How to Answer the Question:
“Is There A God?”
Well, is there???
The fact that this question pops up again and again indicates that it matters to most people one way or the other.
The only way to answer that question is to start from where you are.
You start with what you do know.
And that is, you do have a choice about what it is you would like to believe. No matter your religious upbringing, no matter who has told you whatever they have told you. No matter what atheists say and no matter what priests, monks, gurus or others may have told you. In the end, you choose what you would like to believe.
So that choice is your starting point.
You can quickly and very easily get caught up in whose history is longer, whose book is older, whose Prophets are older, wiser, more or less insightful, and how many other people have believed in one set of beliefs or another. But, in the end, you choose what you want to believe. You may find it useful to have some basis for your choice, or, you may just choose with no particular basis at all.
In fact, you actually do not know whether Moses lived in the 3rd century BC or 2nd or whether Buddha was older or younger than Christ or whether Mohamed was earlier or later than some other Prophet. You really do not know much about any of these things aside from what has been told to you by someone. More often than not that someone had some particular significance to you at a point in your life and that personal significance is where you now lay your power of choice. You can have significant people in your life without having their ideas have a higher authority than your own authority, though.
But, you chose and are still choosing what you believe. You can change your choices or not. Some people change them and many do not. But, you do choose your beliefs nonetheless.
So, your first admission of the truth, your truth, is that you choose your beliefs.
You can justify that choice in hundreds of ways to convince yourself that your choice is correct and meaningful and that too is a choice.
Your power is in your first truth. You have chosen. You have chosen your set of justifications for your choice, and you live with your choices. You can change them or not. That too is a choice.
Your power is in accepting that you have chosen. Note here that many people have been unable to accept their own authority to choose. They must choose this or that because others have also chosen it. THAT makes it Ok. Well, that is a choice too. Truth is: you chose. That is your step one.
Then comes the next step in your power. You continue to choose all the time. It is not that you choose, it is that you accept or deny your authority to do so. With bazillions of people looking to find ways NOT to accept their own authority, the fact remains that you are the only one who DOES have the authority to choose for yourself.
I wish to draw your attention to the fact that your power lies in accepting that it is and always has been your choice. You may have chosen to accept that someone else’s ideas are the reason why you chose a set of beliefs.
Once you come to accept that it is your choice, your power returns to you. It is taken away from history, churches, doctrines, dogmas, priests, monks, and how many followers agree with you or not. And, you can also quickly see that as your choice, so too, it is everyone else’s choice as well.
That first step means that arguing about your choices is no longer meaningful. You can stop it. In truth, argument is another form of activity that actually has nothing to do with your choices.
Argument, as enticing as it is for a while, is your method of proving your choices’ value to yourself. If you can win an argument, your choices take on validity for you. You could skip the arguments altogether if you wanted to and just accept that your choices are yours and they need no further authority or validity at all. As an aside, argument also serves another purpose which is part of boundary creation for younger people, or, younger in the sense that they are creating boundaries through argument (also called proceduralized conflict) as a means of establishing their own boundaries and taking the measure of others’ boundaries which is a part of younger development. Note, that argument actually has nothing to do with beliefs in this function at all.
I could offer to you that no one ever wins an argument. Arguments always reach a stalemate or one participant just vacates the playing field. Insofar as your beliefs are concerned, arguing about them serves no function insofar as the belief itself is concerned. It can only serve a justification for a choice not for the value of the choice itself.
Which gives ground the second truth: the value of a belief is a choice. You choose the value you wish to place on a belief. That is your second power – the value of a belief is your choice.
Few people who have an agenda about telling you about god and who he is, will acknowledge that what you believe is a choice. Instead, they will offer all kinds of “proof” in how old, how new, how many others believe it too, whose book is older, and all that. And that is their way of ignoring that what you believe is a choice. Instead, they say, it is a matter of “agreement” amongst others that makes it true. But consensus does not make it true. Actually, only YOU do. Here is one unfortunate related truth: approval seekers seek approval… not the truth. And, you wanna meet god? Well, first you have to want to know the truth. And consensus is not it.
More to come…