Leading a spiritual life can be hard: it prompts you to grapple with the big questions in life such as; Why am I here? What is real? How should I live my life?” And of course, “Is there a God?” We seek to find answers that work for us, perhaps through a specific tradition or a path of our own making. Yet at the same time we are trying to cope with all the other pleasures and pains of life…
For me the thing which is probably the most constant struggle is the seeming dichotomy between rationalism and science on the one hand and faith and instinct on the other.
I have a great regard for science and look for the scientific explanation for everything. Yet I have always had instinctive beliefs and abilities which cannot be accounted for by science. So there has always been a little battle going on in my mind between what I believe by instinct and know to be true by scientific method.
I do believe in science and seek scientific explanations where I can. But I always believed in a divinity of some kind, not the Christian one or any other really, I just have always had the sense that something else is there. I don’t pretend it is rationally explainable; there is absolutely no empirical evidence for the existence of deity that I can think of. Logically atheism makes sense.
It’s just that I do still believe in the existence of deity. I don’t pretend it is rationally explainable; it isn’t. But it is as much a part of my experience of life as my own heartbeat. It is part of me.
In addition I have always had some abilities which could be described as supernatural or psychic and I have learned how to practice magic that works. I can find scientific explanations for some of those things but not all.
While some still believe in a “Sky Daddy,” an ancient and judgmental father figure or something similar; many of us who consider ourselves theists have much more complicated ideas of what deity actually is. In that sense, our deity may equate to those parts of the universe (or multiverse) that are not understood by science at present. So while scientists and atheists may tend to ignore those things because empirical science can’t describe them yet, we see it as the most fascinating aspect of reality.
Some will argue that God or deity is a mental construct we build up inside ourselves to give comfort and to answer the in-explainable questions we all have. I am sure that is partially true. In fact I am willing to accept that maybe 80% of my ideas about deity and up to 60% of my other spiritual beliefs are internal psychological constructs. That still leaves a significant gap.
I would quite like to be an atheist. Atheism makes logical sense to me. It’s just that I am not. I also know that there is far more to divinity than the archetypes I most closely associate with. There is no historical evidence for the existence of my Goddess Hathor/Het Hert. Even the legends that refer to her in ancient Egyptian texts are confused and sometimes contradictory. But within the legends and myth there lies an entity I think of and communicate with as a friend and mentor. Satan/Lucifer can be glimpsed in pagan, gnostic and Judao-Christian myth. There is no authorized biography, nor any physical evidence for his existence and yet I feel his presence and power in my life. Are these psychological constructs? Maybe… Does it matter? I don’t know. But beyond those personalities that I can relate to, there is something far more. There is something that communicates through nature. There is something that can be glimpsed in the stars. There is something that is beyond words and feelings and I sometimes wonder if atheists are blind to it.
Some of us glimpse God, some of us don’t seem to. Or are we just speaking different languages?