The last week has been interesting. I have found that maintaining belief in there being no God requires just as much faith as having a belief in God requires. I think part of it is that my mind is so conditioned to thinking the supernatural exists that I have to keep reminding myself that there is absolutely no evidence for it at all.
“God of the gaps” is a thing. It’s pretty obvious when studying religious history that God was used to explain anything unexplainable. For example, I was watching a movie called Agora, about the Romans in 4th century AD how they were philosophizing how the earth couldn’t be round because everyone would fall off the bottom, or slip down the sides. It’s pretty logical right? But they didn’t know about gravity, which on the face of it appears to be ‘magic’… but the truth is it’s just science.
Last night though something happened which got me wondering again. I have discussed some of my ‘mystical’ experiences with other atheists and they told me that it’s normal to have those experiences, but it doesn’t mean anything spiritual/supernatural is really happening. I think this is the mindset I need to get into. I had a ‘strange’ experience yesterday which reminded me of other experiences that I’ve had which have no explanation… but I have to keep remembering the movie Agora and how what appears to be magic on the surface is just as of yet unexplained science.
However I am pretty sure that there is no God, and I think I’ve known that for a while but not acknowledged it. The idea of God as a Supreme Ultimate Being, in whatever form, the Christian version or the Hindu version – it just doesn’t exist. That kind of God was what the ancients used to explain things when they didn’t have science. I’ve had plenty of mystical experiences of meeting God, two ring especially clear as ‘otherwordly’, but they were so different that I can’t pass them for anything other than hallucinations.
The first experience God appeared to me as just energy, no form, as being within all the universe, within everyone and everything – Pantheism basically. The second experience God appeared to me as a giant just a bit bigger than the earth, with a form, and he was only accessible ‘through Jesus’. So basically the two experiences of ‘God’ were totally different, not alike at all, and there are only two explanations. One is that there is more than one God. Or that God just doesn’t exist at all. And it doesn’t make sense at all that they’d be the same God… ???
As I said, for a while now I’ve doubted the existence of a God, and I think all the research I’ve been doing lately is the cherry on the cake. I acknowledge that I was hallucinating during what my therapist called a transient psychotic episode. However some of the more unexplained things I am not sure about. Like telepathy where two minds connect as one. This is pretty much the underlying theme between all of my currently unexplained experiences, extrasensory perception shared between two people. So maybe there is a scientific explanation for that, but our senses aren’t inherently trustworthy anyway.
As for all the other stuff I experienced – such as seeing demons, being possessed, going to hell and heaven in astral travel, having my soul fragmented, ect, there is no way to prove any of that stuff was real as it was all in my head and not able to be verified by a third party. So I am going to remain cautious and think that the telepathy could just be some quantum physics thing we don’t understand yet. But spiritual? Definitely not.
Still, there is room for atheism and belief in eternal life. I suppose the two aren’t mutually exclusive. It would be nice to think my consciousness won’t just end suddenly – but, regardless, emotion isn’t fact and it’s most likely consciousness does end at death. But then you can get into analyzing the meaning of the word ‘God’… such as, if you’re talking of an imminent, transcendent, wholly good, all knowing, all powerful, all present ultimate supreme being, then that definitely can’t exist (all those attributes contradict each other plainly, as summed up perfectly in this quote by Epicurus – “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”) the problem of evil just doesn’t have an answer in that scenario. But what if there are other beings out there, in other dimensions, like in the movie Interstellar, or perhaps aliens in this universe, that the ancient humans mistook for deities? Imagine if these other beings are so technologically advanced, if they have learned how to extend their lives to thousands of years, and other such advancements, perhaps they could make it rain whenever they wanted – the ancient humans would then pray to them for these kind of things, not realising they are just finite beings like us, who evolved as part of the universe or multiverse or whatever, and worship them to keep them appeased – and thus religion was born. Well, then a lot of pagan and polytheistic religions could have some basis.
But this thing about universe energy, and there being a soul, and a separate consciousness, and an ‘afterlife’, that doesn’t make sense. But there definitely could be other more advanced beings out there that we have unknowingly deified.
It’s hard honestly to make sense out of everything because there is just so much information out there to sift through, to analyse, to make sense of. So many experiences to get into context and scrutinize in the light of the scientific method, ect.
I have to admit I am naturally attracted to religion and spirituality and it’s hard for me to maintain a purely materialistic outlook on life, even if rationally I know it’s most likely to be the truth. But I am trying to get things into perspective. Does God exist? Hell no. But do ‘gods’ exist(aka other advanced finite beings in the multiverse)? That’s the question now….
I have considered about the afterlife too that perhaps our consciousness just travels from one dimension to another when we die, and that it’s not really ‘spiritual’, but the idea of consciousness being separate from the body in the first place is inherently problematic. So I have to discard that idea, unless there is another solution, which I am not really sure of as I haven’t researched into that area yet.
Things are still solidifying in my mind. I guess the search for truth is never ending for me… what drives me so intensely to understand everything? Without even an A Level completed in science (never actually finished it, lol). I wish I was a Time Lady who lived for thousands of years and could hold all amazing kinds of vast knowledge in my brain (now there’s a good comparison for the ‘gods’ theory… maybe I should join the Doctor Who religion, whatever that is :D) and actually as humanity evolves our lifespan may become longer and longer just like the Time Lords (whose childhoods are like 100 years long). It is just science.
Anyway, I told Graeme about my shift in perspectives lately and he was really cool about it, and actually praised me for being so open minded (didn’t see that one coming)… I was pretty worried since we met on a spiritual dating site that it’d be a deal breaker. But it wasn’t, and honestly our relationship just continues to get more solid, no matter how many issues pop up and doubts and anxieties… he is amazing lol. I just had to throw that in at the end, because it’s important for me to be with someone who understands from my point of view. Besides that he’s never mentioned a belief in God anyway, I think he’s Pantheistic(although that is still theistic, but not to the extremes of Christianity, for example).
As for my illness, I am having to really slow down my life again and take things as they come. I am very physically weak and back to being more or less bedbound, but it’s just a case of relearning my limits. Also the effects of the contraceptive implant haven’t wore off yet because I’m still getting the irregular bleeding that is common to it. Once that stops then if I go into remission then I’ll know it’s that. In the meantime I have my MRI and EEG scans in a couple of weeks, and will know the results in a month. The neurologist when I saw him said most likely my condition is all part of the Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he said is a much more positive diagnosis, but he thinks I could have either epilepsy or narcolepsy too. And the MRI is to rule out such things as multiple sclerosis (which I still think is a possibility, but we will see)… so I’m excited about that. The case may be that I just need to go back on a low dose of anti-psychotics (and NOT Olanzapine because that really bloated me up last time!!!)
Also next week I may be getting the non-hormonal intrauterine device, depending on what my doctor says when she rings me this week. I will update with that later.