Being Here for God: a Linguistic Approach

As the preferred alternative to selfishness or altruism, being here for God has a whole lot more ambiguous meaning, one that challenges us to understand it.

Metapsychiatry has taught us to start by asking, “What is it?” so that we don’t get sidetracked into quickly trying to do it ---- that is, trying to “be here for God.”

We’ve also been instructed that God wants to be manifested in the world by having its creation, of which we are a part, exemplify its spiritual characteristics. Further, we’ve endlessly been reminded that spirituality, its values, qualities, and ideas, cannot be done.

The phrase itself is semantically interesting. “Being” implies non-doing. “For” implies purposefulness, motivation, intentionality.

We can ask: What is the healthy motive for such God-centric living?

We can see how it might be pursued to elevate our estimation of ourselves, to make us feel better about ourselves that we are living righteously. But then we are secretly being here for ourselves, even if we appear before the world to be selfless. Similarly, we might surreptitiously be seeking worldly recognition for our efforts, which is clearly troublesome and doomed to failure.

We know that all that we can control is our interest, which Metapsychiatry has described as a synonym for love. In this context, perhaps “being here for God” simply means appreciating the spiritual primacy of life, that existence is governed by spirit, that spirit is indestructible, and that material appearances are simply shadows reflecting the quality of the underlying, generative spiritual energy. Consequent to such an understanding is a dedication to be fully, consistently cognizant of that truth of being. Such awareness transforms one into a beneficial presence.

Some interesting light is shed on the subject in a quotation from the philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his book, “On Truth.” He writes, “Spinoza (the 17th century Dutch philosopher) was convinced that every individual has an essential nature that it strives, throughout its existence, to realize and sustain. He believed that there is in each individual an underlying innate impetus to become, and to remain, what that individual most essentially is. When Spinoza wrote of ‘that passion by which the … [individual] passes to a greater perfection,’ he was referring to an externally caused (hence a “passion” --- i.e., a change in the individual that does not come about by his own action, but rather a change with respect to which he is passive) augmentation of the individual’s capacities for surviving and for developing in fulfillment of his essential nature. Whenever the capacities of an individual for attaining these goals are increased, the increase in the individual’s power to attain them is accompanied by a sense of enhanced vitality. The individual is aware of a more vigorously expansive ability to become and to continue as what he most truly is. Thus, he feels more fully himself. He feels more fully alive.”

This explanation reveals several characteristics regarding “being here for God.” First, it confirms that it cannot be done, that attaining a state of God-centered living, that such a “passion” (as Spinoza calls it) is a gift that occurs by grace. Second, it asserts that to “be all that you can be” (I somewhat cringe about using the military recruitment phraseology) is our created purpose in life. It implies that we are authentically ourselves, and able to maximize our fulfillment in life, only when we seek to realize our true nature.

So the valid motive for directing our attention toward being here for God is to be genuine, to be true to our essence. To be led that way, to become sincerely receptive, we need to clearly see the futility of the falseness, the unreality involved in focusing on self and others.