Student: I am an atheist
Teacher: So you do not believe in God
Student: That’s correct
Teacher: define this God that you do not believe in
Student: I do not believe in a God that looks like a human being and acts like a human being, and has a human-like personality, and is angered if he is not obeyed, and who casts us in hell if we break his commandments.
Teacher: Emerson wrote, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Does that statement seem make it seem like Emerson believed in a god that looked human and had an insecure human personality?
Student: I’m not sure what Emerson meant by God; perhaps he was referring to nature as being God
Teacher: I suppose Emerson could have been referring to nature as a beautiful aspect of God. And I would agree with Emerson that I need not do anything but go for a walk in the forest, and everywhere I look I will find God’s handwriting. Could you agree with that?
Student: I’m not sure
Teacher: I suppose I could take Emerson’s statement and bring it right home to me. Perhaps I simply need to look deeper into myself, and right there I’ll find something beautiful; perhaps right there I’ll find God’s handwriting. That would especially make sense to me if I believed that God is omnipresent, which is one thing almost all religions do seem to agree to.
If God is omnipresent, then is God’s handwriting not found on everything and in everything that exists? And if God’s handwriting is found in everything that exists, then is it not found in me? Wow, that’s can be a tough one for so many folks to accept.
If God is omnipresent, then how can God not be present in every cell and atom of my body and in every aspect and quality of my being? And if that be the case – then where, oh where is there a miniscule part of me where God is not found? And if that’s so, then how can I separate myself from God and see him as a separate entity?
It is said that beauty is found in the eyes of the beholder. Well, perhaps it’s not always the physical eyes, but often the eye of the soul. Can you physically see your incredible inner strengths and your immense unrealized potential, or do you sense the reality of that with your soul? What about your innumerable hidden talents, and all else that is good and beautiful about you – does you see it or do you soulfully sense it? Is God’s handwriting not all over every part of you according to Emerson?
Do you know what happens when a person lets go of beliefs he holds about God being a separate entity, and allows himself to simply sense his own Godliness? He experiences bliss. Do you know why he experiences bliss? Because he discovers that he is a living, breathing expression of God’s handwriting, and then it dawns on him – what a glorious mission it is to bring out the best in himself so God may be celebrated in all of God’s glorious expressions.
Many wise masters over the ages have thought of God as a comfortable spiritual feeling of self-trust that comes when one explores within the deep of himself. In ancient text it’s written, “Blessed is the man who trusts in himself, his faith in God is ever measured by his trust in self.” Why would that be? Could it be that you and God are one? Is that a possibility?
Perhaps experiencing God in unblemished form is like listening to beautiful symphonic music in “surround around.” The wondrous experience ascends upon you and descends upon you; it permeates your being from everywhere deep inside of you. What if that is the experience one gets if one lives God as truth, not as a belief? And what if living that that way leaves you with a very comfortable feeling of self-trust, with a feeling, “If it is to be it is up to me”? What would it be like to feel that way and have confidence in yourself in almost every circumstance in your life?
On the other hand, when God is lived as an untruth, have we not denied ourselves the wondrous experiences of God’s handwriting? Have we not place barricades between the unlimited selves that we are and our best expressions of that self?
Student: I wonder what a scientist would say about all of this.
Teacher: Do you respect Albert Einstein as a scientist.
Student: Yes, I do.
Teacher: Then perhaps you may want to include, in your pondering, what Einstein said, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”
Student: Hmmm. Maybe I’m not an atheist if I redefine what God means for me.