A Spiritual Atheist?

I’ve always had trouble answering the question, “Do you believe in God?” First of all, “believing” to me means “accepting a concept without evidence”. If I have evidence then I know instead of believe. I experience God so I know God. Also, more often than not, when people say “God” they mean a judgmental being with power over them that made the universe of form and that has power over it. They are not referring to the one benign Being that is Reality beyond this seeming-reality and that has nothing to do with this seeming-reality. So I know what they are asking about is not what I experience. I don’t believe in a god as that concept is usually held so I would be an atheist as far as they are concerned.

But of course most atheists would not consider me an atheist. I’m a spiritual teacher for heaven’s sake! But I’ve always respected atheists for their honesty. They do not experience anything beyond this world and they do not pretend that they do. They do not say they “believe” – accept concepts – to fit in or out of fear that there may be something out there judging them. The universe of form runs on certain physical and mathematical laws. And the physical evidence is for some kind of evolution. Physics and evolution are not ideas to “believe in”, either. You either accept what the evidence shows or you do not. I understand atheists accepting facts as they appear. As far as the universe of form goes physics and evolution are the manifest story. I just know that there is Something beyond the universe of form because I have experienced It. This is what would make me not an atheist in the eyes of atheists. If it were not for these experiences I would be an atheist.

I do not confuse with the universe of form the Reality that I have experienced beyond form and Which I prefer to call “Truth” rather than “God”. This is what makes me not religious. Religion spiritualizes the universe of form by giving some aspects of it spiritual relevance. I have spent my life sorting out not-Truth (form) from Truth (Formlessness) so that my mind can transcend not-Truth. I seek to maintain in my awareness the experience that transcends form rather than to spiritualize form. This is what makes me spiritual rather than religious.

There are some who accept what science and math and the physical evidence reveal about the universe of form and also believe that there is an Intelligence, or Mind, that set the physical universe in motion according to physical and mathematical laws. Some of them call this Intelligence “God”. In A Course in Miracles this Intelligence or Mind that made the universe of form would be called the “Son of God”. But beyond the “Son of God” is what ACIM calls “God” – Formless, Infinite Being. So what many consider “God” for students of ACIM is the “Son of God” and “God” is not a god at all to students of ACIM.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.


Anonymous said…
For clarification, could you rephrase the very last sentence and/or expound on it a bit? Not sure I got it clear enough. Thanks.
ACIM Mentor said…
What most people mean by "God" is the maker of the universe of form. In ACIM that is called the "Son of God". Also, most people think of a god as a power outside and over them. ACIM teaches us that there is no such thing. In ACIM "God" refers to the Reality beyond this Reality - the one formless, infinite Being that is. This is within you.
Unknown said…
In your last paragraph you write: 'Some of them call this Intelligence “God”. In A Course in Miracles this Intelligence or Mind that made the universe of form would be called the “Son of God”.'
My understanding so far was that the Son of God had this 'tiny mad idea' but that was just it. What made this physical world materialize was of the ego doings.
It continued the belief in the idea of separation. So in a way, the origin of this physical world could be traced back to the Son's of God 'tiny mad idea' but the realization of the material is due to ego, which has nothing to do with True Son of God.
These are just my thoughts in reaction to your post, which I liked a lot.
Unknown said…
The last sentence intrigued me also. Thanks for what you wrote to "Anonymous". But even though you explained it..it is challenging to consider that a "formless, infinite Being" is.."within [me]". This, logically, must mean that I am infinite also.

People like to use the phrase "get my head around this..." As soon as we get around something - we establish a form.
It's strange to try get my head around "infinite" for that reason. Infinite implies no-form.

So, the one formless, infinite Being (God) is a Reality beyond a Reality (Son of God).
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this post. It's more clarifying and helps me get a litter closer to what I think I understand about what the course says, and to what I want to experience.
will said…

‘Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace’, Elizabeth Cronkhite

Chapter 9. Undoing the projected god.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for expounding on the last sentence, Liz. I think I got it.
Regarding Bob's question/comment on Infinite Being within me (being) - I've found the metaphor of ocean very helpful in understanding this concept: e
Each of us is like a droplet that is in the ocean which is in us;thus, I am completely one with God -- inseparable.
Thanks again.
will said…
'Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace: A Companion to 4 Habits For Inner Peace.' Elizabeth Cronkhite
Full title of Liz's book.
will said…
It was time to read Liz’s book ‘Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace’. But it is only on Kindle. I have had it stored on my computer for a year but at 64 it is just too difficult to read a book like this off a monitor. So I “broke down” and bought a Kindle Paper White on Amazon ($100) so I can sit or lie down wherever I want and read it. It’s ok reading off it, it’s not a book but I think I will get used to it. I have the motivation. There is a whole assortment of things you can do with the Paper White. I have been downloading library books onto it (The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs; HA!).
I thought it might be a good time to give some reviews on the Kindle and any other books that people are familiar with. I’m sure the younger folks have a goldmine of info for people who have considered buying these.
Christine said…
Will, that's the same thing you said about the current technology when they changed from cuneiform to papyrus.
will said…
...and when I changed from cassette's to an MP3 player. The cuneiform to papyrus seemed like such a big deal at the time! Ah well, those were the days, sunny skies, sandy beaches, women half naked... hey wait that was last week!
will said…
But you are right Christine. I live alone and have little contact with what is going on around me. I sometimes lose track of what day of the week it is. Silence and solitude. If there is a downside I tend to misjudge things. For whatever reason I had come to think everyone on the blog is much younger than me which is probably not the case at all.
Anonymous said…
Great article, Liz. You so eloquently explained what I frustratingly tried to sort out in my mind if anyone did ask me if I believed in ...x,y,z. I have some self-described Christian friends who I tiptoe around due to not wanting to upset their belefs. This so clearly delineated the difference, it helps me realize that I do know God, partly, but eventually it will be complete. Feels peaceful to know this. I am 58, btw, Will.

will said…

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