Words for atheist spirituality

I use spiritual practices as part of my good life. Through sitting in silence I bring the unconscious to consciousness, and improve my mental health. I am materialist. I believe humans evolved by natural selection in a Godless universe, and that “spirituality” is a misleading word. It implies that there is something beyond the human animal, a holy spirit, spiritual beings such as angels, demons and a God, when I believe there is none. Our afterlife is in the memories of those who knew us and in the effect we have on people’s lives, not in some other dimension of spirit.

I am not merely a humanist, as humanism does not require those spiritual practices. Possibly humanists would be more drawn to them if they did not associate them with religious beliefs.

Biblical Greek and Hebrew words for spirit- pneuma, ruach- relate to breath. A humanist might accept that “breath work” has value. We sit in silence, paying attention to our breath. We might count breaths. Being aware of breath, I begin to be aware of the unconscious processes of my body. I am more in my senses, aware of what is going on around me now. I draw my attention away from what Buddhists call the “Monkey-mind”, ruminating on old hurts and fantasies. We talk of “awareness”.

Quakers talk of “silent waiting”. Not waiting on the Spirit of the Creator, I wait on my unconscious. Growing up, I learned that aspects of my personality were not OK, and I suppressed them below consciousness. This happens in the most sane, loving families. Now, as I take time to collect myself in silence, the fear and judgment which made me suppress them fall away, and they become conscious again. Nonreligious wisdom teachers talk of “shadow work”, and other practices are available.

I hesitate to use the word “collective unconscious” as I do not know what Jung intended to convey with it, and we have a vast amount of knowledge, some of it innate, about what it means to be human in community. We do not keep it in the front of our minds but recall it when necessary. If I minister, I am bringing unconscious skills of observation and this knowledge to consciousness, to verbalise something which is for the whole meeting. Our practice is that ministry is spoken in love to build us up and bring us together.

Much Quaker language works for a materialist. Meetings can be gathered. This comes from “When two or three are gathered together I am with them,” but that does not mean that some spirit related to a man who lived two thousand years ago floats, half seen. Rather, the Christ-consciousness which was in Jesus is in us.

Wider spiritual language works too. I seek mindfulness. I am in the moment, practising so that I grow more aware of what my senses perceive is around me. I seek nonduality. The duality which is less than the best possible for me is not between mind and spirit but between consciousness and unconsciousness. I have not attained the perfect free flow of thought between conscious and unconscious. I retain blocks and introjects inhibiting it. Slowly, gently, I salve those blocks away.

While others have those blocks, one might do this work on consciousness in order to gain power to manipulate or control them. So at the centre of all true religion we enthrone Love, to build up. We will not quench a smouldering wick or break a bruised reed.

I still do not have one all-encompassing word for these things to replace “spirituality”. “Mysticism” might do. I chase the mystery at the heart of humanity and of each human, which can be known to us, so that we know and are fully known. But mysticism is replete with negative connotations, for many meaning folderol unrelated to real life.

I do not want to talk of spirituality. I am a materialist. I do not believe in spirit. All of this is consciousness work. I seek the liberation of human consciousness, in Love.

Loving the Bible, as an atheist

I joined a Woodbrooke project, “Finding the Spirit in the Scriptures”. This is what I wanted to say:

First I should say, as an atheist, what is the God I do not believe in: I do not believe in “God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth”. I believe in that of God in everyone, indeed in all of life- apes, fish, bacteria.

I do not believe in panentheism, God in things, but I know that people are taught in my culture to treat things, and even people, instrumentally- pick them up, use them, put them down, forget them. We deal only in surfaces. I know if you look at things through the eyes of Love, you see them more clearly: the thing in itself, its aesthetic and design beauty, its complexity, its value. You see the deep reality of the world below its surfaces, see the world in a grain of sand, and believing in God in things is a way into this experience.

I was baptised Scottish Episcopalian, taken to church throughout my childhood, and continued worshipping all my life. In 2001 I committed to Quakers and continued worshipping regularly. In 2009 I realised I no longer believed in God. It was a struggle. My partner took a robust line against nontheists- “Why should an atheist want to join a religious society?” A Friend answered that beautifully: “The question is not why we join, but why we stay”. But convincing H of that was a different matter.

In February 2010 I admitted to myself I did not believe in God. I did the Hoffman process, a personal growth workshop designed to split someone open and give them access to the inspiration of their subconscious, and, duly broken open, entered a church as a tourist: and was brought to my knees by the holiness of the place.

Mark: How has your relationship to the Bible changed over your life?

When I was 12 I got a Gideon New Testament with a reading scheme, read the New Testament in a year, in the front. So I did, several times. At University, I started reading the Daily Study Bible by William Barclay, and later read the Old Testament DSB. I also read the NT volumes of the Bible Speaks Today. I also read the Bible through, Jewish Bible and NT, in the Good News Bible and New International Version, and much of the New Revised Standard Version.

It was the moral underpinning of my homophobia. In Romans 1 Paul lists various horrible sins, including “men committed shameful acts with other men”, and, hating myself, desperate to “make a man” of myself and wanting to enforce this restrictive morality on the World, I used it to drive a couple from my church. I am ashamed of that. I would not do it now. Now, I would seek to prevent such a violation.

But it gives me some sympathy for others. The Methodist Church in England agreed to celebrate same sex marriages, and a Christian website covered this as if it was a bad thing. It claimed “traditionalists” feared being driven out of their churches- rather than calling them homophobes opposing the Church’s decision. I sympathise. I thought being a Christian made me a good person, because I believed in God and tried to do the right thing, and it was a shock to hear people thought it meant I had ridiculous beliefs and harmful, wrong views about morality.

I started by believing the anti-gay passages, then arguing with them, seeking out alternative interpretations of the Greek arsenokoitai and malakoi, and finally ignoring them. I feel quite entitled to reject bits of the Bible, including Deuteronomy 22:5.

However, even when I hate a verse, I seek out what good I may find in it. I dislike Nehemiah. The Jews have returned from exile in Babylon, and decide to live with their own ideas, without any tincture from foreigners. Nehemiah 13: 30 Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign. I find this horrible. But- if they had not, the people would have been subsumed in the Persian then the Macedonian empires, and their distinctiveness would have been lost, as the Northern kingdom was subsumed in the Assyrian empire. So we would not be Christian. From that decision both great suffering and great blessing flow.

Mark: The Bible is a conversation we can join in. Some say the book of Jonah, where the King and people of Nineveh repent, is a direct answer to Nehemiah and the drive for purity. It says the Assyrians are God’s children.

Yes. Consider: Psalm 37:25: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.

Ecclesiastes 7:15: In my vain life I have seen everything: there are righteous people who perish in their righteousness, and there are wicked people who prolong their life in their evildoing.

Both these verses are in three parts, with close parallels, and it seems to me Ecclesiastes is directly answering the Psalm.

The Bible is terribly misogynistic. Mary Magdalene goes to the grave on the first day of the week, and has a great realisation: “He is not here”. Jesus is in our hearts, in our memories, in how he has changed our lives. He will always be with us. But, how could a weak, irrational and emotional woman come to such a realisation? A man told her. Mark 16:5, “a young man, dressed in a white robe,” whom she does not recognise but who knows her and knows all about it. Luke 24:4, “Two men in dazzling clothes”. Matthew 28:2 uses male pronouns of “an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven”.

Or Mary, Jesus’ mother. Luke tells us the archangel Gabriel appeared to her. For me, this woman, barely more than a girl, realises she is pregnant. Not being married, this is terrifying. Her sublime, noble reaction is, “All generations shall call me blessed”. And we do. She got it, all by herself. No angel required.

In the past year I have read John, and loved it. John 17:22: “The glory that you have given me I have given them”, ie to us, and all Christians. We can be in God as Christ is in God. That of God in me is all my power, all my beauty, and I can live from it all the time. I find this tremendously exciting and spiritually convincing, and have shared it excitedly with anyone who will listen. This is the truth of the Bible, speaking to me.

And I have read about half of Isaiah, dutifully reading the Oxford Bible Commentary paragraphs on each short section; and got fed up with it. This perhaps revolted me the most:

Isaiah 3: 16 The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet;
the Lord will afflict with scabs
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

At best, this is the prophet seeing the parlous state of Jerusalem, fearing for its inhabitants, knowing that rape is a weapon of war. But I can’t help seeing it differently, as the old man seeing young women glorying in being young women. He gets turned on but, knowing they are not sexually available to him, curses them, and gets self-righteous about it.

I want the experience of John, the new insight about the spiritual life that makes sense and speaks to me immediately and delights and inspires me and brings me on. I want to avoid the sense of revulsion I feel at that Isaiah passage. I will go back to the Bible. Perhaps Mark next, or Romans, probably without a commentary at least to start with. I don’t know. Perhaps I cannot find the glory without also seeing the darkness. All human life is here.

I am left with my favourite bits. When I was recovering from my self-hatred, Genesis 1:31 meant a lot to me: “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” That included me. Similarly psalm 139:12-13:

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

In Psalm 137 the Jews are taken off to Babylon as slaves, and feel the rage of the oppressed. They imagine smashing the heads of their oppressors’ babies. Accepting my true self made me aware of huge anger in me, and this psalm reassured me: if such rage was here, it was acceptable to God, and so might my own anger be. And so might I be.

I love the story of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25. Abigail meets David, who is living as a bandit chieftain in the borderlands of the Philistines. “About ten days later the Lord struck Nabal [her husband], and he died.” Abigail then marries David. It makes a mockery of the American Evangelical concept of “Biblical Womanhood”. And I am always reacting with or against thousands of years of reactions and interpretations of these stories.

My favourite Jesus quote is in Revelation 21:5: Behold, I have made all things new.

I love the desperate angry prayer of Job. He knows he is righteous, and demands of God how dare he treat him this way? 31:35-37:

O that I had one to hear me!
(Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
O that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
I would bind it on me like a crown;
I would give him an account of all my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.

I have prayed in desperation, “Oh God! What are you playing at!?

God states his glory- “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job repents in dust and ashes. But, being a shrewd, active man, he stops contemplating the injustice of the world and the incomprehensibility of God, and gets on with what he does best. That is how he becomes wealthy again, blessed with sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, and also sons and daughters.

I have had my life changed, and I feel Jesus’ metaphor of being born again is appropriate: it really seems as painful as passing through a birth canal, and as weird as opening my eyes for the first time.

I want new favourite bits, more bits to love. What verses do you love in the Bible?

God, Spirituality, Atheism

Much as I would love either to confirm or deny that God exists, I cannot. I want a winsome Quakerism reaching out to theists and non-theists, and solidarity with both, saying “Look, how beautiful what we have is!” I want to know, express and affirm The Truth. These split me between affirming and denying God.

It seemed to me that I talked of God purely because of my history. I was brought up Episcopalian, so had a child’s belief in God, and a communitarian habit: I went to church because that was what my family and friends did. I recited the creed and sang hymns in a crowd, all together. I was ashamed when I did not speak up against expressed atheism, and sometimes I did. When my partner strongly asserted that Quakers should be Christian, and a Friend in my Meeting said she was non-theist, I felt a long, slow withdrawal of belief over about six months: against my own interests and inclination, I no longer believe in God. Then, the day after the Hoffman Process, when one is open and off-balance, I went into a church and felt forced to my knees by the holiness of the place.

I thought, it is a separation between my rational and emotional selves. Rationally, I assent to Professor Brian Cox’s idea: if “spirit” affected baryonic matter, it would have been detected by CERN. (A wicked and corrupt generation has asked for a sign- we cannot demand proofs of God). Emotionally, I am a primate, an animal in a social species, incapable of independence and needing relationship. But my “rational self” is emotional, and my “emotional self” is rational. And, can I use the word “God” if I wish to be truthful, not deluding Theists into imagining I believed what they believed?

So I wondered, was it a maturing understanding of God? From a literal belief in a God like that of the Sistine Chapel, in his pink shirt, I had a young-adult assertion of an idea of God, outside the Universe and its creator. “Before the Big Bang God lit the blue touchpaper, and advanced”, I wrote. God with us. Utterly distressed by life, I prayed “What the Fuck are you playing at?” So God meant different things at different times, in theology of knowing, positive assertions about God and unknowing, negative ones; in the prayer for a parking space when I was late and the wordless being together in worship.

Opposites: God the Creator and Sustainer of the World, dying on a cross.

God is, and God is not.

I want to make sense, to have a coherent understanding of Reality, and I cannot. And I want to communicate in words. There is the silent being with another, where we might share our Humanity, and that is only Now. So I want control, and safety, and attain it through understanding with words. In words, we may agree, saying the Creed together as we do each week, or coming to a joint understanding which I know we both hold and will hold. So I know I will be safe.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast brought forth praise.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.

Or, should I simply assert atheism? If I believe Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell, there is no more a God than a teapot orbiting Jupiter. When I use words in a rational orderly way- rather than in poetry or paradox- I am defenceless against them.

And I wonder if using the word God is cowardice (as I am always quick to judge my motives): I seek to blend in, not cause offence. I believe in God, I say, to groups where that will be winsome, and anyway I am not lying as the words have so many different meanings- even “belief” may mean trust or faith or relationship rather than an Enlightenment concept of a quasi-scientific theory. Perhaps it is just that I am hopelessly eirenic, wanting to smooth away conflict with everyone even when they are irreconcilable, like Bunyan’s Pliable.

Or I could take refuge in “Spirituality”: a series of activities, such as meditation, aware presence, Meeting for Worship including Meeting for Church Affairs, which more or less work. One may believe in the practice without believing in the theory, and we multiply words, the inner light, that of God, and for me as atheist the Unconscious.

Richard Rohr says complete wholeness is “the coincidence of opposites”. God is, and God is not. I decided I was opposites around the time of transition, male and female, but also Scots and English, loving countryside and conurbation, rational at home in statutory interpretation and relational with clients. Still I want certainty, and use words as a crutch, to weave a web of understanding around an uncertain world.

Sitting wordlessly in relationship with a God I cannot understand or manipulate, knowing I will die repeatedly as I have already died, can I cast away that crutch?

Two truths

Can two truths coexist?

Many Christians would say no. No-one can come to the Father except through me. Many atheists would say no, too, because the concept of God is as unlikely as that of a teapot orbiting Jupiter. To me, though, it is possible for someone to be atheist for good reason, and another to be religious for good reason, and for the good reasons of one not to apply to the other. That I do not choose your atheism does not mean that I do not respect it. Christians should know that I know in part; your part may seem inconsistent, because we do not see the whole. And I am irked enough by atheist Quakers saying “When you are as spiritually mature as me you will be non-theist too” to not say something similar.

It is like Athenian v Spartan, Apollo v Dionysus, Enlightenment v Romanticism, the language of a scientific paper v lyric and metaphor. We think differently. That is our strength. Coming to respect and appreciate the other’s way of thinking and expressing thought enriches both.

Or, her experience of Christianity is oppressive, and in liberating herself she has left it, but in mine I have felt the oppression but have also found liberation, so have stayed. For me the liberation is real.

Here is a dispute. I could go through it, showing at every point how I was right- it is tempting. Violet II asked Violet I why she referred us to lessons on communication. Well, if Violet II had taken an atheist stance and I had said the physical evidence of Noah’s Flood is overwhelming and “scientists” who deny it are entrapped by Satan, we would be unlikely to come to concord, or even courteous, respectful disagreement; but here we started with friendly intent, and it would be sad to lose that through misunderstanding.

Though I still assert that being able to respect a way of thought which is not my own is essential to such friendly dialogue.

Violet I referred us to this post on respectful communication. Oh God, not Elevatorgate again? [He was an Asshole! Picking her up in the LIFT? WT-


What it misses out is that we can both be right. Scientific consensus moves on when one expert in a narrow field produces an explanation of evidence which convinces the others. This does not apply to internet debate, where we dialogue through comment boxes rather than peer-reviewed journal articles.

Elevatorgate might be a good illustration, though. It is not strictly a dispute between all men and all women, but between high and low sex drives, or beliefs about casual sex. In the Tube, I saw an advert for holidays in Las Vegas: Come to a place where your accent is an aphrodisiac. Or- Las Vegas! You know about the drink and gambling, but have you heard of the no-strings casual sex!!? I was disgusted, but not everyone will be. Onywye. Elevatorgate.

-He meant well.
-She was repulsed.

He did not force himself on her, but made a proposal. There are arguments why he should not have done so, but feminist objections to slut-shaming make them more difficult to put consistently as absolute objections.

How would I put this as a seventh rule for pretentious ape?

Accept that the other’s contrary belief does not threaten your own. I do not have to convince thetruthisstrangerthanfiction that Noah’s Flood is just a story, to be certain of that myself. That is not quite it:

Accept that a belief you do not share may have value. At least sometimes. Try to find that value??

Or something. You may have better words for it, so do comment.

Guercino, Hersilia Separating Romulus and Tatius

Winsome Christians

We are commanded to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. Fortunately, we have been given an idea how to do this: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.

And, love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Hear also what St Paul says: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

In blogworld, where nothing matters, and people can get happily steamed up, sometimes Christians frequent atheist blogs. I like Violetwisp’s blog: she creates a space where Christians and atheists may join in dialogue. Here she explains that atheism is not a belief system. Arguably it is: if you should not believe something unless you can prove it, then I have no reason to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit in my head. Not trusting that voice because of my understanding of the world requires as much a belief system as trusting it. I take a great deal on trust without proof. A good example was on The Musketeers, a silly BBC drama set in the 17th century: the surgeon boiled his instruments and found that his patients were less likely to suffer disease. Having no idea about microbes, he thought this the blessing of God. He trusted his observation without proof: the rationalist might say to him, erroneously in this case, that post hoc ergo propter hoc is a fallacy.

But telling atheists that ALL atheist arguments are based in ignorance, bigotry, logical fallacy, elitism and 100% faith in the absurd notion that everything just happened all by itself will just rile them. They believe that the universe follows rules which may be discerned, but should not be postulated without evidence.

Fortunately there is an alternative to win souls for Christ. Follow the commandments of Jesus and Paul quoted above. Then those in your immediate circle will see the light of the Holy Spirit in your countenance, words and deeds, and be won over by its beauty. The heart of our religion is the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But in argument on blogs, the atheists are unlikely to be persuaded.

Thomas Eakins, The Wrestlers

Atheist Quakers

The ladder of divine ascent, detailBenjamin Wood, with copious Biblical quotation, argues Theists should accept atheists into the Religious Society of Friends.

From an atheist perspective, I might argue that Quakers being religious at all is a historical accident. The Quaker practice and process works. It is a matter of individual experience: “This I knew experimentally”, (sometimes modernised to “experientially”); “What canst thou say?” It was found by religious people, who used religious language to explain it; and religious beliefs sustain it, because it requires reverence to work- but that reverence can be for The All, or for humanity and human flourishing, rather than “God”. Other language can explain it, though uncertainty has value as we grow in understanding by leaving behind old words- in fact this is the Christian idea of kerygma, teaching, leading to dogma, understanding, showing that religious language can describe generalisable human ideas. Faith and reverence, or trust and respect: the former words feel stronger to me, still being religious, but the latter may serve.

From a strongly theist perspective, I distrusted non-theists until a Friend said “It is not a question of why people like that would want to join Quakers, but why they would stay”. Yes. I wanted her to stay. I got irritated when they pretended to Spiritual Maturity- when you are as wise as I am, you will be non-theist too- but rubbed along.

Wood considers Pentecost. The author of Luke-Acts- “Luke” is as good a name as any- writes of the increasing community of faith, with Jews but also the Magi and the faithful centurion, and at Pentecost “Parthians, Medes and Elamites” hear God in their own language. Quakers extended this: George Fox said “Christ has enlightened every man…he hath enlightened the Turks, Jews and Moors”. Therefore for Wood, the Holy Spirit of God speaks through non-theist Friends. This idea is in the Old Testament too. God’s teaching cannot be obstructed by the absence of the Bible. We theists have to be receptive to it, and our Reverence helps our receptivity. We seek to be “Open to new light” from wherever it may come.

Wood says non-theism can save us from idolatry and fundamentalism. The uncritical worship of ideas or created things rather than reality leads to the sacrifice of Iphegenia and of gay people who are subjected to worthless traditional rules. So the non-theist leads us to God, the Ground of Being Who cannot be contained in our words. Our Christianity is not a doctrine but a way of life. At absolute worst, the non-theist is wrong in an interesting way, helping us see more clearly because s/he challenges us.

We grow together in conversation, in encountering other human beings as themselves not in the labels “theist”/”non-theist”. When I see a person not a label I can see the Spirit and Light in her. And my words and concepts must inform my way of life, authentically, or they are worthless.

Was Hitler Christian?

And- does the answer depend on whether you are, or not?

As a Christian, I like to think Christianity makes people better. There are those lines about loving your neighbour, as well as the more difficult verses like Deuteronomy 20:17. Completely destroy them – the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – as the Lord your God has commanded you. And there are answers to the difficult verses, such as the theory that Deuteronomy was written during the Babylonian exile, and the verse reflects theology then, rather than a command to Moses.

Is someone who is bad is, therefore, not a Christian? No, because that contradicts a strong thread in Christianity: No-one is good except God alone, we are sinners in need of salvation. Hitler instituted the Holocaust, and other Christians sin. We cannot achieve salvation by our own merits, or be Good by ourselves, but we can cast ourselves on the mercy of God, and be forgiven. Recognising that we can screw up completely, and how utterly bad that is, and yet giving ourselves unlimited further chances, fits how the World is, and is one of the great psychological benefits of Christianity; though there is a strain which considers that once you are baptised, you have the Holy Spirit in you and should therefore sin no more, and that the absolution gained from Christ’s sacrifice is only for sin before you accept Christ. That is perhaps why Constantine did not get baptised until his death bed.

Can I argue that Christians do not do something so vile? No, because Christians made the Crusades, killing people against Jesus’ express command, Mt 26:52:  ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’

I am driven to argue that Hitler was not Christian because of his rejection of the Old Testament as “Jewish rubbish”. Marcion of Sinope in the second century argued that Yahweh in the Old Testament was a different God from the Father of the New, so rejected the Old Testament. Marcion was excommunicated by the Church Fathers. Christianity is very wide, and has many different strains which conflict- the filioque clause split the church in two- but acceptance of the OT is an absolute requirement.

The only research I have done is the Wikipedia article, but it seems arguable that Hitler sought to pervert and control the church, rather than follow it. He was untruthful: his statements of belief or unbelief cannot be taken literally.

Did atheists kill more people than Christians in the 20th Century? So what if they did? That Stalin was an atheist reflects no more badly on other atheists than that Hitler was a vegetarian. But for Christianity, it is different. I like to think that Christianity makes you a better person, and bad Christians make that a more difficult argument. The Westboro Baptists are faced with the text Love thy Neighbour. Who is my neighbour? Everyone. Does that do them any good?

Inspired by Violetwisp.


I don’t know what I believe in, but I believe in it.

Or, as a friend put it, the fundamental paradox is, There is no God. God exists.

I fought atheism for months, and then about a week after I admitted I was atheist, I went into a church and was brought to my knees by the Holiness of it. Of course it makes no sense, there are synchronicities, but there are unpleasant coincidences as well, and what about all the suffering in the World? Er, dunno.

As I seek to follow my Calling, I do not know whether God is just in the minds and hearts of humanity, or is in everything- the leaf, the rock, the skyscraper- or is Transcendent, whatever that may mean.

When I know I know nothing
God is what I do not know