By the time we reach late teens, we have formed our belief system. Whom to believe and what we accept as important to our spiritual growth. People of many faiths spend more time searching for something to believe and most times come up short.
I met a self-proclaimed agnostic who was an atheist, before that he was a Zen Buddhist, and grew up a Christian. When I met the agnostic he was in his forties. This man was highly intelligent. He was genius, mathematician, scientist, musician, author, logistician and artist. I asked him how he arrived at the decision to embrace agnosticism. Unwilling to speak about his beliefs, but mellowed over a glass of wine he told me of the time in his childhood where he wanted something very badly. He prayed to God, but did not get what he wanted. It wasn’t anything as frivolous as a bike or a toy. He wanted to feel safe in his home and he wanted the piece of his heart that was stolen returned. He did not get what he wanted, nor was the hole in his heart repaired. His faith in the God of his mother slowly resolved. But he knew there was something out there. He knew that there had to be a foundation to his humanity, he just could not get the answer that satisfied his curiosity. Later on in his life after his first marriage failed, he decided emphatically that there cannot be a God because if this being existed, He would not allow his heart to break again. He believed in love and God and peace and joy. He knew that there was more to his existence. Being a genius he searched in science, mathematics and eventually metaphors to find his answers and without the resounding confirmation, he slowly lost faith until in a fit of anger he declared, “There is no God!”.
Within each of is the knowledge that there is more to us than we are able to see. We want to know that we are not alone. Our proclamation to the world is often times different from that which is in our minds. He eventually came to finally deciding that maybe God does exist, he just hadn’t found proof that he could use to satisfy the deep longing within, so he chose agnosticism. Later in his life just before his death, he declared, that he was happy to go, because as he said, he wanted to know which was right. He wanted to find what he was unable to see in life, he hoped he would find in death the answer to his question, “What form did God take?” Upon his death, many years after I met him, he walked fearlessly into the night. I observer his spirit get up from his corporeal self, he spoke to me, turned and walked out the hospital room to prove his theory.
We spend our entire lives being afraid of knowing and also in great need of knowing if God exists. We KNOW there is something out there, because how is it that miracles happen every moment of every day, spontaneously? Life, for one is the miracle that is indefinable. Disease is another. How is it that our bodies can break down when we do so much to keep it in good shape? How does the salmon and the eagles replenish themselves when it was driven to near extinction?
Our wondering means that we search for meaning. It means that we have a need to know. The answers to our question is as close as our own minds. This next stage in life is for us to start looking in a different place for the God we seek. Instead of looking to the sky, it is time for us to truly go within.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”
– William Blake, Auguries of Innocence.