Author: Gavin Sher
The ‘God’ Question
Not one ‘God’, but ‘God’ is One.
The question of whether or not ‘God’ exists is the most important question there is.
I cannot state that strongly enough. Nothing is more important. Nothing at all.
This One answer defines the very nature of our existence and affects every aspect of how we perceive and navigate our reality.
It is the absolute foundation of Truth.
The difference between living in a world that is a divine creation and living in a world where life is some random accident that just keeps happening, is so great that people who occupy different perspectives on this issue exist, very literally, in different realities.
For that reason, from a very young age, it was a question that I very much needed to answer.
Should I or Should I Not believe in this whole ‘God’ thing?
I gave it some thought…
If ‘God’ Exists
It was immediately obvious to me that if ‘God’ exists, then I should definitely live in a way that acknowledges that fact, if for no other reason than it is clearly best not to piss off an all-powerful being who knows of everything I do.
Then, I realized that if ‘God’ exists, it would also mean that everything I experience is ultimately happening because it is ‘God’s’ will that it should happen.
So again, it seemed to me, it would be wise to stay on ‘God’s good side, but then I wondered if I had done something wrong, because life at home definitely had its hardships.
Anyway, I finally figured, if ‘God’ exists, then all the infinite magnificence of our natural world is actually Pure Magic, as all that appears in form is simply the expression of the conscious will of our Creator being, making the ultimate truth of our reality Divine Will.
I was young and life felt magical to me and I was convinced I had magic in me, so I felt like I could believe that ‘God’ was behind it all, magically willing a miraculous experience into being for me.
And that felt like a huge relief, because with ‘God’ staging the play there is no doubt that even if life was hard at times, it was certain to be a great ride and everything would turn out infinitely awesome in the end.
It meant that everything that I didn’t like about life had to be there for a higher purpose and was ultimately for the best. I could rest assured that all I hoped for in my heart would happen, because any experience was possible and ‘God’ would want me to be happy and fulfilled.
If life itself is a Divine miracle, then any number of miracles could unfold for me.
I concluded, that if I just honored the Divine Nature of Life, as it expressed itself in me and through everything else, I would have an awesome life and everything would be cool.
I endeavored to do everything ‘God’ wanted from me, so there would be no reason for ‘God’ to give me anything less than the best.
Then I reviewed what I had experienced of life so far and I had to admit to myself that I was somewhat skeptical that the suburban apartheid reality I was growing up in really was ‘God’ caliber work.
I didn’t feel like I had done anything to make ‘God’ angry with me, but then why did so many aspects of life suck so much?
I certainly hoped ‘God’ existed, but what if ‘God’ was some big lie, or just a superstition?
If ‘God’ Does Not Exist
Obviously, if ‘God’ did not exist then it would be a complete waste of time and energy to pretend otherwise, or to get caught up in all that serving ‘God’ business, which occupies so much of so many people’s time.
That idea felt okay. Maybe I’d have more time to play computer games, or read, or whatever, but then I realized that if ‘God’ does not exist, then I would also have to accept that this world is nothing more than an incredible fluke. The implications of that really frightened me.
The thought of living seventy or eighty years in some random world was a specter that filled me with a strong sense of futility and also deep dread.
If it were the case, I remember feeling like I’d rather die there and then and I fleetingly wondered about the possibility of killing myself and whether there might be a pleasant, or at least a pain free, way of doing it.
If the infinitely complex stage I found myself upon was moving forward without plan or purpose, then there was almost no hope that life might get better. Accidents generally don’t end well.
In fact, if everything came about through some unknowable accident, then couldn’t it all just disappear by accident, or maybe just fall apart? Accidents, in my experience, were rarely well designed.
Yet the accident thing wasn’t entirely implausible. It explained a lot.
As I previously mentioned, I really did feel like life kind of sucked, or at least that lots about it did. There was definitely a lot of suckiness present, I could see that clearly.
For instance, I had been forced to go to school, which I absolutely loathed, but even though I was supposedly a free person, living in a free land, I had discovered that I was absolutely not free to choose what I did with most of my own life-time.
This seemed completely unfair to me.
It’s my life and everyone acknowledges that it’s got a very limited duration, but at some point before I arrived some government had decided I should be consigned to a ‘school’ for eighteen years, so supposedly I had no choice in the matter and would have to endure an eighteen year sentence, which would deprive me of the time and resources I would need to find my own way in life.
I deeply resented that and I resented even more that nobody shared my outrage about this injustice. People seemed totally fine with it and couldn’t see anything wrong with it continuing in one way or another until I was ‘retired’.
But that’s just scratching the surface of the suckiness I had come across.
Apparently our country was full of dysfunction and violence and disease and dishonor were rife. I had learned of sexism, racism, and a host of other terror-fying isms that were all clearly super-sucky.
I also knew that my species was so greedy and stupid that we were poisoning our own biosphere, on which we depend, and that almost no one cared enough about that to do anything to change things.
Why would I want to stick around this place? I couldn’t see the point.
On the plus side, I figured, at least I wouldn’t have to endure seventy or eighty years here. The coming environmental apocalypse would almost certainly ensure I never reached fifty.
If there were no ‘God’, then the fact that the world sucked made total sense, so I should do my best not to get outraged by the insanity of it all. There’s no reason why an accident should have sanity or sense, so why worry about it?
Either I should seek an early exit, or find a comfortable place to watch the ship go down.
Which is nothing to complain about, for what else could I expect from a random world, where the actors are modified apes, slaves to their evolutionary urge to kill anything that challenges their most animal desires?
In such a godless world, it later seemed to me, the best I could hope for was to acquire enough power to make sure that the alpha members of my species didn’t fuck with me, and to find a mate who would, which was a brutish and distasteful thought.
Adopting a Belief
The stakes in accepting one, or another, answer to this question were so huge that I decided discovering the right answer had to be my main priority in life.
Yet I knew that, until I was able to figure it all out, I needed to hold some working-belief on the ‘God’ question, to be able to act at all in the world.
I was the archetypal ‘good boy.’ I only ever wanted to do the right thing. I felt I could not make any choice about who I should be, how I should behave, or what I should do in the world, until I knew whether God existed and, if so, what that meant for me.
Wait, that’s not entirely accurate.
I should rather say that I wanted to confirm that ‘God’ existed because, like many children, I felt, deep in my heart, that this was indeed ‘God’s’ world.
Even with the weird and jarring sucky elements, I could not imagine any other way that the incredible magic of being could come about except through the will of an infinite intelligence. Truth to tell, I still cannot.
It was also very depressing to consider that if there were no ‘God’ I really would have to give up any hope of the transcendent and accept that life was a mediocre mess that humanity had proved incapable of cleaning up.
Similarly, I did not want to view myself as nothing more than a collection of decaying molecules, immersed in a procession of epiphenomenal sensations and passing fury.
Frankly, I found the whole no ‘God’ thing totally unappealing.
On the other hand, if ‘God’ was real then I had some prospect that the life my heart was craving may well unfold, which was much more appealing.
Getting the answer wrong clearly also mattered more if ‘God’ was real, than if not.
If not, worst-case scenario, I would be wasting a lot of my time and energy on the God thing. Probably I would miss out on some stuff, but mostly life would suck anyway, so no big loss if it could have been slightly more fun, or more whatever.
Yet if ‘God’ did exist, and I acted as though that wasn’t the case, then I risked pissing off the orchestrator of my fate.
After some pondering, I decided that it would be best to act as though the ‘God’ thing were true until I knew for sure.
But, I was determined to find out for sure. Eventually, I did.
A Seeker’s Snapshot
I knew there was a Truth at the heart of reality and I desperately longed to lose myself in it.
For at least another decade or so, I would pray every night to ‘God’ that, before anything else, I wanted to be blessed with Truth.
Every fiber of my being ached to know and serve the Divine.
So, before I could even know what it was, I embarked on the seeker’s path.
My journey took me another thirty years, but I did finally find what I was looking for.
Along the way, the journey molded me. It transformed my perception of ‘God’ and the nature of our reality and it transmuted and transfigured the functioning of my entire being…
This is a working section of my forthcoming e-book, entitled: ‘Knowing God: From Seeking to Being.’