Has your notion and belief in God the same as when you were in grade school? High School? Have you honestly told anyone about your perception of God or if you don’t believe have you honestly and intelligently discussed why with someone? Have you ever talked with a Buddhist or Hindu why they believe in God and what does their perception of God look like compared to yours?
Try talking to a fifth grader (ages between 10 & 11) and ask them if they believe in God. Ask why? To the answer they give you. Ask them how did they come to know God. Or why they think there is no God. Listen carefully to what they say. Ask yourself was that your answer at age 10? is it your answer today say at age 40? How much about your idea of God was an illusion at one stage of life and did you go through a period of disillusionment? Did that disillusionment bring about an awakening? A desire to know more or a desire to affirm the disappointment? Have you found yourself as an adult looking around the world in all of its imperfections and asking yourself how a God could do this, and leave people with all the misery and hurt we see in the world? Some might find it warming and challenging to find those answers and others might find it chilling and prickly to answer those questions.
If and when you went through a period of disillusionment were you awakened or shattered in your perception and belief? Were you shocked or challenged? Were you angry or pleasantly surprised? Did you become “blind” to other possibilities?
Now think about putting those realizations into three categories.
- The “no” realities. the ones that are more of an atheistic classification
- The “maybe” realities. Think of these as your agnostic classification
- The “yes….but” realities. Those realities we say I believe in X but from a much different point of view when I first came to know them.
What does reality really mean?
By “reality” we will mean what is “out there” in the world. The stuff is existing independently of us.
If “truth” is one, then religion and science become only different avenues which we as humans complicate in our minds to seek out and discover the one truth. Do art and music help us clarify religion and science? Then realize the logic of mathematics can help us clarify and better understand religion and science. Look around the world and what you see is the existence of “things” that have no dependence on you or me. And it is for certain their existence did not originate with you or me. What we do know if those “things’ we want to keep around seem to cease to exist eventually and those “things” We wish would just go away seem to stay.
Deciding what is real and not is most definitely not a democratic process. So keep that thought when you are thinking about the reality of God. Determining if God is real or not is not a democratic process.
The only way we as humans decide something exists outside our minds as well as inside our minds is to experience it. To discover the reality, find the data points, and encounter the evidence. Even the facts that are not visible to the naked eye are discovered. Think of atoms, think of love, think of hate, you discover the evidence through experiencing the visible effects and seeing what could cause those effects.
So think about the God question, and if God has changed in your life or left your life. What we do know is that the notion of a God is indeed real in mind, No atheist or Neitzschean would deny that. The question you want to be answered is whether God exists outside your mind for real. The final question is not “do you want God to exists?” the final question must be “does God exist whether we want him or not to exist?” The answers must be discovered free of distortions, prejudices we have grown up with, judgments we made in an emotional crisis of life. This is a very different way of perceiving reality outside our minds. The truth is found not in our arousing or intense feelings about a God but in the careful, thoughtful analysis as an adult of those realities we have encountered. So the ultimate question about if God has changed for you is either God has no real existence outside your mind or god actually exists outside your mind entirely independent of you.
More to come.