I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God. By that I mean I don’t believe there is any intelligent force guiding events. Sure, I recognize that I could be wrong about that, but I find the idea of God (or whatever you want to call it) pretty far-fetched.
In the last several years, though, I’ve taken great interest in various spriritual books. Here are my favorites:
The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
Loving What Is, by Byron Katie
These books truly changed my life and allowed me to be happy; to let go of so much disdain I constantly felt toward my fellow humans. I got so much out of them, but they all centered around some concept of God. In order to fully take them in, I had to come to terms with “God”. I had to understand why the ideas in the book still resonated with me even though I have a fundamentally different view of reality than their authors.
All that which is beyond my control
For me, at least for the types of books and philosophies that resonate with me, I found that “God” could pretty seemlessly be replaced with this one phrase, “all that which is beyond my control,” and the concepts made total sense to me.
Here’s just one example: Byron Katie writes that there are three kinds of business: my business, your business, and God’s business. You need to stay in your own business. So much of my energy was being spent in “God’s business” or in what I now realize is all that which is completely out of my hands. What a waste of time and energy.
There are a lot of worthy ideas out there. There are great spiritual books, great philosophers, and even great preachers. It is a shame to dismiss everything they say simply because they have God at the center of their lives and speak in those terms. As an atheist, I would do myself a disservice to close myself off to what so many others have to share.