Is there a God or isn’t there? Is there a God because billions of people believe in him or is there a God because no one can prove that there isn’t? Or maybe there is no God, because no one was able to prove that there is one?
Christopher is reading a book on this very subject at the moment and once in a while treats me to little excerpts. As I listen to them what comes to my mind, every time, is an excerpt from one of my favorite books: "the Master and the Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov.
It would be to long a quote, so I’ll summarize it: one hot summer evening in Moscow a poet and an editor sit on a park bench talking about Jesus. The story happens in fifties, the very middle of deep communism, which of course denied that any such "opium for the masses" as the stories about God could actually be true.
The poet just wrote a poem about Christ and the editor explains that, while the poet succeeded in painting Christ as an exceptionally untrustworthy scoundrel, he still gave the impression that Christ actually existed. Now that, of course, is absolutely unacceptable, proves the editor. He brings plenty of examples, being a highly educated man, of other religions, myths and cultures that had the same stories about the Son of God – all of which turned out to be nothing more than fairy tales.
While the editor proves the point of Christ’s nonexistence a Devil happens to come by, disguised as a foreign professor. He joins the poet and the editor on the bench, asks the editor to continue and listens with great interest to the rest of the argument, in which the editor proves conclusively that there is and there never was any such thing as Christ, God or Devil.
The scene ends with the Devil saying:
""Bear in mind that Jesus did exist." "You see, Professor," Berlioz responded with a forced smile, "we respect your great learning, but on this question we hold a different point of view." "There’s no need for any points of view," the strange professor replied, "he simply existed, that’s all.""
But of course there is no proof. But why do we need a proof? And if we don’t – do we have any other options besides belief?
It seems to me that there are two general ways of dealing with the God problem: we can either believe in him or not.
If we do believe in God then we don’t need any proofs, we find someone who tells us that there is God and we take his word for it. If we don’t take anyone’s word for it then there is no God. If we don’t believe in him, then he doesn’t exist.
As I thought about this yesterday I realized that I have a third alternative to offer. An alternative that does not require a middle man, does not require a belief and does not require proofs or logical explanations.
An experience. A simple experience of God. A direct, undeniable experience of being God.
Do I need to believe that I had an experience? I just had it, believing or not will not change anything. Do I have to prove that I had an experience? I just had it. That’s a proof. Do I need to explain the experience to myself? I may if I wish to, I can call the experience whatever I want, but will that influence the experience itself? Will it change it?
I experience what I experience, simple as that. If I experience God – then I experience God. There is nothing more to it.
Of course there is plenty more to it from mind’s point of view: the mind will need to explain, contain, integrate, classify. The mind might think that it found the ultimate truth, the only truth, the one truth, the right answer. The mind will naturally separate the experience from other experiences, it will then start explaining it, protecting it, defending it. The mind will try to make other minds "see the truth". It will write books (and blogs) telling everyone about this "Truth". It will form organizations around it. It will hold long discussions with other minds who don’t agree, or don’t believe.
But before mind gets to do all that … there is an experience.
Not knowing – experiencing.
Not believing – experiencing.
Not understanding – experiencing.