but then, I wonder
even if there isn't a God. I firmly believe that there is no God
, pin down what you're feeling right now
. What was your reaction to those words, 'there is no God
'? Do you pity me (I know a lot of people do)? Do you think I'm blind and foolish (again, a lot of people do)?
Don't condescend to me. My life is not poverty, empty mechanical existence. Just because you feel sublimity when you contemplate God does not mean that I cannot feel it in my Godless existence. Let me tell you what it's like to believe in almost nothing, because I've seen some things on this site that make me think not many of you know.
Life is amazing. Find the nearest human being and stare at their head. Inside, things are going on. You think most men lead lives of quiet desperation, think again. I don't believe in God, I don't know if I believe in morality. Either way, I know that any belief I could have would suffer from a 'yes' in answer to this question:
Would you believe it if it weren't true?
The fact that you believe something doesn't matter to what is. Even if there is a truth out there, we're all lost and searching. Even if you find it, there's nothing to guarantee that you're right. We're all denied answers by the nature of our awareness. We never perceive reality.
So, anyway, what are we left with, after all the insanity brought on by seriously doubting everything you think has stabilised?
6 billion consciousnesses. More things going on than you can possibly imagine. I sometimes remember that there are infinite sides to every story. Those people you lie awake at night thinking about? They have no idea that's what you're doing, so think - you don't know who's thinking of you. I think nobody's significantly wiser than anyone else, but can't decide if that is significant, as far as wisdom goes. You're left with experiences. I have wonderful experiences, literally full of wonder. Wonder that there's so much stuff, and so many people all living and acting, interacting, and searching. Sublime experiences. Some people put God behind those, some put chemical interactions in the brain. I don't know, and a lot of the time I don't care.
So next time you happen to be a trendy new-ager, spiritual as all fuck and looking sympathetically at little old atheist-bordering-on-nihilist me, keep in mind that your idea of what it's like to not believe in God is severely lacking in, well, accuracy. I probably feel a lot like you do.
The religious traditions of our planet tend to exalt a spiritual plane above the physical. In Christianity, the physical is openly reviled and denigrated. In Buddhism, it's an illusion from which you must eventually awaken. Me, I love the physical world. It makes about as much sense as anything, I guess, it's crazy and it hurts like it. Pitying me because it's all I believe in is a hangover from the days when I'd be burned for expressing this. So, please don't do it. If you believe in God and we ever meet, maybe you'd like to go for a wander with me and look around at His creation, I enjoy it as much as you do.
All my thoughts about the senseless violence and evil of life have been edited out, but they're lurking in there.
What if no one's watching?