A few years ago, I stopped believing in the big man in the sky, but not for the reasons you might think.
Growing up, I was never a hardcore christian, and by the time I was 14, I’d switched to Buddhism and then from there on to just spiritual. Even so, there was always a comfort believing in a higher power.
I believed there was something more, and at times I’d think of him as a being. If things got hard for me or my friends, I’d pray to him, and in my head I talked to him like one would talk to a powerful king.
One day though, I experienced something that would change my life forever. I entered cognitive realms that cannot be fathomed in day to day life, in a state only attainable by deep meditation, trauma, or psychedelics. Many refer to these as “religious experiences.”
Regardless, I entered into one of these states where all conception of reality is washed away, the ego dissolves, and all your are left with is the part of you that continues to exist when everything else strips away. To my measure, this is the indescribable part of you that will continue on when you die, and I glimpsed it.
One of the first thoughts that hit me, with all the realization and surety one could possibly experience, was that god doesn’t exist.
I don’t mean that I stopped believing in a higher power, but instead that I realized fundamental truths that eroded my belief in a god in a matter of seconds. The winds of truth turned my mountain of wonder into sands of knowledge.
That said, I don’t know if god exists, and that’s not really what I realized.
Instead, I realized that the reasons I cared whether god exists were deeply unimportant to begin with, and that the hope for a god was born purely of my fear of losing my self (read ego) and no longer existing after death.
Actually, the very reason I realized all this is because during this other-worldly experience, I forgot who I was. When I remembered again, I realized that forgetting who I was did not agonize me. It was ok, and therefore it will be ok when I forget who I am when I die too (though the process might suck.)
This is getting long-winded, but here is my new view of things.
The reason I don’t believe in a god that exists outside of our realm, is because I do not believe that we could continue into that new place as we are. There are experiences you can have in the living world, such as brain defects, psychedelic experiences, trauma, etc. that fundamentally change what you are,
How could we possibly expect that we die, and wake up in heaven as the same beings we are now when it is so possible to be changed before we die?
Next, even if it’s true, if we are the same beings, then heaven itself is just a continuation of reality. What I’m getting at is that, in our human-ness, if we go into heaven as we are, then hell shall follow.
A depressed man will get no refuge from heaven, for his depression is a part of him. Sure we can say that in heaven, you are relieved of such ailments, but at some level, we cannot be what we are without ailments.
If we were stripped of all our ailments, we would become something fundamentally different, and the same as each other.
We would be what we are without the ego, and this is where things get important. When I briefly lost my ego, I realized that the thing that I was without ego was not confined to my body alone, but occupied the bodies of all mankind, and further, all living things.
This is where things get fun. My new philosophy on life is that god is not a being who exists, watching over us, but that we are ourselves god, experiencing his creation.
You are god.
You are all knowing, you are all powerful, you’ve created everything that could exist. What you are transcends time, space, and matter. Now, as god, it is in your power to imagine having something that could oppose you.
You face this opposer, but wait, you remember, you are god. You are all that is, and therefore, there can not be opposition, for your opposition is in and of itself a part of you. It is an extension of you, and you, being god, cannot have a true opposer or opposite.
So, lets take it a step further. Perhaps you as god want to experience something, but the dilemma with the opposer has shown you that this will be difficult. You are already all knowing. You are all that is. You are experience itself and you’ve had them all.
So to experience something, you have to do something simple: You have to forget you are god.
What are we? We are god, imagining himself as beings that are not god. We are yahweh, imagining life as something other than himself. We are the thoughts of god. God is us, for we are him.
And here comes something fun: Your ego is the part of you that believes itself to be unique, and different, and not god. It is a tool necessary for your survival, for if we dissolved it completely, we’d no longer need anything: including life itself. So you cannot fully dissolve your ego, but you must realize that you are simultaneously walking through life as a totally unique thing that will never exist again,
As well as the creator of all, connected to all, the same as all, and totally and irrefutably experiencing everything you experience because you (god) wants to experience it.
Everything in your life is happening because that part of you that is god, wants it to happen. Your ego may pretend otherwise, but it is all your choice.
Now, I’ll admit, I have no more proof for this than anything, but I’ve found this philosophy to just make sense in a way that has helped me in life. By realizing that we are god, it has allowed me to better let go of worries about things like death.
Further, I am kinder to my fellow man, for he/she is also an extension of me. Essentially, they are me because I am god and so are they. We just don’t remember at the moment, but when we die, our light will combine again and we will laugh that when we met in our lives, we were so clueless that we were merely the same.
Finally, I believe that it is our duty and goal in life to create joy, and perform good. Reality would not exist without beings to imagine it (because if nothing could imagine it, it would have no worth) and therefore, we add meaning to reality. I believe that we create more light, expand the part of ourselves that is god, and essentially do “right” by endeavoring to be good to each other, the world, and in life.
We are a universal being, in that our multitudes and complexity is endless in it’s scope and power. We must wrestle with the worlds inside ourselves while grappling with the worlds outside. I think we honor god (aka us) by striving constantly to do better.