The UX of God

I think if we had a better user experience of God, we’d be happier people. This is my response to common skeptical/atheist voices.

Believing in God explains nothing. How did God get here?

Nobody who is intelligent will buy that there is a bearded dude in the sky handing out karma points. I mean, really.

That’s not what spirituality is about. That’s what religion is about, to some.

But when I say God I don’t mean an anthropomorphic deity. I don’t mean something that exists separate from the universe. I mean the universe itself, reality itself, the fundamental reality. So to ask things like “Did God create the Universe?” or “Will God be angry if I…?” are irrelevant. The Universe is God. You are God. There is nothing to create or not create, the Universe just is, and likely always has been, in some form or another. It just keeps changing. Or at least it appears that way to us, and that’s really all we can be sure about. When I speak of God I am speaking of a certain perspective or sense about the Universe–a felt sense of the underlying fabric of things. God is everything, and the experience of God is the sensing of the connectedness of everything. So when I say God, I’m acknowledging that connectedness.

We are god, you and I are God, this computer is God. So typing this is like God typing on God to communicate to God. It’s all the same substance. It’s the dualistic universe that is the illusion. But it’s a fun illusion right, it’s what we’re doing here. We’re playing at being not-God. That’s the human experiment, the human dream, to experience a separation which is inherently false but still interesting. It’s a game. And seeing it as a game makes it that much more fun, because you take your suffering less seriously.

Um, Christians. The fundamentalists. The Crusades. I’m not down with that.

Yes. But Christians don’t own the word “God”.

It’s all the same thing, the same Divine substance. God, the Tao, energy, the Isness of Being—but people get distracted by labels.

The point of God, of spirit, is that there is an underlying field of unity that runs through the universe. Everything that people make up, all religions, are just ways people have found to contact that unity, to touch that Mystery. The mystical center of all religions—Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Islam—they all get down to that basic mystical truth about the unity underneath everything.

People know the word God, I don’t have a problem with it personally, so I use it sometimes, although I constantly have to explain to intellectuals that no, I’m not actually a bible-thumper.

I understand the confusion and fear because a lot of people have been traumatized by Christianity. But it’s still the most useful word, so I try to reclaim it. Christianity doesn’t own God. It’s just a word for a concept.

Prayer is like wishing on a star–quaint and pointless.

The purpose of prayer is to reconnect with the internal flow of unity within yourself. It does nothing to the Universe–it does not compel any deistic entity to action. Instead, it changes you to become in alignment with God, with the Tao, with the harmonious flow of everything. Once you are in that place of surrender, you follow the natural flow of things and your life works out more harmoniously.

I’m suspicious of essential moralities.

Right and wrong are human concepts, they are just more of the game of being human. Evil is just part of the game of being human too. Good and bad are the two sides of duality. The point about evil is that it’s all up to us. Bad things happen because as a human species we haven’t figured out yet how to get along peacefully with each other, with ourselves, with the earth. There’s not some cosmic force making us be evil, its just our own ignorance. To locate evil outside of humans, as a supernatural force, is to act like a victim of it. Humans are responsible for everything ‘evil’ on this planet, the concept of evil as well as the immense amount of suffering currently happening. We could reduce the amount of suffering immensely if we wanted to. I think a good first step is taking responsibility and stop blaming it on some external party like “God” or “Satan”.

I have no context to start exploring spirituality.

For myself, it was a long process that started with exploring Wicca in college. I’ve read a lot and done a lot of internal work that is focused around listening inwardly to my inner motivation and then following it. My spiritual practice is basically to be the most myself as possible, as deeply as possible. To go within and discover what is actually in there. And I’ve done a lot of healing/psychological work that has dovetailed with that. I also have found a lot of value in the idea of surrender and having faith that everything works out for a reason. When I talk about energy, harmony, a flow that moves through things, I mean literally I can feel it in my body. It’s something you can attune to if you want to. It’s the living God, if you will. And when I’m really in touch with it, it’s a beautiful, transcendent experience–of love and of dissolving and belonging inherently to the Universe–and of awe and wonder in the face of Mystery.

Church is boring.

I agree. I’d love to start a non-boring church.

I want direct experience. I like to write and talk about spirituality, and I like to do various things to access that feeling of flow, like dance and being in nature and love and sex. I try to go where I’m drawn, like water flows downhill. Water is a very common and useful metaphor for the Tao.

Faith means believing in what isn’t real.

To me faith means keeping that sense alive even when I’m in my everyday life, and aligning my life as much as possible to that sense. It means remembering that feeling of connectness when I feel dissappointed, and having faith that things do work out. I’ve seen it over and over, that something that at first seemed like a disaster, a breakdown, a wall, will later reveal itself to be a crucial element that brought me to an even deeper understanding and experience of God. Things don’t always work out to give you exactly what you think you want–but they always move you toward a deeper experience of your true Self, if you let them. So the key is to trust that, to give yourself to that, and to want that and align yourself with that. The lessons become easier, more effortless, and you begin to experience yourself as a constantly evolving and transforming and expanding organism–and that is so delicious.