTERABLE IS A NAME I invented about three minutes ago (as of this writing: 2112.12 @ 2150), but is meant to express one understanding of the Consciousness inherent in the universe. As written elsewhere, I do not “believe” in a God* that can be prayed to or beseeched, but rather One that can be experienced, either through unexpected spontaneity or by creating a patterned context for such an experience (through disciplined and deep meditation or contemplation, say). “Belief” doesn’t quite enter into the equation; no words can fully express the encounter’s undeniable and all-unifying immediacy. As Maimonides likes to say, “Those who know, know.”

Once upon a time, in 2011 in fact, The Metaphorager aspired to feature daily a year’s worth of different names for that-which-some-people-call-God: some creative, others traditional, each unique. For reasons, instead we’re going to post them until we run out of the considerably fewer we’ve collected so far. If you want to see your favorite here, but haven’t, send it along with the subject line “365 Names” and let us know whether or not you want to be credited.

6 comments for “365 Names: The Encounterable

  1. Kathryn Hildebrandt
    2021.12.13 at 1556

    I’m confused. I thought you were heavily into the Jewish faith. You even spelled God as G_d. Did something change, or am I not understanding something?

    • 2021.12.13 at 2046

      Well, I can see the confusion, and the first thing that comes to mind as an explanation is Spock’s classic throwaway about pon farr, “It is a thing no outworlder may know.” 😉

      But seriously.

      In Judaism, and you may know this, there is more than one “right” way to relate to G?d (which I spell that way to remind me of that fact, as well as of the impossibility of expressing in mere words that holy Focus). Jewish “faith” is a continuum from atheism on one hand and whatever is its opposite on the other, with one’s actions being more important than one’s beliefs (although those are important too). An individual can place themselves anywhere on that spectrum over the course of their life — sometimes even over the course of a day. It’s a dynamism rather than something static.

      For a mystical fellow like me, direct experience of the Divine is something to strive for daily. I don’t always hit that mark, and sometimes fail spectacularly, but I try to live as though everything in the universe has a “LEARN HERE” sticker on it as well as a spark of holiness in it. Patterning my life according to Jewish tradition, especially its mussar (ethical discipline) teachings, is very important to me in terms of keeping that mindfulness present as often as I can. As the Kotzker Rebbe said when asked, “Where is G?d?” — “Wherever you let G?d in.” And as Hillel famously said when asked about a similar essence, of Torah: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. The rest is commentary — now go study.”

      Does that make sense?

      • Kathryn L Hildebrandt
        2021.12.14 at 1216

        Yes, it does. I don’t know much about Judaism because, well, nobody talks about it. 🙂

        I’ve learned recently, and correct me if I’m wrong, that there is no afterlife, no heaven or hell, just this life. If so, that makes Judaism profoundly different from the other two belief systems with which it is normally lumped together, the Muslim and Christian ones. Doing the right thing out of fear, or hoping for a reward, is very different from doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

        • 2021.12.14 at 1255

          In general, Judaism teaches that while there “is” an afterlife (“Olam Haba,” or the world-to-come), it’s pretty ill-defined and nowhere near as important as what happens in this life. True, some of the more mystically inclined of my extended siblings actually do go into pretty intense and elaborate detail about Olam Haba, including such concepts as reincarnation and the like — partly in order to explain/understand why wicked people prosper and good people get screwed over in this life. But as I understand it, that’s not an important part of normative Judaism’s generous basic benefits package. 😉

          • Kathryn Hildebrandt
            2021.12.14 at 1515

            Where do I sign up? 😉

          • 2021.12.14 at 1525

            On the dotted line, of course!

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