- Religion and Philosophy»
- Atheism & Agnosticism
My Attempt At Response To The Question: Does God Really Exist? Convince Me.
I do not believe one can be “convinced” of God by mere teachings about Him, but only led. That is because the existence of God manifests itself in the inward man and it is the individual inward experience of God that provides the “psychic” evidence that one needs to be convinced. It is an experience of the inward man in the same way that “love” is an experience of the inward man. There is no way to convince anyone of love’s true existence, for example, since, if it is absent completely in one’s life, it is sure to remain something they are not conscious they lack. And if that individual remains unconscious of his need of something he has never known, there can never be any real conscious rejection or need of something he does not know. So I believe that although teachings of God may move us towards a desire to become more convinced of His presence or absence in our lives, which some have found, it is usually through our inward life that the existence of God is manifestly felt.
In most cases then, it is a desire or need that arises in our lives which moves us to seek the truth of God’s existence. Thus, we “choose” God. This desire or need arises, usually, when the inward man is no longer safe-guarded against the “other” whom he has not chosen, and that “other” often appears only when the experience of the inward man is confronted with a catastrophic event in his life that produces a deep “psychic” need and desire. Although some catalyst or change may bring about this need or desire in men and women to choose God, it may not always be catastrophic in nature that He is chosen. (Some may argue that it was God who chose them but I believe one must be open to a sort of “psychic” receptivity for this to occur.)
However, it is perhaps shown better through catastrophe and example of spiritual conversion that your need to be “convinced” may have more relevancy here. One such example is in the life of Bill Wilson (“B.W.”), the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”). Bill Wilson, a recovering alcoholic and “agnostic” (defined as one who does not know if God exists or not) was first-hand witness to the “spiritual” life conversion necessary to bring sobriety to even the most hopeless alcoholic. As a result of his program, millions of people have been brought to sobriety when all other programs have failed. It was his conviction that alcoholism was caused by a “spiritual” deprivation that required a spiritual remedy when he wrote in his “Big Book,” in the chapter entitled “We Agnostics”:
“If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
When we are confronted in our individuality with the loss of our highest value, the death or loss usually repeats itself back to us; what dies inside must be reborn. By conquering the power of darkness in oneself through surrender to a Higher Power, or God, we establish a new order, which is an awakening of power within our own unconscious, and a new awareness or wholeness, and a new way to live. This is God to me.