The title of this blog post is surprising, right? How is it possible for an atheist to have a personal relationship with God?
Answer: it's easy. I simply define "God" a lot differently than religious believers do. As described in Atheists should redefine "God" as all that exists, I look upon God as being synonymous with reality, or existence.
So I find God awe-inspiring, mysterious, impossible to fathom.
After all, the greatest mystery -- one which almost certainly never will be unraveled by humans -- is that existence exists. Or as the mystery often is described, why is there something rather than nothing?
I've written quite a few blog posts on this subject. It fascinates me. I never get tired of pondering it, even though I never get close to grasping a possible answer. (I'm in good company; no one else ever has either.)
Saying that God is the creator of existence is no answer at all, because the obvious question arises, who created God?
If the supposed answer is no one, since God always has existed, the same answer can be applied to why the cosmos exists. There's no why, because the universe always has existed.
Which brings us back to the same question: why is there something rather than nothing?
Doesn't matter whether that something is the physical cosmos or a supernatural God. Each is something that must have always existed, since something can't be produced from absolute nothing. Thus the mystery of existence remains.
I love a good mystery, and this is the grandest mystery of all.
That's why I'm pleased to have a personal relationship with God. I like being intimate with the mystery of existence. Like I said, to me God is synonymous with existence.
It isn't that God is a person, obviously. I don't believe in a personal God. However, I do have confidence that I'm a person. Thus my personal relationship with God is all on my end, since so far as I know, existence can't have a relationship with anybody.
I do think that it'd be way cool if a personal God, a conscious being with all that omni stuff like omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, actually was real. So occasionally I alter my strict atheist conception of God to include that possibility.
"Hey, God, if you're out there, pay me a visit. Love to have a chat with you. You know where to find me, since you're all-knowing."
Haven't gotten a reply yet. Thus I'm placing most of my philosophical bet on the God that is equivalent to everything in existence. This includes my conception of "God," since a concept is a neurological pattern in a brain, so it is existent.
I like my conception of God because it points to something that truly exists: namely, existence. Otherwise "God" is just an idea that refers to nothing other than itself. Imagine that "music" was just a concept and there was no actual music in the world.
Then people would discuss the possible meaning of "music" without anyone being able to point to music that can be heard by the ears, rather than merely thought of with the mind.
This is the situation with every religion.
Religious believers chatter on endlessly about the glory of God, blah, blah, blah, but nobody ever can show that this God they're glorifying actually exists. Whereas I can play a huge variety of music in my living room by firing up the Sonos iPhone app and having it play songs on my speakers.
Further, music existed before humans did. It's possible to view birdsong as music, thunder as music, porpoise/whale communications as music. So my relationship with music has tremendous depth, because music is so much more than a concept.
I have a personal relationship with music. But music doesn't have a personal relationship with me. Same applies to God. My relationship with God isn't conceptual or a matter of belief. It is absolutely real, since the God I revere is everything that exists.
In short, reality.