God is a tool. Um, that came out wrong. Let me explain.
I had to give up on the great God debate. It was wearisome. Does God exist? Is God real? I had to come to the conclusion that I had to believe in God because I couldn’t live my days believing otherwise. I had to commit to a higher power or kill myself. Yeah, I know, dramatic, but this is my blog and this is my truth.
So I’m a lapsed atheist. The God idea is fundamental to who I am.
It’s kind of like when someone asked Carl Jung if he thought God exists. Jung said, “I don’t believe! I know!”
To know! Fundamental!
But in the end, I’m not too interested in the actual existence of God. I mean, if God is unknowable, then there is no point in trying to figure it all out. Might as well not worry too much about it and go to more baseball games and smoke cigars and watch Buffy.
That’s one camp. The other camp would say that the only way to know the unknowable is to seek, and it is in the seeking that we find.
Dude, did I just get all zen for a minute?
Maybe. But it’s true.
My friend Susan Deax-Keirns would always tell me, “What we go seeking for, we go seeking with.”
The deep “God” parts of us know truth, meaning, divinity, and those parts wake up when we go on quests for universal truth and courage.
Did I just go all Church of Religious Science? Maybe, but it’s true.
So the God idea is just that, an idea, a tool, that we can use to ease our pain, to find meaning, to give us courage. Does the God idea have to be factual?
Is Harry Potter factual? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no, Harry Potter is not a factual account of a child wizard. But how much joy, comfort, and solace have people felt reading the Harry Potter books? I know for me, I had just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath and The Making of the Atomic Bomb and I was feeling world weary—I needed a story to take me away and tell me the world is good. And the Harry Potter books did just that.
Darn, this post is prolly controversial. But I don’t want it be. If you believe God is factual, you are right. God is the ultimate fact, the ultimate reality. And if you believe God is a fairytale told to little children to get them to sleep at night, you are right, God is a story.
But if God is everything, God can be both, right? God is EVERYTHING and God is NOTHING.
I love the story about the first Sikh guru who went on a quest to Mecca and along the way, he stumbled into a little guest house at midnight completely exhausted. The Sikh Guru fell asleep with his feet pointing at Mecca. Well, the owner of the guest house was furious. “How can you dishonor Mecca with how you are sleeping?!?!” The Sikh Guru, still half-asleep, said, “Tell me where God isn’t, and I will point my feet there.”
I’m not pointing my feet at Mecca. Tell me what God is not, and I’ll write about that.