For as long as I can remember the presence or rather the certainty of a Deity seemed or felt self evident. I could understand most viewpoints. However a universe devoid of Deity seemed incomprehensible. However some people knew it to be true, were certain of it and therefore it was a valid perception I was not privy to. I had to kill God. Or rather kill the sense of Deity and embrace the Void.
For some Buddhists atheism is their entry point into practice. It comes easy and rationally. My search began with Richard Dawkins and the vocal atheist education circuit. It was not difficult to find credence with their assertions which were mostly geared to fundamental and largely silly and superstitious literalism. I was already in agreement with most of what they said. How to go that further step? How to find the sense of God, the presence and find its arising and therefore nature?
This is where the benefit of meditation practice comes in. What is the cause, where is the arising? Where is the sense of God coming from? Dependent on our understanding, we can experience it as self or as Self. In other words dependent on a relationship or arising in personal consciousness or an ‘arising’ independent of arising. Paradox is the nature of God. Talk about crucifixion!
The most fundamental question was always, ‘how is the Presence different to the Absence’. Ultimately the Self has to express or find some attachment to the self. Only the highest mystical states involve the absence of the self. No worries for me then. If the self does not experience or attach, or rather is not allowed tenure, God begins to fade. So there it was, I experienced two years of atheism. Not a nice place. Not comforting but true.
Now the question arises, ‘can God exist in His Absence’? This is so contrary to common sense it makes Shroedingers cat seem positively koanic. However I was able to introduce a Quantum God. Not there and present. Whatever next?