Recently I heard from a woman who has distanced herself from the Indian religious organization I was a member of for 35 years, Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).
Her family is still very much into RSSB, so she asked me some questions about how I adjusted after being, like her, initiated by the RSSB guru and then coming to see that the RSSB teachings no longer made sense.
Here's one of her questions, along with my response. "Babaji" refers to the current RSSB guru, Gurinder Singh Dhillon.
Question for me: I find myself saying when I need help (to myself) Babaji help me- and then I realise that I don’t believe in him anymore and I don’t believe in god either- do you think there’s some sort of universal energy around us?
My response: I wish there was, but I don’t think there is. But I could be wrong. Like you, I don’t believe in the RSSB gurus or in God. But I still talk to my guru, Charan Singh, and also to God. Life can be difficult. I like having imaginary friends.
To me it’s like watching a compelling TV show or reading a good novel. I can believe the show or novel is real and get all excited about what’s happening, even though I know that both are made up and aren’t real.
In the same way, I like to pretend at times that I believe in guru/God, just because it makes me feel better to do that, and I enjoy telling my problems to my imaginary friends, since my wife can get tired of hearing me complain about the same things after so many years of marriage (32 years).