After spending 35 years searching for God, some time ago I came to the belated conclusion that this is a really stupid thing to do.
For if God is too ignorant, or too uncaring, or too weak, or too busy with other stuff to find us, why should we exert any effort to search for a God who is much more limited than a human being?
Consider: experts say that if you're lost outdoors here on Earth, the best thing to do is stay put if you're unsure where to go and get unlost. (See here, here, and here.)
One reason to do this is that those looking for you will have it easier if you aren't wandering around aimlessly, expanding the area that needs to be searched.
Note that I said "those looking for you." When people are lost, other people jump into action to try to find them, often at considerable risk to themselves. We humans care about each other. If someone needs help badly, almost always they'll get it.
God, though, assuming God exists (a highly dubious assumption), clearly isn't as compassionate as an average person, since God demands that we search for Him/Her/It rather than finding us and taking us to safety in God's abode, often termed "heaven."
It's understandable why an ever-increasing percentage of people decide to give up on this ridiculous game of hide-and-seek.
If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, and present everywhere, then why does God hide and demand that we do the seeking? That's what an asshole of a supreme being would do. Rather than waste time trying to please such a jerk, just say no to searching for God.
If you have an urge to know God, and feel there's a non-zero probability God exists and is worthy of being known, I suggest that you heed the advice of survival experts.
Stay right where you are. Ask God to find you. Then relax and live your life. If God shows up one day in a can't-be-denied fashion, great. If God continues to be absent, also great. Either way, you haven't wasted time and energy searching for a God who probably doesn't even exist.
I'm an atheist. That word means "not a theist." Meaning, us atheists don't believe in God because there's no demonstrable evidence God exists.
But most atheists, me certainly included, aren't 100% certain that God is a fiction. Being scientifically minded, I'm not 100% certain about anything, the way of science. So I'm open to the remote possibility that God could appear and make me into a believer, a theist.
This is why I like to spend a bit of time in that drowsy period when I'm in bed at night, about to fall asleep, saying "God...God...God...".
I don't view this as a means of searching for God, as a mantra might be used. Instead, I see it as a sort of atheist locator beacon. Climbers will take a physical locator beacon with them in case they run into trouble while climbing a mountain.
My "God...God...God..." is like a GPS signal to me. Sure, if God exists and is omniscient, God should be able to know where everybody and everything in the universe is. I just like the idea of sending out a one word communication to God just in case God needs a mental locator beacon.
Plus, this helps me get to sleep. Not surprisingly, so far I've gotten no sign that God has found me. If this does happen, I'll be sure to write a post about it. And maybe change the name of this blog to Church of the Churched.
Could this happen? Sure. Is it at all likely to happen? Absolutely not.
Study how the so called founders of religions, spiritual schools etc came to have their experience.!
Study THEM ... and ... not the content of their experience,what they and others have to say about it.
As far as I know, NONE of them did use any method, practice etc to arrive at the experience.
That experience was GIVEN to them .... Given does not say there was a GIVER, it is the only way to say gramatically that THEY, did not created the experience.
That being the case, how then could others make it happen???
So the only solace these mystics have to offer is a means to created a inner state of receptivity, mimicking what happened to them .
None of them was seeking when they received / were given. the experience.
Meditation is a "lame" effort to mimic that original, natural state of "non seeking" = total receptivity ... they are not to blame ... nobody is ... as this is the only trick they have been able to come up with to offer some solace.
Humans cannot command nature, god, or whatever you want to call it ...if they want peace of mind they have to surrender, give up the search, live the live that is attributed to them ... as a crow ... or a human being ....with a particular individuality.
No god will ever appear before you, because you want it.
That is not the fault of a god.
It is just impossible.
Before talking about Gods, mystics, people have to understand them selves as human beings....as THEY ... are the ones that HAVE these experiences
Posted by: um | January 11, 2023 at 02:14 AM
God has never found a person, not even the mystics that found out about him. her, it or whatever
To use words as "finding"etc .. there must be a lack of something, a desire of sorts.
He said: "Brother, what is "YOUR concept" of God.
Finding the source of YOUR concept, understand its content and its relationship with who and what you are and how you grew up, will make you understand that you are after a thing that never can be found because it doesn't exist but in your mind.
So they said; "cut of your head" ... or ... get rid of that concept, and even its desire attached to it as it has its roots in......[figure it out] ... hahaha
Posted by: um | January 11, 2023 at 05:41 AM
@ Brian Ji [ Stay right where you are. Ask God to find you. Then relax and live your life. ]
I like Ishwar Puri's too who says a so-called "soul drop" doesn't
need to find the long lost ocean of god to merge with: the drop
never left the ocean! It's just lost awareness of it.
Every moment spent in remembrance, in mindfulness... draws
us nearer again. They're our locator beacons in the darkness.
Posted by: Dungeness | January 11, 2023 at 10:08 AM
Yes, yes, and yes. Well said. Having come out of evangelical Christianity, I think of a couple scriptures that mention "seeking God with your whole heart". First of all, what does that even mean? How can i seek with my "heart"? And, if I do figure that out, what if I think I'm seeking with my whole heart, but it's really only 95%? Do I get 5% credit because I believe I'm seeking with my whole heart?
Sticking with the Bible, if I remember correctly, there are more instances of God just showing up and talking to people who weren't actively seeking Him/Her/It at all. A couple examples that come to mind: Moses. He had actually killed an Egyptian who was beating up a Hebrew and then hid his body. Then he had to take off. After he left, he helped some ladies get water, met their dad, then married one of them. His father in law gave him a job working with the sheep, It was during this time that he had the whole burning bush experience. It never says anything about Moses seeking God. God just appeared to him, in a sense.
Then you have Saul (later Paul) who was rounding up Christians to put into prison or put to death. According to Acts 9, Jesus appeared to him and blinded him. Saul wasn't seeking God with his whole heart. If he was, it does not say so in the Bible, that I can remember.
I'm sure there are more examples in the Bible, but I'm thankfully starting to forget much of the book.
I like what Brian said in the post: "If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, and present everywhere, then why does God hide and demand that we do the seeking? That's what an asshole of a supreme being would do. Rather than waste time trying to please such a jerk, just say no to searching for God."
Throughout the 36 or so years I spent as a Christian, I can honestly say that for much of that time, I was seeking God with my whole heart, as much as I knew how to do, anyway. And yet, I can also say that I never found Him in a way that could be proven somehow, and not just in my head or my "feelings".
Posted by: John | January 11, 2023 at 10:28 AM
Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to holy church for holding the belief that earth revolves around the sun, found guilty and imprisoned. The Church had decided the idea that the sun moved around the the Earth was an absolute fact and can not be disputed ( despite the fact that scientists had known for centuries that the Earth was not the centre of universe ) Took church 300 years for the church to realize Galileo was right.
" seeking God with your whole heart " is even more wrong . Heart pumps blood, it can' t hear, think , see
Posted by: KS | January 12, 2023 at 07:17 AM