This is something I recently wrote, in response to an acquaintance’s open ended question: “God exists? Prove it.”
I would certainly like to build on it with a deeper exploration some time in the future; but it is a good summary of the first stages of my journey.
Before getting into this, I’d like to note that I have nothing against any particular religion per se; but am merely referring to the experience of various religious groups and individuals I had during that time in my life. To me, it’s not a person’s religion that matters, it is their character that is important.
I’ve met many people of religion who use the religion to mask and legitimize a violent and oppressive nature, while I’ve met people with no religion at all who are compassionate and wonderful people and vice versa. Religion has nothing to do with it, so we have to see beyond the labels we ascribe to ourselves, if we really want to get to know one another.
When I was early in my search for answers, I used to be very concerned with its existence or lack thereof, of this entity called God. I was originally raised as a Christian, which seems to be the default in this part of the world.
I realized after awhile, however, that most of the claims of the adherents of this religion, seemed to be founded on circular reasoning referencing the Bible. I found that whenever I inquired for more information or questioned events, I was strongly discouraged and often separated from the other kids at Sunday school and reprimanded.
It was always puzzling to me, why they did not have answers, beyond merely what was written, to back up their claims. Their lack of curiosity, to know more about their own religion which they claim to value so highly, was also perplexing.
I investigated the Bible only to find myself disappointed, when I found that the Christians I knew at the time knew virtually nothing of its origin. The sources I read indicated that there was more information about the origin; but even this additional information wasn’t very compelling to establish the authority of the bible. The disappointment only grew when I realized that it had been tampered with by various governments and appeared to be a tool to control people’s behavior.
My knee jerk response was to become an Athiest, then after reading a compelling piece called “Why I am Agnostic” by Robert Ingersoll, I then became an agnostic for several years.
I realized after awhile that I was letting the modern conceptions of religion define my own spirituality, limiting my experience and awareness. I was letting the fact that I was *not* something, cause me to be the “other side of the coin,” so to speak. To where I was defining my relationship to the deeper and more mysterious aspects of reality, still in terms of a religion that I did not believe in, when it really should have no relevance at all.
I had a number of experiences, particularly a very powerful out of body trip on Ayahuasca, in which I realized that my materialistic atheistic/agnostic approach was deeply flawed. As is common during DMT experiences, I experienced extreme time dilation and a number of other phenomena, in which I became privy to experience and information that is impossible under normal circumstances. To me, this experience was highly profound and cannot be attributed to mere biochemical interactions and nerve firings.
I could go on in great length about the particulars of the experience and would be happy to share more sometime; but suffice it to say, I realized that our “alert problem solving reality” is far from all there is; that there is a much deeper and more sophisticated reality underlying the phenomena we see on a daily basis, which is responsible for consciousness itself.
Now, I believe that conscious awareness and the intricate and infinitely scalable structure thereof, is the cause of our shared physical reality and not that our physical reality is the cause of consciousness.
This notion of God or Godlessness, religion or a-religion seems to color our experience; but it seems unnecessary. It’s typically an attachment to a belief that is not rooted in actual experience. At this point in my life, I feel that the nebulous concept of “God” doesn’t really matter; but what does matter is that we become conscious and aware of our own experiential reality, so we can become more aware of the deeper facets of conscious existence.