Exploring the truth about God
This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.
I was talking with a friend the other day and he was trying to tell me the good news about Jesus Christ. He was trying to convince me that the Bible was the word of God and that Christianity is the one true religion.
But I wasn’t buying it.
I did for a long time though. I spent the first 20 years of my life as an evangelical Christian and attended church regularly. I was part of bible studies and volunteered at the church. Shit, I even married (and then promptly divorced) the daughter of a principal at a local Christian school. Her uncle was an elder at the church we attended and her mom worked for another one of the elders. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and bought the bumper sticker. Just kidding, bumper stickers are stupid.
I have however, been baptized (by water and the holy ghost) and have had hands laid upon me numerous times for healing. I’ve been slain in the spirit, and every time I lay there wondering what the hell I was doing on the floor in the front of a church, and why the desire to fit in was overpowering my rational thought processing abilities.
To be sure, it’s a powerful experience, and I guess you could say I fell for all of it, hook, line and sinker. And I bet many others have as well. Because it’s easy to be overtaken by this undying desire to submit yourself to a higher power in front of your peers. To somehow humble yourself in front of your friends and show off how holy you are.
Because it feels good. Because it gives us a sense of community. For me, it gave me something bigger than myself to believe in. Kind of like the American professionals sports machine which runs much like a religion. But that’s for another discussion.
But what else was I going to believe? After all, this is what I had been taught to believe my entire life up to this point. My parents believed in it, so by default, I did too. I mean, what motive would my parents have to deceive me. And for all I know now, it was all just part of their efforts to instil good morals and raise me the way they knew how.
But that was back then. That was before I started asking hard questions and searching for answers on my own.
You could say that I still believe in a God (or should I say a force that I refer to as God), but it is not the God of the Bible.
I think that the God of the Bible is an egotistical tyrant. A manipulation of what some group of people thought god might be, back when kings were looking for ways to control civilizations in perpetuity.
It surely sounds like another man made creation aimed at manipulating and controlling human behavior. Like government disguised as spirituality.
A con that has been perpetrated throughout the history of man, in the form of various religions and mythologies. Every society having their own version of how we all got here and using that story to advance an agenda.
But to me, it’s pretty simple when you strip away emotion and just look at behavior. It’s simple to see how a group of men might have invented Christianity, or any religion for that matter, purely for their own selfish interest.
But so many still rely on the mythology of religion in order to justify their existence. It surprises me how many people take the word inside of that old books as literal communications from the divine being himself. As if the energy that runs our universe could actually communicate with humanity. And to be frank, it still surprises (and troubles me) when I think about how many people still cling to this romantic notion of what a God should be.
But I didn’t tell my friend to shut up, or get upset when he tried to explain what he thinks about religion. You see, my friend is pretty intelligent and I value his opinion, so why would I instantly dismiss his views on this topic?
Would that not be hypocritical of me?
Do I not claim to be open minded?
So instead we sat and had an open dialog. A calm, civilized (albeit passionate) discussion about our beliefs. And it was fun.
It was interesting to have that type of debate without having the other person shouting or getting upset. Without him judging me or telling me how I was going to burn in hell for my lack of belief.
And honestly, he made some really good points. Things that made me stop and think about my thoughts on religion. But then again, so did I…
Which got me thinking about how I would define God.
So, here goes nothing…
I think that we are god
I think that each of our minds has just enough capacity to harness a small sliver of the intelligence that is god. A glimpse of the energy that makes up the real god.
I think that god is love.
I think that the real god is an all encompassing cosmic energy that connects us all with each other and to nature. A soup of quantum bits buzzing in and out of existence at all times. Limited by human minds which are only able to make out a tiny slice of reality through the senses by which we perceive the world around us. An energy that we can feel and connect with, but not by reading some book or believing some fairy tale.
I believe that God is the same energy that makes life a possibility, the pulse that powers our soul. It’s the same energy that gives us consciousness and our ability to understand the little we do.
If you ask me, bodies are just the biological vessels which get to carry around that tiny fraction of energy in order to propagate our species. A limited gift which we so often squander.
But god does have a mission. A desire to one day aggregate his intelligence into a physical existence. The real resurrection if you will.
What I mean is, that humanity is just a natural evolution on the way to a god manifesting himself. We must exist, for we are the progress of god’s own experiment. Him trying to manifest himself. Trying to satisfy an unquenchable ego.
Humanity is but a stepping stone to god’s existence. We are the caterpillar building a cocoon to his butterfly.
The physical universe infinitely expanding into itself, and now intelligence faces the same singularity. A big bang of one and zero’s which will surely lead to new worlds and new realms. One that is even causing people to suggest that we might be living in a holographic universe ourselves. A matrix like existence created for us by some super intelligent society from the future.
And while it is a little crazy to think about, it does make you wonder what we will discover over the next few years as science and technology teach us new things about the world around us, but it will certainly bring with it a whole new understanding of how it all works. A moment that will once again fundamentally shift everything we thought we knew about anything. Including religion.
Because even if a god did not exist, man would create one. And we’re doing just that with technology and artificial intelligence. Soon there will be enough computing power to render the need for human thought obsolete and our usefulness in this universe will come to an end. Unless we find a way to evolve ourselves. Something which we are also doing at a faster than usual pace with the advent of biotech and nanotechnologies.
Think about the evolution of man over the next thousand years. Do we exist as we are now? Doubtful.
More likely, we will exist as representations of humanity. We will exist as virtual versions of ourselves. Representations of life, rendered on a graphics cards that will make CERN look like a pentium processor.
Your memories will be seamlessly integrated with that technology, the body will become obsolete, and we will replace it with genetically modified, cybernetic versions of ourselves which are considerably more efficient. Ones which do not need to be fed, won’t break down, and can not be hurt in any real way.
Immortality will become a reality, and we might even see it on our lifetime. But it may be a soulless existence. Just a fragment of your memories, living on into infinity. Your consciousness nothing more than a spinning disk, floating on a server, somewhere in outer space. Even if that space is under the influence a planet’s gravity.
And the truth is that we would probably never know the difference. Heck, who’s to say that we’re not already living in a simulation right now? Unable to ever know, that we are nothing but ants in a glass farm. And just as an ant can never understand the rotation of our sun, we will never understand the source of our existence.
Because if there there is something capable of creating the worlds we live in, then who are we to pretend like we would be able to communicate with it directly. That would be as pretentious as thinking you could control the growth of your skin cells, or stop the flow of your blood inside your body. All part of the processes that gives you life, yet none of it directly under your control.
So keep believing whatever you want, and I’ll do the same. And if by chance, we ever meet, may we both be able to articulate our arguments in a way that inspires each of us to think deep thoughts.
Because we are nothing more than an aggregation of our thoughts and experiences. And my experiences have shown me, that the people who think they have it all figured out, typically don’t know shit. Because the people who know a few things, also know how much they don’t know.
So anyone who tells you that they have unequivocally figured it out, is surely showing off their ignorance. And should promptly be ignored.
Here is an interesting video I found the other day that sums up religion pretty well.
If you liked this post, please share it with a friend. It is the best compliment you could ever give me.
This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.
Registered for your challenge earlier this year, but I didn’t work off of the prompts and ended up abandoning the specific challenge, although not the actual concept. I have blogged now for approximately 127 days straight and I am continuing on.
Your posts have been coming to my inbox for some time but there is so much to read and so much information coming in all the time, I have had to let some things go.
I found my renewed interest in Raymmar today though and decided to read this post. I love what you have said here. I, too, am post-Christian after a lifetime of living the evangelical life, although unfortunately started out in the fundy realm which will screw up anyone, especially someone who is already a conscientious, moral person.
This is a great post. My enduring question is about the Bible. Maybe I don’t know my history well enough, but this particular book seems to be pretty amazing, what with the Psalms, the instances of prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah, and just the actual detail of the writing in the Pentateuch. Who would think up such rules? Is it just maybe because I have been so heavily exposed to the Bible itself and all the stories and the lessons we get from Joseph, Noah, Elijah, Jesus?
Most of what I read about the Bible which is written by atheists or agnostics has a particular tone to it and those writers seem to love to pick out a verse or two from Leviticus and act as though that particular verse is the one that we should really all be focusing on. I learned there was law and there was grace, and the grace fulfilled the law. I learned the Bible is a cohesive whole. I never could come to resolution about the contradictions I saw in the Bible, although I tried, I tried. I’m still looking for someone who no longer believes but has some sound thinking about how the Bible came to be.
Long comment, and I know you must get a ton of replies, since you have such a large readership, but your articles today have really sparked my energy and so here I am, asking.
Those are all great questions. And honestly, I have some of the same questions myself.
Here is my stance on the bible – It is a great book. A compilation of books actually, but it was all written by man and assembled in a way that leaves a lot to be questioned.
The old testament I get, based on the writings of Abraham and it is the foundation for the three major religions of the world. I still do not think it is anything more than awesome poetry and beautiful allegory for how we might live in a perfect world but not a whole lot more. There is just not enough to substantiate the claims that are made about the formation of the universe, the great flood, etc.
As for the new testament, I always come back to one question –
Why are there no writings from Jesus himself?
Was he illiterate? Did he not write? Were they all burned? And if so, how come none of his contemporaries mention him?
Which brings me to the next point that always leaves me questioning.
How come so few people mention Jesus in their historical documentation of the time. There were a number of prominent people that lived in the same time of Jesus who documented much of their life. If the miracles the Jesus was doing were true then how come we see no reference to the great miracles he performed in any of their writing?
I am not well versed in this argument myself and is still something I like to study and research but the more I look, the more I step away from the ideas that were hammered into my brain for such a large portion of my life.
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
”Religion – Tool of the strong, refuge of the weak”
I think there should be iron shutters between religion and faith. Faith is personal. Your own believes about God, dead, the universe and all that. I believe in a higher being but the same for the whole universe. So no heaven and hell these are social constructs. Hence, when we die we are gone for good.
There is nothing worse than missionaries, because they try to convert people to their religion.
The right wing in many countries use religion to justify their inhuman worldviews. They are picking and choosing parts from the bible the parts the can use.
Other finds solace in religion hoping for a better life in the Great Beyond. Because there current life sucks.
Raymmar, I feel as though you are in my head, giving voice to the thoughts I don’t usually share with people. I wish I could sit with you for days and just talk. I crave debate in a way I never have before. But to the article.
I was raised in the church. I think I believe in God; there’s just one problem: the “but.” The “but” is kicking my butt. Forgive me if I ramble, but thoughts enter and leave my mind before I can capture them.
The idea of God being egotistical rings true to me. It’s like, “how could God have the audacity to create us just so we can worship him?” (In sharing this idea, I am convinced I have bought a one-way ticket to Hell, go to the front of the line, no waiting.) If I do believe in God, I must accept the bible as my instructions for living so that when I die, my soul will go to Heaven.
For me personally, I have two choices:
1. believe that God does exist and live my life so that I am in accordance with with
what the bible teaches and hopefully wind up in Heaven
2. believe that He doesn’t exist and live without the bible as my instructions
And this is where the “but” comes in. I could choose number two. “BUT” what if God and the bible are for real? Let’s suppose they are. For this “but” (reason) alone, I will choose number on e and live as the bible teaches. What does it hurt? I mean, I’m a good person with good morals, and I would only be giving up a few minor sins that I can do without in order to have eternal life.”BUT,” God would know that I’m just “covering my bases” and I would go to Hell for not having true faith.
And while I have so many more things to say, I will stop here. I eagerly await replies. Thanks for your thoughts.
Thank you for your reply but I think your premise is a little flawed. And as someone who grew up in the church, I understand why.
We are taught that god is to fill the voids in our life and that the bible is the guide to salvation. It then becomes very difficult to break those beliefs with something else to replace them. And without being willing to explore, and push the limits of your consciousness, or fundamental beliefs, you will not be able to push your ideas of what god may be past the teachings of the bible.
The bible is a book that is full of contradictions, a tyrannical god built by man and the belief that faith or acts are the key to understanding any of it. But this is not true. This is just a very well developed plan for how to control large parts of the public. It has been done in every society since the beginning of time and with many forms of deity in place of god.
There have been many variations of god, and christianity has just perfected the idea of it. They have hijacked all the best holidays and adopted pagan practices to make the bible easier for the masses to digest.
If you had been born in a different time, or in another part of the world, then you would believe in something else altogether. But you would still know what you know now. That there is something bigger. Something that can not be explained in a book. Or by man’s pathetic excuse for communication which we call language. Something that a god needn’t worry about.
He does not need to communicate with us because we are him. He does not need to hear us or us him because we are one.
Think of it like this.
Your body is in constant communication. Your neural network always working to make your existence possible but the process is not something you can directly control.
Sure you can tell your arm to move, but you cannot tell your hair to grow or a cut to heal. Those things just happen by the very nature of being alive. Those are the processes of life and that is the energy which I refer to as god.
This is the beng we are all a part of. This is the soup that we are all living in. We see each other because our versions of that energy have been delivered into these bodies. Biological organisms only slightly more evolved than apes and in truth, more brutal and ignorant than many species we see in nature. For what other species has ever wiped out other large portions of their own for sheer advancement or power?
Humans are like skin cells on a larger scale. Multi celled organisms that are part of a more sophisticated whole. A thing that operates under its own set of rules. Rules that we are just starting to understand. Rules that I think will one day make religion as we know it obsolete.
This does not mean that the church is inherently bad, just that their ideas are based on a flawed premise. Church and religion have built a monopoly on doing good deeds and have hijacked the idea that the bible is the rule book to being good.
There is nothing wrong with the community and good deeds that accompany most churches. I understand the desire to be a part of something like this but I will not participate at the cost of being brainwashed into believing that the bible is anything other than great poetry and really good allegory about how someone thinks the world should work.
But let me ask you this… Would you become a killer if the bible did not exist? Would you instantly be bad if you quit believing in the bible?
The bible is a book. A mechanism for communicating an ideology. Something that has been used since the beginning of modern civilization to control and drive humanity.
Because we are nothing but lemmings. Always willing to follow the shiny star. Always looking for a great story to believe in and for something bigger than ourselves to surrender to.
Always susceptible to the whims of other men. Unless we are willing to stand up and think for ourselves. To have dialogues like these in order to better understand each other. And in that understanding, we can learn. Not about about god, but about ourselves. And that is the first step. Because what separates our species is our ability to be self aware. And so few of us actually are.
And like you said, this could go on forever. So I will stop here and see where those ideas go.
A humanist God: interesting, and not far off the mark, at least not from what I was taught as a cradle Irish Cat-holic kid and still practicing adult, albeit in a fairly liberal Jesuit church. Yes, halellujah, I have been freed of my chains of guilt and stilted religious thinking into a world of Jesuit spirituality that respects the individual, the environment, the world, the universe, and still believes in the triune God. No conflict between evolution, science, etc. and theology, since they are one and the same.
I can really understand a Humanist God: he’s the one that is with me as I go through my day, as I “pray” constantly, though not formally. There is a Force that binds us all, all of Creation, together!
I like the way you think.
Thanks for your thoughts. I re-read this article today and I still agree with everything I wrote but I saw that it leaves so much of my theory out and up for speculation.
This is such a complicated topic that it is hard to imagine one person covering all their theological bases in one blog. But I am interested in defining my thought process on the matter and will continue to do so. Much like I have done with my other ideas.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Loved it but as you said yourself, lots of stuff has been left out, for more focusing your thoughts ets. read Sam Harris & his thoughts on Spirituality, fascinating yet so familiar after all, I’ve always thought that we created God to our Image & are still molding him to us, and religion is all institutions created by men to manipulate men in all kinds of ways. Many more thoughts but it’s hard for me to put it down in black & white but would love to discuss it all with you if you ever would like to, Besitos,
Rosa, I get you completely. Even this article was but a scratch on the surface of my thoughts on God. It s a tough topic to get your head around and even more to articulate for other people to try and understand.
This was my first attempt at doing just that. No doubt there will be many more. And I would love very much to do it in person. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Love ya!