It’s impossible to know the “truth” about anything that’s outside your direct experience.
The only direct experience you really have (if you think about it a lot, and come to an honest conclusion) is what YOU think and feel.
What happens outside YOUR direct experience of your own thoughts and feelings you can never be 100% certain of.
Some things “out there” you can be fairly certain of, and other things, are very uncertain.
So here some things I believe about “God” (or whatever similar word you want to substitute)
1. The question of whether God exists is a completely personal belief (i.e. not something you can be certain of based on experiences outside of your internal experience).
2. I personally believe in a force that I associate with the word God (even though I don’t like the word “God”).
3. The “God” that I conceive of may not exist outside of my personal experience, so I avoid talking about it with other humans.
4. I believe in God because I’ve had many experiences of something profound, experiences that are not explainable using language.
5. If God exists in a universal way that all humans can potentially experience, then thousands of years of human existence points to this conclusion: it’s probably impossible to talk about God in a meaningful way. And when humans try to convince other humans to adopt a certain view of God, violence tends to break out.
6. Whenever one human acts or speaks violently towards another human, I (personally) believe there’s an absence of what I conceive of as “God.”
7. God, for me, is a very subtle (but powerful) force that’s difficult to discover, and even more difficult to understand (and impossible if you try to “understand” using language).
8. The thing I call God is, I believe, difficult to discover because of the human tendency to rely on other people’s assumptions and “explanations” of God. (again, language is counter-productive)
9. I believe the “reliable” way to discover the force that I call “God” is to do it completely on your own, by looking inside yourself (I put the word “reliable” in quotes because it’s almost impossible to discuss how there might be a reliable way to discover the “God force”).
10. But, if you start to glimpse a subtle force inside yourself that leads in the direction of compassion, humility, and empathy, then you’re plausibly looking at what I regard as the “God force,”…
but—of course—we can’t really talk about it.
So let’s just leave it at that.
And never bring up the subject again.
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In the seventies on U.K television, an irreverent comedian, the great Irishman Dave Allen would always end his hilarious and often religion poking program with “Goodnight, and may your God go with you”. It will stay with me for ever.