How To Find God Without Religion
You probably think you know what God is, and based on that definition, you either believe in God or not. Let me guess: That definition of God was devised by someone else, not you.
Who says you have to accept someone else’s idea of God? Who says that God is in the sky and speaks with a thunderous voice? Who decided that you can ask an outside entity for miracles and that “he” can grant them if you follow his dictates?
Have you told yourself that you cannot believe that a God parted the Red Sea, created the universe in six days, cured blindness with a touch, or brought people back to life? Wouldn’t it be nice to believe in a God that is believable?
You do not have to accept any of those concepts of God. You do not have to accept anyone else’s idea of God. Any God that does not touch you personally and directly is not your God! You are correct not to believe in such a God.
We each have our own path to walk, and no one can do it for us. The nature of spiritual enlightenment, or God, is that you must find it yourself. If you do not see God for yourself, you have not found it. A teacher or guide can help you along the way, but it is you who must ultimately connect directly with your pure inner spirit.
The Path to Finding God
Who am I to tell you this? Why should you listen to me?
In my teens, I acquired a cynicism about religion. I was turned off seeing people going through the motions and reading prayers about a God to which I could not relate. In college, I saw myself as an avowed atheist. I loved to debate the issue with believers and coined the phrase, “Man created God in his own image,” as a cynical playoff of the reverse biblical phrase. It was my rejection of the humanoid God of the bible. It was my condescension toward the traditional religion I had been taught.
To me, God had been invented to explain natural phenomena before science could do so. Now that those phenomena were understood, there was no need for the God explanation. I am a creature of logic. If I am to believe something, it must not be contrary to science, history, and my life experience.
I now believe in God, but I have not changed that requirement. My problem was that I had accepted the definition of God as taught to me by others, which forced me to either reject such a God or ignore my own experience and instincts.
There is no need to suspend reason to believe in God, which can also be called spiritual enlightenment. Just because a belief in God does not contradict reason and experience, that does not mean it must be fully explained by reason and experience. Just because you have not yet experienced something, does not mean it does not exist.
I have now discovered God myself, and I have been surprised to learn that the God I have found is the same transcendental Universal Love that is at the heart of the beliefs of enlightened Jews, Christians, Islamists, Hindus, Buddhists, humanists, atheists, and enlightened people of every age and place. Some call it God, and some do not, but it is the same.
The operative word is love. At the heart of the beliefs in all great religions and non-religious spiritual beliefs is the same thing. It is just expressed in different words and seen through the prism of different cultures and times.
A New Understanding of God
One day when I was in my late twenties, a friend and I passed a group of people on the sidewalk and started talking with them. Somehow, we began talking about spirituality. One person in the group seemed wise to me. I remember he called me an old soul. He invited us to come sometime and visit him and his family at his apartment.
We took him up on it a few days later. A group of people had gathered around him, and informal sessions were held in his living room almost every night. I joined them.
During those sessions, there were discussions about spirituality, life, meaning, and the very nature of understanding. The conversations were deep. I had never before been in such an environment. I had many questions. After each session, I sat by myself, pondering what I had learned.
A revelatory feeling eventually came over me. The feeling of being at one with all living things in the entire universe. Pure infinite awareness. I experienced God.
I was entirely in that awareness experience for about three weeks. I developed a philosophy of life during that time, which has kept evolving over the years. It is the philosophy contained in my book, Awaken Your Soul.
We are all in this together. Your life has no limits and no boundaries. You are a part of everyone else. The idea that you are separate and that you gain at someone else’s loss is merely an illusion.
How can you feel lonely, jealous, or selfish if you can be one with everything and everybody? Jealous of what? Yourself? For you will know that you are inseparable from all. How can you be selfish once you know that to deprive someone else is to deprive yourself, to lessen a part of the inseparable universe is to lessen yourself. Once you realize this truth, you will be fully enlightened.
Consider a chair. When enlightened, you can look at a chair and see the entire universe. There was the seed that fed upon the soil, the rain, and the sun that caused the tree to grow. Volcanoes created the vein of iron ore from which the miner extracted the metal for the screws. Consider the people involved: miners, carpenters, truckers, etc., and all of their ancestors whose lines culminated in them.
If you can look at that chair and truly see the entire universe, you can attain spiritual enlightenment.
To see One in all and all in One means you have broken through the great barrier of the perception of reality, of life. That enlightened awareness has been within you all along.
It has been drowned out by the loud noise of day-to-day life, just as the light from the stars cannot be seen during the daytime because it is drowned out by the glaring light of the sun.
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