I was asked on Quora recently ”
When I was younger, till about 14 y.o, I used to believe in God. It gave me comfort knowing that God was listening. Whenever I felt sad or down I would pray and achieve solace.
From then onwards, I questioned everything and came to the conclusion that God is simply man made.”
I felt the same way until one day when I was about 14 it struck me how beautiful this world really is, It was the patterns in the clouds against a perfect blue sky that led to my first insight, a momentary flash of realisation that God is real.
Personally I don’t believe that God wants believers or has a problem with atheists, I think atheists tend to be just as spiritual as the most mystic of mystics, so don’t force anything on yourself. Just try being spiritual, look for the connections between things, places, people, creatures and events and see where that leads you.
If you do this for long enough you’ll see that not only is everything interconnected, it’s actually just the workings of one thing. Zoom out and the entire universe can easily be seen as a single entity, you exist within that and are made from the same stuff as it, you are not separate to it, the idea of separation is an illusion. We are all one.
As a mystic I believe that nothing is outside of God, that all things are a manifestation of God in the same way that a painting is a manifestation of the artist. This might make you feel like an individual, but you are not, we’re all one thing.
You can find God in yourself in the most marvellous zen like way, by understanding that is impossible to define God, to do so is to limit God in some way or another, but if you look at the universe, and the beings that populate it, you’ll see a pattern emerge that will lead you to further realisations or moments of epiphany.
You’ll eventually learn what God is by understanding what God is not.
When I was young, I reasoned that most religions were complete claptrap but I was bothered by the fact that religious authorities claimed that their belief was the one true way and path. I reasoned that if this was true then picking a religion would be like trying to pick the right lottery numbers. I also reasoned that if God was real, and if directed my attention to whatever I perceived God to be and asked earnestly to be shown the truth, then the least God could do would be to reveal it to and point me in the right direction.
The resulting 30 year journey of discovery has been the most amazing experience of my life. I’ve become a mystic not through choice, but because there was no other way, the road was difficult at times but I had no other choice but to walk it. I asked and God replied.
I won’t spoil the journey for you by revealing too much, but the Gnostic approach to thinking on a subject, turning it over to your subconscious (which really does know all things) and suddenly being blown away by a moment of epiphany when yet another piece of the puzzle of reality falls into place is the most momentous feeling that a human being could ever have and I’d highly recommend it.
Mysticism is completely compatible with any religious belief or none at all, because it’s all about spirituality and as I’ve said earlier atheists can still be intensely spiritual.
When you’ve climbed to the top of the mountain and discovered as much as any man can know you’ll understand why that last paragraph can be seemingly contradictory yet somehow correct.
Soli Deo Gloria.