The atheist entered and started looking at the decoration: Images of saints and Jesus crucified in a cross. The atheist was surprised by the atmosphere of peace that he felt in that wide room.
All of the sudden, he saw a white light which almost blinded him but increased his peace and made him feel a special bliss that he has never felt before.
The atheist was surprised after the experience and told his friend about it.
His friend said: “That is God showing you that he exists.” The priest knew about that experience of the atheist and congratulated him profusely. It was a miracle.
The atheist had experienced God by popular interpretation, therefore; he decided to convert himself into a Christian and from that point on, he strongly believed in God and followed his Godly book; the Bible.
The priest used this singular story to support his beliefs and the beliefs of those who believed in him. 🙂
The above story may have happened to many of us. Through an extraordinary experience, we thought that God has “chosen us.” After all, not too many folks experience that type of experience.
“I am special,” we thought.
Notice how the interpretation of an experience resulted in the change of consciousness of the atheist.
That which he denied, all of the sudden was completely embraced to the same extreme as his denial.
That is the story of St. Paul as well as the story of many “believers.”
What could have happened if that “special” experience was felt in a Muslim mosque? Or what about a Hindu temple?
Obviously, “God” automatically would have acquired those colors.
What is important to observe is not that the atheist have found God.
Observe how his consciousness has changed into the opposite side.
Observe how an interpretation has validated his beliefs.
Observe how general acceptance has determined that new “reality.”
Eventually, that “experience” becomes the hook into becoming a believer.
The label of “atheist” will change into “theist.”
That change is very superficial. The former atheist may follow rituals, he may confess his sins and pray to God all he wants, but his consciousness will be stuck in that new location, for a dogma will be created in his mind.
He found the “One.” The “One” who was denied.
Nevertheless, that may be the starting point in his “spiritual career.”
Unless this person allows for his consciousness to be open to further experiences, he will not be able to change anymore.
In his mind, he has found security and support from a group. He has “arrived.”
However, in his heart there will be the longing of needing something else.
Why? Is finding God or a belief in God not enough?
No… unless he wants to believe it is.
Once the belief is confronted and discovered, he may move into the next step.
What is it?
He will need to find himself.
To find the “One” is not enough until we become “One.”
That “knowing” is not theory. It is not something to recite and to “tell others.”
Being (labeling) an “atheist” or a “theist” is of no consequence unless we believe that to be the case. Lost into that duality, we could get “busy” by “doing things” such as proselytizing, supporting the faith, doing all rituals, etc. or going against it in a “hate” campaign. More duality…Same consciousness.
When those 2 words are forgotten, then we could be away from labels and perhaps discover that we are not those labels that we used to believe we were…
At that point, the search truly starts…
The “special” experience is meant to be enjoyed. It is the point for a change. It is not meant to be interpreted.
Intellectual understanding of life, is only meant to ask intellectual questions about it.
There cannot be “truth” in any answer as there cannot be falsehood. There can only be beliefs… and as we can appreciate there are many of those.
We cannot explain about ourselves by separating from life. We cannot chase our own tails thinking that “the tail” is different from “me.” That is just a thought, a belief when the reality shows that the tail is always there with “me.” Do we see that?
We separate from life itself and then we ask:
who am “i”?
what is the purpose of life? (Life being something different from “I,” of course.)
Where do I go when I die? (Question full of “I.”)
Those questions are a great starting point of philosophical musings and theories.
Then someone says: “Here are the true answers.”
Q: Why do I need to believe them?
Because they come from this great authority. End of report.
OK. I will believe.
Is it going to help that I “know” to be a spirit or a soul or whatever word I want to use?
Not a bit. When a loved one “dies,” how do we react even though we know so much intellectual information, so many beliefs?
We mostly behave just like anyone who does not “know” anything…. but our “knowledge” could allow us to “save face” to look “detached,” to look “cool.”
That lack of honesty has consequences in our own health.
Do we believe in Paradise? Do we believe that we will go to Heaven just because we have joined a religion or because we believe in someone?
Then we shouldn’t be afraid of death, of destruction, of Armageddon, etc.
That is not the case. We want to protect this “I” as much as possible AND get the other piece of the pie in the “after life.” That is a greedy “I” indeed!
Ananda shares that the very “I” that we want to protect is the one that we need to realize. All the answers will come at that point little by little; and those answers are non intellectual, they cannot be put into a religion or a dogma.
That is when to “connect to the source” to become a better “I” in the afterlife is completely unnecessary, because we realize that there is no separation in between.
Again, there is no separation in between.
Who makes that separation?
The consciousness of that “I.”
Want to be a detached observer?
May not be about being detached from “others” or the “world.” It is about being detached from that “I.”
Who am I?
I am not the “I.” 🙂
Does God exist?
The believer says “yes.” The atheist says “no.”
The thinker says: “Define what do you mean by God?”
That conceptual definition automatically makes God. Then the job of the non-believer is to deny that existence.
What is the origin of that duality?
“I exist and therefore a greater power must exist, for obviously it is not I.”
I exist, but God does not exist, for there is no proof of his “I” being around.
The consciousness is the same, full of “I,” just different polarities, different extremes.
Ananda just points out the futility of thinking, the traps of logic and the illusion of definitions and concepts. However, use those “tools” at the “office world.” Those tools are very useful there.
When we are in tune with our feelings, in appreciation of this experience which we call living, when we feel gratitude for being without words, there is no time nor space in or minds to make useless questions. Although, they are necessary questions to make in some people’s path; the realization of that uselessness could arrive in its due time.
Therefore, “yes”…those questions are useless but then “NO,” those questions are necessary for some to arrive at a different consciousness.
Affirm now just to deny later on.
Say, it is “true” now, just to find out its “falsehood” later on.
That is why dogmas and morality are necessary, to stick with one side of the story and to deny the other…until we can no longer deny it.
What a game, my friends!
Mathias was sharing with his friend Ananda, some deep aspects about the duality of life and “good and bad.”
Mathias: There is nothing, which is bad.
Ananda: Come on Mathias! what about a serial murderer, what about Hitler! Everyone knows that he has killed so many innocent people! He must be “evil.”
Mathias: Friend, in your religion; do you believe that you are an eternal being, a soul right?
Ananda: Right! We are eternal! I believe in that!
Mathias: Then how is it possible for Hitler to “kill” someone? In your religion you believe in the law of karma, right? Then, you know that everything is cause and effect. Wasn’t Hitler the effect of the cause? Would you ever experience something, which you do not deserve?
Friend, by calling some as “innocent” isn’t that contradicting your beliefs? And if you believe that everything is predestined, then how can you call something as “being bad” if that is the way it ought to be?
Ananda was speechless. But he wanted to test Mathias again, by playing “devil’s advocate.”
Ananda: OK. Mathias. I see your point. My belief is really contradicting itself when I label things as “good and bad.” But now… let us say that I am an atheist.
Mathias: That is another belief…
Ananda: But.. let us say that I do not believe in the afterlife or God or any of that. From my viewpoint, Hitler acted wrong. He murdered many. He caused suffering to many. He must be evil!
Mathias: In that belief when you die, everything is over. Isn’t that? Then, what difference does it make if you experience life 10 or 100 years? The end is the same. The more you live, the older you get with all the ailments of old age…to then finish in nothing…
Ananda: But the suffering that Hitler has caused to others…
Mathias: In that belief, for those people it was suffering. Yes. They experienced that in a random fashion. It was “their luck.” For Hitler it was necessary to do that, according to his beliefs. As you can see, there is always a clash between beliefs.
Ananda: But that is not fair!
Mathias: Then, change your beliefs again!
Ananda: Why is there suffering? Only because pleasure exists?
Mathias: It is growth. The consequence of previous deeds. That suffering purifies you if your consciousness is ready for a change, otherwise it is something not desired. It is what some call to “settle” your karma.
Is that settling of karma, “bad” then?
Ananda: But you can settle in other ways…
Mathias: Is that your new belief, my friend? Actions bring a consequence, which need to be experienced by the one who originated it. It is a full circle in life. That experience is not “bad,” it is necessary to grow.
When a baby is learning about life, his father will tell him: “Don’t put that in your mouth. It is bad.” The baby may think that the actual object is “bad,” and then “bad” will exist in the baby’s mind… Sometimes that belief will exist throughout his whole lifetime.