I believe that every sincere seeker on every spiritual path finds the same God at the peak of his or her mountain. God, Spirit, Source, to me is Omnipresent, Indivisible, and everywhere Perfectly Present, thus is called by many Names, and the One God has been found through many ages, customs, languages, and practices. For me personally, a direct and personal experience of the Source of All shapes my views about everything.
For 20 years I was an avid and committed atheist, but during that time I had profound experiences both alone in Nature and with groups of people that in retrospect I recognize as deeply spiritual.
At that time I believed that even God did not love me, since I had been told that “faith” was a gift of love from God, given to those who deserve it, and “faith” involved belief in a certain creed or dogma which made no sense to me and I could not accept as Truth. No matter how hard I tried.
This belief that I was somehow not worthy of the gift of faith was very painful to me, and since that was my only understanding of God, when I rejected that understanding, I rejected God. I believe that many other atheists may similarly have hardened their heart against “God” as the result of such teachings, and that bitterness and cynicism, which actually hurt their Spirit, are frequently the result.
Mine is now a more mystical (metaphysical – beyond the physical) practice, partly because of the mystical experiences of Oneness during the years I called myself an atheist. I now believe that we are, in our Essence, Created in the Image of God, Which is Goodness, Love, Peace, Creativity, so much more beyond my understanding. It is as though God is the vast Ocean, and we are each droplets or wavelets, of the same Essence, and thus connected. If the droplet that I am is healthy and clear, it improves the overall health of the ocean, and if that droplet is toxic or poisoned, it poisons everything around it. I have come to appreciate that since we are each so deeply connected to all humankind through our common Spiritual Essence, and that our own consciousness affects both our own life experiences and the overall consciousness of humankind, it is our responsibility to Live with as much heart and clarity..and charity… as possible.
For me personally, my unfolding path is to try to embody an open-hearted reflection of the Divine in daily life, to touch in often in my heart to a joy-filled Encounter with the Presence of God, of Love, of Peace, deep in my being, and bring it forth to those I touch.
With these beliefs I have no choice but to honor/respect/care about you, whether I agree with you or not, whether you call yourself my enemy or try to hurt me or not, whether or not you speak a different language or come from different circumstances or live in a different part of the world or practice a different faith or none at all, you too are a Child of God, and, as Dr. King once said, “You can kill me, but you can’t make me hate you.”
Now this is easier said than done in real life and therein lies a daily spiritual struggle.
There is much more, for another day, and I look forward to hearing from you. Whatever day you find me, your response will also find me, in my email.