God - The Difference Between Believing and Knowing
I've got a question for you; Why do you, personally, believe in God?
Think about it carefully, it's a very profound question.
If you are like most people, you will say "I don't know." You may even have another answer something like this: "Well, I was raised in the church." "My parents told me about God when I was little." "The Bible taught me everything about God." "I don't know much, but everybody I know believes in God." "There has to be something."
What do all these answers have in common? Basically, the answer to that is they come from someone else's thoughts. The knowledge of God probably comes from a different place other than the self; the church, the parents, the Bible, or the friends. If someone were to tell you, for example, that grass was pink, or the sun was blue, or that you are green, would you believe them just because they said so? Of course not! You know better because of your own personal observations. So why would you want to believe what other people have told you regarding the most important aspect of your life and the life of every human being on the face of the earth?
At the risk of falling into the same category as the others myself, I offer you this. The answer, "There has to be something." is the closest to the truth. "Something" makes the earth rotate so we can have beautiful sunrises and sunsets. "Something" manifested the moon and the stars. And what a coincidence that these celestial bodies provide the earth with what is necessary to sustain life, like an orchestra that is perfectly in tune and playing the most enchanting symphony. "Something" makes our heart beat and allows our fingernails to grow. "Something" makes the flowers bloom. "Something" set us apart from other animals and gave us the ability to think and feel for ourselves. We shouldn't waste these gifts.
Knowing there is "Something" goes far beyond any scripture, belief or doctrine. It is an inherent bond with our Creator, an unbreakable connection to our Source either consciously or unconsciously. If you had an opportunity to come into contact directly with that Source, would you? The truth is we are all in constant contact. Most of us are not even aware that this type of strength is provided to us; never leaving us no matter how we treat our God, even if we don't believe. We are never separate and never abandoned. In general, people believe we are separate, totally self-contained biological units. This is what has been taught to us, conditioned in us, and passed down from generation to generation. We don't know anything else because we have never questioned this teaching.
We have also been conditioned to believe that we are not worthy of the touch of God, let alone be in direct contact. We were taught that God is external, pictured as an old man with a long gray beard perhaps. An individual Supreme Power to be feared; that only the select few were pious enough to receive messages from God to be delivered to the masses. Of course, there hasn't been anyone in the past one to two millennium that has been selected by God for this duty simply because the scriptures don't reflect it!
If you think of this logically with your God-given mind which provides you with the ability to make decisions about every other facet of your life, you will see that this doesn't make one bit of sense. Do you think God stopped talking to us 2000 years ago? Any way you look at it, it's just not rational. There are no new books added to the Bible. There is no "Newsletter from God" providing updated information. The churches, no matter what the denomination, strictly adhere to the ancient dictates of the original church fathers. We didn't stop being God's children. God didn't give us a set of rules and then let us go on our merry way to make every mistake possible. Those of us who have children could not even conceive of the notion that we could abandon our child, let's say at 18 years old, and say, "Go out in the world, do what you can do, but I'm never going to talk to you again!" .
We are always talking to God (especially when we want something). Every religion on the planet has a form of prayer. Do you think God answers? Of course, and much, much more! God is always talking to us in some way. We just don't recognize it, or maybe we just don't listen. That's part of the conditioning;
part of the separation that we were taught exists.
Knowing God is based on that ongoing conversation. Not just believing in some nebulous, anonymous entity. The difference is with reciprocal communication, the conscious contact and connection with God. We're not speaking here of contact with a priest, minister, church, Bible, Torah, Koran, or any other scripture. This is personal, between you and God. No interpreters needed. We must learn to listen and that is easier than you may think.
Start by having an open mind and open heart.