Is There a God?

Betsy - Berkeley, California
Entered on February 23, 2009
Age Group: 65+
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Some time ago I saw a cartoon showing a seeker clawing his way to a mountain top where he asks the seated guru, “Is There a God?” The guru serenely responds, “Just a moment; I’ll Google it.”

So I tried it, too, and found 60,400,000 answers to that question—one that I had also struggled with ever since June 1936 when I graduated from grammar school at the same time that I rebelled against the indoctrination of my ultra conservative church. I remember confronting my minister with the pronouncement: “If I can dissect and label and put into little boxes everything about God, then I am creating God instead of Him creating me!”

I no longer believed or disbelieved.

Then, in 1989 I was rushed to the hospital, presumably dying from hemorrhagic and septic shock caused by a mysterious lung disease. Blood transfusions, intra-venous feeding tubes, catheters, drain tubes, a respirator, and various other attachments, as well as daily x-rays, all tried to maintain life. In lucid moments I agonized over the fact that my children and everyone else was struggling to keep me alive, but I could do nothing to help myself. I had control only over my brain—and limited control at that. Remembering a time when I had experimented with meditation, I hoped that it might help me escape from the prison my body had become. I sought the kind of inner-eye, lighted spiral that used to lead me into meditative infinite space, but instead I could not go beyond a flat grayness with 2” x 5” boundaries. In desperation I pleaded, “Oh, God, help me see my spiral!”

I was instantly engulfed in a dazzling cone of light that descended from the inner space where I had sought my spiral—a colorless, shimmering, blinding energy that infused me with a liberating serenity. I clearly remember not fear or shock, but saying these words to myself: “I don’t have to do this alone; I can partake of the energy of the universe.”

Later I realized that I was probably so close to death that all of my electrolytes must have been misfiring, but that doesn’t change the awe and mystery of the experience—or my gratitude for its scientific basis, or the gift from my brain’s assurance that strengthened my will to live with the absolute conviction that I could.

But isn’t it just as likely, given proof of the number of powerful energies and forces in the physical universe—which scientists seek to understand, control, and/or harness— that there may also be a powerful spiritual energy responsive to those efforts?

Is there a God?

No, not an external, intervening deity who answers our prayers. But I believe that we can call upon a spiritual energy to help us seek within for the strength and courage to trust those sustaining, energizing, creative forces in the universe that we call “God.”