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.
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