The Atheist and the Theist

The atheist is one who denies the existence of a Supreme Being, and the theist is one who asserts the existence of a Supreme Being.

The atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of GOD, and the theist is one who believes that GOD exists.

Both the atheist and theist are caught up in their beliefs and ideas, and their assertions are born out of their ego and not from direct experience. Of course, we could also say that their assertions and beliefs are born out of their inexperience.

GOD is not an idea. Ultimately, the existence of GOD is not proven or disproven by an empirical process. Certainly, by an empirical process one can establish the probability or improbability of the existence of GOD, but the PROOF ultimately lies with direct experience.

Now, most people will say that our direct experience is any experience that we have with our senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, or smelling). If something cannot be seen, heard, tasted, touched or smelled we will conclude that there is no ‘hard evidence.’ Of course, there are many other ways by which we ‘prove’ to ourselves (or others) that something is real or unreal. These other ‘ways’ include (but are not limited to) inference and knowledge conveyed to us by others (whom we trust).

What do we really mean by ‘direct experience?’ If we perceive something through our mind, which is separate from our self, can this be called ‘direct’ experience? If you ask your beloved if he or she loves you, and your beloved replies, “I think so,” you will not be very happy. You want to be certain of that love; ABSOLUTELY certain, and certainly you will not be content with a ‘guesstimate’ or even a so-called ‘educated guess.’ The fact is, you cannot rely on their mind or your mind for the answer or proof. The ‘direct experience’ that you seek is somewhere beyond the mind.

If we experience something through our mind, then it is an indirect experience. Mind, in this case, includes our intellect and senses. Then how will we discern the Truth, and who or what does this ‘discerning?’

Certainly, intellect is attributed with the capacity of discernment, but the ordinary intellect (BUDDHI) is subjectively identified with the mind and senses; hence, its power of discernment is not totally reliable, and is often very unreliable.

There is a higher intellect (Medha and Prajna) which is connected to Divine Wisdom (the wisdom of Consciousness that emanates from the Pure Self, PURUSH), which the living self (Jivatman) is in possession of. This higher power of discernment is cultivated by the practice of spiritual discipline in the form of YOGA. Unless one begins by laying the foundation, it is impossible to cultivate this higher power of discernment.

The foundation of Yoga is Non-Violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Good Character (as it pertains to sexuality), and non-greediness (controlling one’s desire for more and more things, money, pleasure, excitement, appreciation, personal recognition, fame, EVERYTHING).

With this foundation permanently in place, one begins to purify the senses, mind, and intellect and begins to experience directly the wisdom of Consciousness. In other words, one’s conscious Self perceives (through consciousness itself) the elements of mind, intellect, senses, and the body, and realizes intuitively that one’s conscious Self is distinct from all of this.

‘Intuitively’ simply means one’s understanding emanates directly from one’s consciousness and not from the mind and intellect. It is fair to say that most people are ‘mental’ and are not really conscious, because they live through their mind. They are so much caught up in their mental machinery that they have become living automaton robots. It is extremely difficult for them to perceive that they are other than the mind. Most people think they are the mind, because that is what they are always doing: THINKING. For them, even intuition is just another form of thinking, which is why they won’t understand even a particle of this article.

The mind (including the intellect) is only a part of our being. If we deny that ‘presence’ within us that observes the mind, it is denied only because we are in our ego. In other words, the awareness that we are conscious beings distinct from the mind is obscured due to the presence of ego in the mind. Ego is naturally present, but it doesn’t belong in the mind (or I should say, it is our natural duty as human beings to remove our ego from the mind, because that will make us very happy once it is removed).

The ‘presence’ within us that observes the mind is our conscious Self. When we are conscious of that conscious Self we are self-conscious (in the pure sense), which means we are observing the mind from the perspective of our pure ego. Still, this is indirect perception.

When we are looking down, we might see our reflection in the puddle of water and think we have seen our own self. But to really see where we have come from, we have to lift up our gaze and look to the sun, moon, and the stars and then we will realize that we are just star dust. When we remove the dust, we realize our Essence.

To have the direct experience we have to stop seeing things through our ego. When we finally purify our inner being with the Light of Wisdom, our pure consciousness stands clear of all the adjuncts of ego, intellect, mind, senses and body. We directly experience our Essence, and that essence is the Supreme Consciousness (PARAMATMAN) that pervades our being (pure consciousness, ATMAN).

In that State of Being,

in that state of Ultimate Being,

in that Original and Final Being,

there is neither atheist or theist,

neither day or night,

neither young or old,

neither white or black, this or that.

There is only . . .

……..oooooooOMmmmmm…………

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4 Comments

  1. The atheist is one who denies the existence of a Supreme Being
    The atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of GOD

    Not really, the Atheist is the one that does not believe in a supreme being due to lack of proof. They tend to take a scientific approach to the question of God and like all things scientific, views can change based on new research and evidence.

    Both the atheist and theist are caught up in their beliefs and ideas, and their assertions are born out of their ego and not from direct experience. Of course, we could also say that their assertions and beliefs are born out of their inexperience.

    The Atheist is not caught up in their ego, but caught up in their life experiences and concluding from that (based on real world, actual documented events) that God does not exist. It has very little, if anything to do with ego.

    GOD is not an idea

    No, God is a thing. It’s not a feeling. The very idea of God forces it to be a physical thing that either created everything, controls everything, or a combination of the two.

    Ultimately, the existence of GOD is not proven or disproven by an empirical process. Certainly, by an empirical process one can establish the probability or improbability of the existence of GOD, but the PROOF ultimately lies with direct experience.

    This is exactly what an Atheist believes, and based on this, has come to the conclusion that God does not exist.

    What do we really mean by “direct experience?” If we perceive something through our mind, which is separate from our self, can this be called “direct” experience? If you ask your beloved if he or she loves you, and your beloved replies, “I think so,” you will not be very happy. You want to be certain of that love; ABSOLUTELY certain, and certainly you will not be content with a “guesstimate” or even a so-called “educated guess.” The fact is, you cannot rely on their mind or your mind for the answer or proof. The “direct experience” that you seek is somewhere beyond the mind.

    Love is a horrible and flawed example for this. Love is ever changing and comes in many forms. I can love my brother, my wife, my child, my pet, and chocolate in entirely different ways. It is also impossible to quantify love. Love is a feeling, not a thing and can not be compared to God.

    If we experience something through our mind, then it is an indirect experience. Mind, in this case, includes our intellect and senses. Then how will we discern the Truth, and who or what does this “discerning?’

    EVERYTHING is experienced “through our mind” one way or another. This statement basically says that nothing can ever be the truth. Only a clear mind can be one that can find out the truth since it is not distracted by mind altering chemicals that can warp one’s perception.

    Certainly, intellect is attributed with the capacity of discernment, but the ordinary intellect (BUDDHI) is subjectively identified with the mind and senses; hence, its power of discernment is not totally reliable, and is often very unreliable.

    That is why the scientific method requires reproduction of events over multiple experiments. Usually with different people. This will eliminate any swaying from one person, or one mind that may be flawed in some way. This is where there is peer reviewed journals. One should never take a single person’s experience as fact.

    The foundation of Yoga is Non-Violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Good Character (as it pertains to sexuality), and non-greediness (controlling one’s desire for more and more things, money, pleasure, excitement, appreciation, personal recognition, fame, EVERYTHING).

    This is the foundation for a lot of things, and is basically the same as “the golden rule”. So wacky belief system or religion is not needed to follow “the golden rule”.

    The rest of this just seems like more religious babble that requires faith in order to believe in. I have faith in one thing, the truth. Truth is defined as things that can be proven through the scientific method. While someday what you are saying may be proven or dis proven, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. But, if it does, and it is proven through the scientific method, then I will change my views… And that, is why most Atheists are not that way based on their ego, but on facts. Unlike people with blind faith that refuse to give up their beliefs even when being hit over the head repeatedly with facts.

  2. “The atheist is one who denies the existence of a Supreme Being”
    “The atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of GOD”

    scooter: Not really, the Atheist is the one that does not believe in a supreme being due to lack of proof. They tend to take a scientific approach to the question of God and like all things scientific, views can change based on new research and evidence.

    jmd: I agree with you, and say that no one should believe blindly in the existence of GOD, but I would add that no one should believe blindly in their intellect and ego either.

    You have stated that “(scientific) views can change based on new research and evidence.” This is definitely the correct approach, that is, a scientific one based on proof. You disclaim the existence of a Supreme Being simply because contemporary science has not (yet)proven it; but if you are open minded (and admit your own limited knowledge and experience) you may (or may not) come across evidence (i.e., so-called scientific proof) that such a Supreme Being does in fact exist.

    In our society, we say that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, in the case of God (god), I would say that let it be stated that unless the existence of God can be proven, one should rather assert that God does not exist. It is far better to be an Atheist with an open mind than a Theist with a closed mind.

    “Both the atheist and theist are caught up in their beliefs and ideas, and their assertions are born out of their ego and not from direct experience. Of course, we could also say that their assertions and beliefs are born out of their inexperience.”

    scooter: The Atheist is not caught up in their ego, but caught up in their life experiences and concluding from that (based on real world, actual documented events) that God does not exist. It has very little, if anything to do with ego.

    jmd: Perhaps the two of us are using the word ‘ego’ differently. I use the term as defined in ancient Sanskrit texts, AHAMKARA, which is often interrupted, roughly, as one’s self-identity.

    Just like a Theist, the Atheist is also basing his or her assertions NOT on direct experience, but on the limited experience of their intellect and the limited discoveries of contemporary science (in the case of the Atheist) or religion (in the case of the Theist). Since their understanding is NOT based on their own direct experience but on someone else’s experience or faith, clearly their assertions as to the existence or not of a Supreme Being are only ideas and beliefs and NOT statements of facts (based on direct experience).

    You have stated that the Atheist is “caught up in their life experiences and concluding from that (based on real world, actual documented events) that God does not exist.” Exactly, the Atheist is ‘caught up in their life experiences’ WHICH ARE LIMITED and with which the Atheist (like the Theist) is subjectively involved. It is this subjective involvement with one’s limited knowledge and experience that substantiates one is in their ego. Because one is in their ego they cling to their opinion (idea) and cannot experience directly. For example, ask an adult to decide whether George Bush is a liar or is an honest man. An adult will rely on their limited experience and knowledge and state their opinion as fact. On the other hand, a little child of 3 or 4 years old, will probably not have an opinion either way; but if that little child (assuming that child is of average intelligence and has not yet been adulterated) is put in a room with George Bush for 1 minute, that child will sense intuitively the authenticity or not of George Bush. Am I saying this test is infallible. NO. But deny it or not, I have seen and experienced directly this so-called ‘sixth sense’ in action.

    “GOD is not an idea”

    scooter: No, God is a thing. It’s not a feeling. The very idea of God forces it to be a physical thing that either created everything, controls everything, or a combination of the two.

    jmd: An idea is a thing, and so is a feeling a thing. Things may be physical or mental (such as thoughts, ideas, feelings). When I state that God is not an idea I am stating that God is not a matter of opinion (one way or the other, pro or con). Is it your opinion that you exist or is it a fact? It is self-evident that you exist, and that experience of ‘self-evidence’ cannot be called ‘a thing.’ Things are mental or physical phenomena. Mental and physical things come into existence (being) and go out of existence (being). That existence from which things arise and into which they dissolve or disappear is known as noumenon. According to the Vedic science, the original ‘existence’ from which all material things arise is called PRAKRITI. It is the state of primordial matter BEFORE the Big Bang. In conjunction with this source of all matter (PRAKRITI, which is beginningless and endless), exists CONSCIOUSNESS, which is also eternal like PRAKRITI. This Consciousness (PURUSH) manifests as the Intelligence and Energy inherent in all Matter. Science attests to the intelligent design of this Universe (and other universes). We need not look to the heavens to discover this; we need only look at ourselves. You know you exist; that is, you know you have a body. This ‘knower’ is the conscious entity within the body. [Though, in fact, the body exists within ‘the knower’.] Which came first, the knower of the body or the body? An Atheist will conclude that consciousness is an outgrowth of matter; which is like saying that “the achitect of a building came into being after the building was built.” This statement is of course ridiculous and totally unscientific. It is no less unscientific to state that “the universe has an intelligent design but the intelligence that designed it came into being after the design.” THAT CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE IS GOD. God is NOT a person, place, or thing.

    “Ultimately, the existence of GOD is not proven or disproven by an empirical process. Certainly, by an empirical process one can establish the probability or improbability of the existence of GOD, but the PROOF ultimately lies with direct experience.”

    scooter: This is exactly what an Atheist believes, and based on this, has come to the conclusion that God does not exist.

    jmd: Very good, and you should certainly remain an Atheist until it is proven to you otherwise; but that proof will not come from your intellect or from religion; however, it will become self-evident once you are free of your ego.

    “What do we really mean by “direct experience?” If we perceive something through our mind, which is separate from our self, can this be called “direct” experience? If you ask your beloved if he or she loves you, and your beloved replies, “I think so,” you will not be very happy. You want to be certain of that love; ABSOLUTELY certain, and certainly you will not be content with a “guesstimate” or even a so-called “educated guess.” The fact is, you cannot rely on their mind or your mind for the answer or proof. The “direct experience” that you seek is somewhere beyond the mind.”

    scooter: Love is a horrible and flawed example for this. Love is ever changing and comes in many forms. I can love my brother, my wife, my child, my pet, and chocolate in entirely different ways. It is also impossible to quantify love. Love is a feeling, not a thing and can not be compared to God.

    jmd: Unfortunately, ‘love’ for most people IS a ‘thing’; it is an object of their mind, senses, and ego. Even a person’s feelings are really ‘things’ because they originate in the mind (or body). Perhaps my example of ‘love’ above does not appeal to you, however many people can relate to this because they are ‘in love’ and will tell you with certainty that it doesn’t matter what you think or I think. I am referring to that love here (though, even THAT love usually proves false, because it is generally born out of our ego).

    “If we experience something through our mind, then it is an indirect experience. Mind, in this case, includes our intellect and senses. Then how will we discern the Truth, and who or what does this “discerning?’”

    scooter: EVERYTHING is experienced “through our mind” one way or another. This statement basically says that nothing can ever be the truth. Only a clear mind can be one that can find out the truth since it is not distracted by mind altering chemicals that can warp one’s perception.

    jmd: Very, very true my friend. Only a clear mind can find out the truth, which is why it is necessary to clear out all our intellectual and religious junk to experience the truth directly. Ego is also mental junk, and can warp our perception even more than mind altering chemicals.

    “Certainly, intellect is attributed with the capacity of discernment, but the ordinary intellect (BUDDHI) is subjectively identified with the mind and senses; hence, its power of discernment is not totally reliable, and is often very unreliable.”

    scooter: That is why the scientific method requires reproduction of events over multiple experiments. Usually with different people. This will eliminate any swaying from one person, or one mind that may be flawed in some way. This is where there is peer reviewed journals. One should never take a single person’s experience as fact.

    jmd: Absolutely correct. Many times people have a ‘spiritual’ experience, something which is beyond their mind, body, intellect, or ego. This experience is self-evident to them, but only to them. Perhaps they share (intellectually) this experience with others who may have had a similar experience. Unfortunately, this experience is quickly intellectualized as a ‘religious’ experience. Unfortunately, the ‘experiencer’ does not reproduce this experience again and again, but only recounts it in their memory and shares only this memory with other ‘experiencers’ or ‘experiencer wannabes’. Instead, they should do more research and study the journals of Wise people who have ‘lots of experience’ (such ‘journals’ exist in the form of the Teachings of the Wise that have been passed down through the millenia, but unfortunately these so-called scriptures are replete with many interpolations of ‘the inexperienced’). Because people do not do this necessary ‘homework’, they fall prey to various charlatans, gurus, priests, prophets, and so on.

    “The foundation of Yoga is Non-Violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Good Character (as it pertains to sexuality), and non-greediness (controlling one’s desire for more and more things, money, pleasure, excitement, appreciation, personal recognition, fame, EVERYTHING).”

    scooter: This is the foundation for a lot of things, and is basically the same as “the golden rule”. So wacky belief system or religion is not needed to follow “the golden rule”.

    jmd: No ‘wacky belief system’ or religion is ever required; in fact, they are a detriment. The only thing required is self-discipline and self-sacrifice (giving up one’s ego).

    scooter: The rest of this just seems like more religious babble that requires faith in order to believe in. I have faith in one thing, the truth. Truth is defined as things that can be proven through the scientific method. While someday what you are saying may be proven or dis proven, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. But, if it does, and it is proven through the scientific method, then I will change my views… And that, is why most Atheists are not that way based on their ego, but on facts. Unlike people with blind faith that refuse to give up their beliefs even when being hit over the head repeatedly with facts.

    jmd: Facts are often later proven to be fiction. The Truth is beyond both fact and fiction. Facts change, the Truth does not. It is a fact that you are in your ego, and this fact may one day change, and when it does you will perceive the Truth. OM

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