As a child growing up in the west, my first and perhaps only encounter with God was in a picture book that I was reading during a Sunday school class.
The pictorial portrayal of God was that of a strong yet somewhat elderly man with a white beard. A depiction of Wisdom shall we say.
To me (a boy aged 6 years old at the time) he appeared as a concept that I was requested to believe in as ‘the truth’. The concept I therefore had of God, was that of a type of super hero that had the power to interfere in the lives of humans.
I guess it was the way in which I was taught, but around the time I stopped believing in santa claus, was around the time I stopped believing in God, or at least, this type of God.
Anyway, back to the question;
Does God exist?
In a word: yes.
But hold on… Let me clarify.
It is unlikely that animals have any notion of a God, so it seems fair to say that the concept of God is only relative to humans. The concept of God has profound effects upon those who believe and little or none at all to those who don’t. I am not here to judge whether people’s belief in God is correct or not, for we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of a Universal God. But as a concept and as a belief in the minds of people, God exists and is very real; however, any tangible proof in God as anything other than a belief or faith is not available.
Q. So, going by that analogy, if I were to suddenly start believing in unicorns – that would somehow make them real?
A. No, a belief in unicorns would be just that – a single belief. The notion of God comes with an entire faith in an omnipresence that one lives within – it has the power to govern their entire lives. This faith also comes with a collective consciousness that millions of people take part in. It is far more complex than a single belief in a single thing.
God also exists as a variety of perceptions and in different ways depending on who the believer is and what religion they’re from. I have met many people who believe in a Christian God and a few Muslims who believe in the Islamic God ‘Allah’. When I meet such people, I know they hold a story in their mind that conceptualizes a vision of what God is to them and which has profound implications for the way they live their lives and how they perceive the world and the rest of the universe.
However, not everyone views God with such religious rigidity.
Some people hold the concept of God as a broader belief, such as; God is ‘that from which everything else came’ without believing in any of the specifics or background story written about in the Bible, Quran or other religious texts.
Another concept of God is that of some type of universal mind. Although I have a certain affinity with this belief, I don’t label it as God.
Believers in God often declare ‘God is Love’ and for them, it is rather clear cut. One can only know what God/Love is through one’s own experience.
If you have ever been in Love, the feeling derived from the experience is intense and you often want to tell the world how great your experience of it is (or rather you want to tell the world how great this person/this God is and how happy/secure they make you feel).
If you have never been in love, you only know of love as an intellectual concept but you are also aware as to the impact it has upon humans and the lengths they’re prepared to go to because of it. You may feel love is irrational and/or maybe even illusionary or fleeting in nature. Some people may even regard those who have fallen in love to be suffering from some sort of temporal insanity. Whilst for others; love is what makes their world go around. God, in a way, can be viewed in a similar way. Admittedly, it is less likely for one to go through life having never fallen in love (reciprocated or otherwise), than it is to be touched by the hand of God, but the analogy remains the same.
Essentially, God exists in our minds and our minds are the most real things we possess. If you have an unquestionable faith in God, that faith lives in your mind and is therefore as real as anything else you interpret there.
On the flip side, if God exists to you only as a misrepresentation of others realities (i.e. God only exists as a word for that which you perceive to be a mythical omnipresence conjured up in the minds of other people), it still exists as a concept that you intellectually understand. i.e. a concept you reject.
For example; If you completely denounce the existence of any type of God and a crazy person were to come along and kill you in the street because of their belief in God, it does not mean you were killed by God, but it does mean you were killed because of a concept of God, regardless of it being someone else’s…
The scale of where God sits in the mind is as broad as human opinion allows. For some he is mind, for others he is everything but mind and for others still, the mind was made by God in order to give us a choice to believe in him (free will) and thus be saved.
If a person believes beyond doubt or question that God exists, then for that person God is as real as anything else. It is this unwavering belief that I’m trying to highlight as to what creates the existence of God.
Belief is a great source of mind power and if one’s belief is able to get to a state whereby it no longer gets questioned, it becomes a source of knowledge.