"A committed believer in the Koran trots out the same arguments for his point of view as a Southern Baptist devotee of the Bible, and neither can listen to reason, because their whole sense of personal security and integrity depends absolutely upon pretending to follow an external authority. The very existence of this authority, as well as the sense of identity of its follower and true believer, requires an excluded class of infidels, heathens and sinners people whom you can punish and bully so as to know that you are strong and alive. No argument, no reasoning, no contrary evidence can possibly reach the true believer, who, if he is somewhat sophisticated, justifies and even glorifies his invincible stupidity as a "leap of faith" or "sacrifice of the intellect."
Atheism in the name of God is an
abandonment of all religious beliefs, including atheism, which in
practice is the stubbornly held idea that the world is a mindless
mechanism. Atheism in the name of God is giving up the attempt
to make sense of the world in terms of any fixed idea or
intellectual system. It is becoming again as a child and
laying oneself open to reality as it is actually and directly
felt, experiencing it without trying to categorize, identify
or name it. This can be most easily begun by listening to
the world with closed eyes, in the same way that one can
listen to music without asking what it says or means. This is actually
a turn-on a state of consciousness in which the past and
future vanish (because they cannot be heard) and in which
there is no audible difference yourself and what you are
hearing. There is simply universe, an always present
happening in which there is no perceptible difference between
self and other, or, as in breathing, between what you do and
what happens to you. Without losing command of civilized behavior, you
have temporarily "regressed" to what Freud called the oceanic
feeling of the baby the feeling that we all lost in learning
to make distinctions, but that we should have retained as
their necessary background, just as there must be empty white
paper under this print if
you are to read it.
When you listen to the world in this
way, you have begun to practice what Hindus and Buddhists
call meditation a re-entry to the real world, as distinct
from the abstract world of words and ideas. If you find that
you can't stop naming the various sounds and thinking in
words, just listen to yourself doing that as another form of
noise, a meaningless murmur like the sound of traffic. I
won't argue for this experiment. Just try it and see what happens,
because this is the basic act of faith of being unreservedly open
vulnerable to what is true and real.
I like what he has to say.... but... if you look at life like a blank piece of paper you can write anything you want onto it.
There has to be a prism - a filter for us to view life - otherwise the views of a psychopath, the views of a genocidal dictator like Hitler, Pol Pot, or Genghis Khan is on the same - everything is cool baby - view of Gandhi, Jesus etc..
But for myself - I have read the Bible, I have stayed in the church for 40 years, and I think its time for me to step back and evaluate and not just blindingly accept what was written as God's word.