I have a theory that there exists a something in this world that we all experience, but is so incomprehensible that we all explain it differently. I’m talking about God. I’m talking about any kind of Great Spirit, or feeling of being connected to everything around you. I think that it is such a complicated, multi-faceted idea and feeling that we have to personify it in order to share our experience with others.
We want to tell people about this amazing feeling of love and acceptance, but there are no words, and so we do the best we can, using a metaphor. “It’s like there is someone looking down who can see everything and loves me no matter what I do.” But there’s not a someone. There’s not even a something.
Atheists can experience God, but they don’t personify it. They often can’t reconcile it with what they know of the world, so they just ignore it. One must acknowledge these feelings of God in order to be able to talk to others about it. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. I’m speaking from experience. At the same time, there are probably religious people who haven’t experienced God, and just pretend because they wish they could, or they think they should. There’s also no way of knowing if they have experienced God or not. It’s that problem with the words again. No two interpretations are the same.
Before I really started thinking about religion and Christianity in a serious way, I couldn’t understand how anyone could believe in a contradiction. How can God be everywhere? (As a small child I once asked, “Is God in the fridge too?”) How can God love everyone and let terrible things happen? How can there be no evidence and so many people believe?
There is evidence. People believe in God, because they know God within themselves. God isn’t something that needs to be believed in. It just is. It is there, whether you believe it or not. This is why God isn’t a man with a big white beard. God can be that, if that’s what you need. Maybe my God is a big kitty-cat. Maybe your God is a big sassy black woman. Maybe Her God is the trees. Maybe his God is the ocean. I don’t know.
There is no way to know the God of someone else. Our words don’t work that way. Our brains don’t work that way. All we know is what we see and what we feel.