Gods are given many faces,
but the truly divine are faceless.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
picture taken from http://bipblog.com/archives/3808294.html
Across the world, people have given names to many different gods. Taoists possess a pantheon, as do the other faiths. Even the monotheistic religions differ on the designation which they give the sole creator. Those who follow the path of Tao assert that we all experience the divine in our own way. Is there truly one god, or many? Do we all simply see another side of the same face?
Among Taoists, there are some who say that if gods exist, then we all are one. You are god. So am I. No one sits atop the clouds, waiting to take over your life for you. No one may live it but you. Whatever one believes in terms of deities is acceptable, so long as it does not cross over into persecution. Individual preference preserves the faith; ultimately, faith is self-awareness. But there is something more to the diversity of gods; the absolute must be acknowledged.
What is absolute is formless. Tao is nameless as well. Tao cannot be considered our god. That would give it form, and bring it into the world of names which it should not inhabit. The world Tao is only for convenience; think of it as the way. The way reveals the mysteries of this world. As long as we seek to exist solely in the diversified world, our frantic pace to succeed professionally will divert us from the true path. If we continue on this wayward journey, we will not be with Tao. It is only when we withdraw from this diverse existence does the formless absolute reveal itself. This is what is meant by being one with Tao.