I’ve read a great deal of theological reasoning about the existence of God, and they all start out on this line: If you are intelligent and reasonable, you cannot be the product of a mechanical and meaningless universe. Figs do not grow on thistles, grapes do not grow on thorns. And therefore, you—as an expression of the universe, as an aperture through which the universe is observing itself—cannot be a mere fluke.
To reject the paternalistic image of God as an idol is not necessarily to be an atheist, although I have advocated something called ‘atheism in the name of God.’ That is to say, an experience, a contact, a relationship with God—that is to say, with the Ground of Your Being—that does not have to be embodied or expressed in any specific image.
You know that you feel that you’re fairly good because in the background of your minds—very far off in the background of your minds—you’ve got the sensation of something absolutely ghastly that simply mustn’t happen. And so, against that which is not happening—and which doesn’t necessarily have to happen—but by comparison with that, you feel pretty alright.
Nobody can imagine what consciousness is. It’s the most elusive whatever-it-is that there is at all, because it’s the background of everything else that we know. Therefore, we don’t really pay much attention to it. We pay attention to the things within the field of consciousness: to the outlines, to the objects, to the so-called things that are in the field of vision, the sounds that are in the field of hearing, and so forth. But whatever it is that embraces all that, we don’t pay much attention to it. We can’t even think about it. It’s like trying to look at your head. You know? You try to look at your head and what do you find? You don’t even find a black blob in the middle of things. You just don’t find anything. And yet, that is that out of which you see.
When we don’t grasp, we have the attitude of faith.