In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses what a world looks like if we didn't have the concept of god and what does religion need to do in the evidence behind scientific discovery.
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Hello, and welcome to the 10th episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining today and for taking out the time to either listen or watch this podcast episode. Today we're going to be talking about whether there can be a world without God and, what are the benefits and implications of such a world? What would a world without God look like? When you think about this, there is a very distinct difference with the way the Eastern religions view God and interpret God to the way the Abrahamic religions interpret God. Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, mainly view 'God' as an Ultimate Reality that has infused itself in nature and belongs to nature, has manifested itself in nature yet is also distinct from it. When you go into the deepest philosophies within those religions, eventually, that's what you get to. Now, some may not term it as God, and there's a significant reason why they do not define it as God. From my interactions with different spiritual groups, with my experience of understanding what the Abrahamic religions view God as, that Abrahamic view of God has now taken its place in the Eastern religions. The people who follow these Eastern religions view God is not far off from the Abrahamic sense of the word - God. This means that people do believe that God is a man up there in the sky, up above. If you notice a lot of people that even say, God is everywhere, they look above, they say, 'God', as if he's up there in the sky, no one's ever seen him. No one knows if he's actually there on some cloud. But we tend to view this God, as something separate to us and someone that is the judge, jury and executioner. This thought, this idea of God has actually seeped through, into a lot of the spiritual groups, despite the philosophy of those religions stating something else. For example, in Advaita Vedanta there is no room for this God. There's no need for this God. This God doesn't need to exist. There's no need for a separate creator. There's no need for a separate judgment. If you look at how people term God, they go to that. So I hope I'm making it clear because this is a very subtle difference, but also very starking difference between the two. If you listen to a lot of the spiritual teachers out there, their view of God isn't so different to the God of the Abrahamic sense. In my own journey, I have gone through a belief in God to not believing in God. When I mean God, I mean the Abrahamic sense of God or God that is separate. I do not think that you need to believe in such a God. But is it right for this belief to be taken away? And can we replace it with something else? Something more real, something that we can relate to more. This is what we're going to discover in today's episode. If we take this God figure that we've talked about yeah, the Abrahamic sense of God. The God up there. If we take this heroic figure away from society, and we say it's dead. Like Frederick Nietzsche said that God is dead. If we call this God dead, what happens? It actually has a very catastrophic effect and we see this now with the world. If you don't give people something to believe in, which is overtly very good or supposedly very good. You take away people's morals or their chance of learning how to have a moral life. I do believe having a moral life isn't important. I think it's more important to understand your own humanity and that should be your compass with dealing with the world. For example, if it means that there is a God has given you morals, if you take that away from people. You're left with a blank slate and if you don't replace it with anything, guess what ends up being the replacement? Our carnal desires and that's because we feel a close affinity to our desires, not because desires are wrong and it's bad. That's the next best thing realistically. If I have to replace God with anything, I'll replace God with a better car, with a better house, frankly that's what I would do. So taking away this grand heroic figure, this is what ends up happening. So literally people have a God shaped hole. If you see God has infinite and boundless, this God-shaped hole that's within everyone has to be filled in some way or another. What happens is we end up being a consumer. We consume things. We constantly want more and more things, we need to fulfill our desires. Our desires are never ending, they're continuously flowing. We want this, we want that. We do not know why we have this emptiness. There's this emptiness in life, even though our credit cards being constantly used, this emptiness is still not being filled. We may be attending some sermon or some church or some temple or whatever, but still they're relating to us about having a better life. How do you have a better life? Well, if you're rich, I understand that, but being wealthy doesn't mean that you're fulfilling your desires. You could just be adding onto more and more desires. No matter what happens, if you take away that figure of God and you don't replace it with anything, even though man is free. Man is free to his own desires. That's all, man is free too and guess what? He's bounded, again, mankind is now bounded within its desires, it's desire for power, it's desire for things, it's desire for possessions, it's desire to control people. So getting rid of God may not be the answer. Now when these desires end up becoming our God, this still applies if you believe in a God by the way. Believing is very different to knowing God as a reality. If we define God correctly, this is what is needed today. If you think about it, the new places of worship are our shopping malls, our shopping outlets, the stores that we go to, they are now our places of worship. We go there, what happens in the dazzling light? We see things and we are taken aback. We were on the journey. We're going to go through that constant process of seeing some thing that we like, that we only going to wear once, or we only going to use once, we'll put our card in buy it and eventually we just throw it away, once we've worn it once. That's what's happened when you take God out of the picture or when you take a certain spiritual life out of the picture. Not saying that this is what happens to everybody, but it can happen and even when you believe in a God. At the end of the day, if this God is abstract from you, is something separate to you, then you're not really gonna care. Even if you fear God, the fear is not real. The fear is just there when you are infront of the priest or infront of the preacher. Or when you're in the church, but otherwise when you're in your house, you don't give a damn about fearing God. That's the reality. You'll gossip about others. We'll do that. We don't care. We don't fear God, we will end up hurting other people and not thinking about it. We'll think it's okay to be racist or sexist or homophobic. We'll think all of those things and we'll think it's fine because we don't fear God, realistically, if we really did have that fear that we supposedly talk about, we apparently live a life of morals that has been stated by God, we would not be doing the things that we see today. We would not be experiencing the hatred we see today. This is a fact. I don't believe either fearing God helps and neither do I believe the belief in God helps, but there is a need to replace it. Like I mentioned, if we feel lost in terms of morals, that means that we lack purpose or we may lack meaning in life. We may come to a junction in life where we feel that something is missing and we just can't pinpoint it. We may look for meaning and then we end up going to a place of worship or we join a spiritual institution and we tried to find meaning with that, but because it's only a belief, it's not something we've discovered, it's not really true for us, it's something we're just told to believe in, to have faith in and we're empowered to have that belief and that faith, but still we end up feeling empty. We somehow still have doubts. Most places won't even address doubts, forget about having doubts because they think it's more important to believe than to know. We're meant to see God as a reality, not as something to believe in. A common example that is always used is do you believe in the sun or do you know the sun exists? I don't say, oh, well I believe this an exists. If someone said that to you, that they believe the sun exists, or they believe the moon exists, they will look at you as if you're strange. But you know, the sun exists, you know the moon exists. The question is, do you see God in the same way? Do you believe that God exists? Or do you know God exists? Do you experience God and how do you experience God? Because anyone can say they experience God. But I will mention this one thing, if God is still separate to you as an experience, it's not God at all. That's according to the deeper philosophies of Hinduism and all the other religions have come from the east. Another implication we have say, we do take God out of the picture. What ends up happening. We end up finding different heroes. We need a new hero and what happens. We believe in celebrity. Now, when you ask people what they want to be, they want to be famous, right? Because that's the new gods. There's no one more famous than God because no one debates God and his existence more than God itself. So we all eventually are looking towards the same goal. We all want to become God, but to the wrong means, we want to become famous in terms of media, or we want to become famous because we want the admiration of others and this is catastrophic. We are humans that are subject to flaws. The problem with having a belief in God and the problem is having heroes is that we expect perfection. We want something to be absolutely perfect. Nothing in this world can be absolutely perfect. Nothing. Even if you see God as the all righteous, all-powerful being. We will find that somehow God gets jealous. There, we also find issues with our hero. Like I said, we'll end up finding new heroes and we'll find that with people, if you worship a celebrity, you'll end up finding they have flaws You may find out they end up taking drugs and you may be someone that does not like drugs, you may not drink alcohol, but you find that your hero drinks, alcohol, you don't like your hero anymore. Even our heroes are subject to falling and we will just keep creating new heroes to support what we think is fulfilling us. Even new heroes, the new heroes we see today in the world cannot fulfill us. The benefits that we find when we, okay, so say there is no God, so what is the benefits here? The benefit is this, that religions need to upgrade and they have to upgrade as much as we upgrade our phone software. My Apple iPhone that I'm recording this podcast with always needs to upgrade its software. The same way should be with religion. Religion needs to constantly upgrade itself to the current times. Now, if science shows that there wasn't a supernatural being that created the existence, then that's the fact. Religion has to then say, okay, we've established this through observable science. Now let's see how this affects our philosophy, but we've not looked at that. We've now tried to defend a philosophy that doesn't stand up against science. It's only natural for people to end up leaving religion because we're not dealing with facts anymore. We're not dealing with evidence-based science or evidence-based reality. Religion really does need to understand what they want to see God as. Seeing God as the creator probably is not the answer anymore. To be honest, a lot of the major religions have failed to give great answers to this. This has been my biggest pet peeve is the separation between the creator and the creation because we see these two as different things, we're told to either believe in one or the other. Why not have belief in both of them? Why not see them as one reality? This is where Advaita Vedanta comes in to save the day for me. This is personally for me, and people may feel the same way, but what Buddhism, Daoism and Sikhism, that the underlying principle is this. The principle and everything that has come from that principle in terms of manifestations, the world that we see, this transactional reality is all one and they termed this as God. So God doesn't have any personality. Yeah, God does not have a personality, from my experience of meditation and going deep into understanding what Reality is. There's no personality. God is, it's not empty, but there's nothing you can put on it. The more you define it, the less it will be defined. It's such a paradox. If you put a label to it, it will deny the label. Then it will not be God or what we view as God. this is something that needs time for us to process, but the point I'm trying to make is that we need to stop seeing God in the Abrahamic sense. And I'm talking mainly to even those are Hindus or Sikhs or Buddhists or whatever you may believe in, whatever religion or any spiritual organization for that fact, if you say you believe in a God and you believe that you can show God or reveal God or whatever and everyone has a monopoly over this truth for one reason or the other. If you're still seeing God as a 'person' that you need to pray to, that you need to believe in that you need to worship, then I'm sorry, but that God has now been reduced to nothing. People are not believing in that God anymore. I don't think it's worthy enough to even try to save or resuscitate that God, frankly speaking, we now have to look towards a new way of understanding what reality is, what God really is. It's because of this, that mysticism has grown. That is why people like Rumi, Kabir Ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, or Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, Swami, Vivekananda, why they come into this world and what they've discovered and shared with us is that we don't need dogma or tradition. We shouldn't lose tradition. I do want to state that because that's very rich history, which we need to embrace and we need to embrace where we've come to. So for example, the one thing that I love about Hinduism is that it doesn't erase anything. It says this was prior to the truth, but now this is a truth. If you look at the Vedas, it's really interesting, you have these beliefs in multiple manifestations of gods and goddesses, and this is the viewpoint. Then you come to Vedanta, the end - The Upanishads and they talk about that one underlying principle, that one underlying ultimate reality. This is what I believe religion should be. It should be an evolution and for that, you do need living masters, living realized beings that would always look to evolve that religion. So that's really important and that's why we need to have those people. That's why people liked Swami Vivekananda are still remembered. Ramana Maharshi is one of the biggest influences today in Advaita Vedanta. If you look at the west now, in America, in the UK, a lot of non-duality has come from Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. Without them, without that evolution of using the language that we use today, we wouldn't be where we are today in terms of understanding Advaita Vedanta. They made it so accessible and there are people today who make it accessible. What I'm trying to say is that spirituality is growing from these Mystics. These Mystics allow us to view spirituality as an evolving way of life instead of being stuck in the past, embrace the past, enjoy the past. But remember if it isn't true today, we have to put it aside. If we cannot say it's true today, we have to put it aside. For example, a lot of things in Hinduism are termed as stories in the Puranas, those are stories. They may not have happened, but those stories carry a deeper message. We go for the message. If you want to go straight for the philosophy, The Upanishads are there, Ashtavakra Gita is there, Ribhu Gita is there, Avadhuta Gita is there. All those texts are there for us to read and discover. This is really up to us to go into. Can God be resuscitated? Can we save God? I do you believe that God will have to come back into the picture at some point, because this God shaped hole that we have needs to be filled somehow. It needs to be filled with what God really is and this God that we're talking about cannot be defined. It has no form. It has no shape. It has no limit. It has no bound. It has no restriction. It has no color. It has no image. It has no shape. Basically we have to use the concept of neti-neti, not this, not this, to get to the point where there is no answer. That then is God. That is Brahman. This is what is according to the texts in The Upanishads, this is what people like Ramana Maharshi have talked about and Nisargadatta Maharaj, the famous non-duality teachers, they have got to that point where they're saying neti-neti, and the ultimate answer is the silence and even beyond the silence. God is something that has to be realized as real as this microphone is in front of me. That's how real God has to be. This has to be realized and therefore religions have to upgrade accordingly. The funny thing about this whole thing is, and maybe this is why God is always missed as a reality, because it can be immediately realized, it can be found immediately, it can be discovered right here right now. And because of that, it's missed completely. Something like Advaita Vedanta is able to show us how we can get to that immediate realization and through different philosophies because it accepts the Maya as a transactional reality. So we need a religion which is able to marry up this world that we see this relative world, this transactional world, and then the awareness behind this transactional world, this consciousness that is behind this transactional world. Where this transactional world is projected upon that consciousness, yet that consciousness remains untouched, unblemished. It's not altered by it. It is not affected by it, that pure consciousness. That can only be realized, through the concept of, in my opinion, self-inquiry or neti-neti. We have to understand that what Maya can never reach is this Ultimate Reality. Maya itself, this transactional reality will never be able to reach the Ultimate Reality in terms of it's defining it. Therefore no outside agency can approve it. When, I mean, outside agency, I mean, both religion and science. Both can never reach this Ultimate Reality because we'd be using the apparatus of this being. So to do this, we have to transcend this being. Therefore we have to find it ourselves. What is it within us? That is not this body and not this mind. Let's just recap what we've gone through because there's a lot we've covered and there's a lot to digest. You probably have to listen to this a few times and do ask me questions about this, because it's really important that we have a discussion about this and we can do a question and answer maybe in future episodes. I can answer any of the questions that you have. With God gone, society will look for other means, that's a fact and unfortunately the direct means right now is consumerism, capitalism. We will look to buy our hearts out because if God is infinite, so is our desires for shopping. We have to discover God within our own self. Before we think about traditional religion. Before you accept your religion, first, try to find God within yourself. Before you accept a spiritual institution, see if they can make you discover God for yourself. This is actually one test that people like Swami Vivekananda also followed. The one thing that he asked, Ramakrishna, his guru was. 'Can you show me God? Can God be realized right now? And because Ramakrishna Ji said, 'Yes, you can, I can show you God right here. Right now.' You need someone like that. Someone who is willing to take you there and there's very few of them and they're very hard to find. Sometimes they can be right in front of us and we don't know. But most of them, they end up being silent after they realized the truth, because they feel that we're not going to let go of our carnal desires. We're not going to let go of our ego and our pride. We're too invested in that, that we don't really want to know God, but trust me if you know, somebody keep trying to get their attention. For example, Zen Masters, you probably have to visit them multiple times, sometimes even years for them to accept you as a student. Now that's not because they don't want to give you the truth, they want to, but they want you to be ready for it and it's only ready when your desire for the truth is bigger than the desires for the world. When your desires are bigger for the truth, and the desires of the world is less that's when they're ready. That's when they know you're ready for it. Unfortunately, you now need to find your mystics and your spiritual organizations and the first thing to do is to see if they can show you what God is right now, right here without any fluffy philosophy. Without any fluff and airy fairy stuff. That direct perception, that's what we need. That's if you want to really resuscitate God. Yeah. And no outside agency can ever prove God, only this inner agency, this inner agent, which is God itself can prove itself. It's such a paradox. I mean, it's so true and so real for me that it's so hard to define to others. I find sometimes I just feel lost in saying it because it's just right here and I'm trying to define something that is right here, but I've gone through this whole big journey to get there and then I know that everyone more or less has to go through the same journey. Like I said, we need to just create our inner tools to help us and there are many people that are out there to help us. We just have to search for them and I can tell you that there are people there. Look for them, but most of all, look within yourself first. If anyone tells you that God is out there and not in here, don't go to them. They're just going to give you another belief system. The one that can say that there is nothing but God within and without that person probably has the truth. Just keep on inquiring. I hope this episode has been helpful. It's been longer than I anticipated, but I really wanted to get some things clear about what I believe in what I think is the truth. But I also want you to be open enough to ask me questions now and ask me stuff about what you don't understand and or what you want more clarity over. Sometimes I may say something and I'm in the middle of a point and I actually forget what I was trying to say and trying to portray and you may pick up on it. Ask that question because it will help not only myself in discovering the answer within me, but also will help maybe others who have the same question. Thank you for listening to this. I really appreciate it. And I hope that you find that God within you, because that God is waiting and has always been waiting. Thank you for watching this episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast. Please do subscribe to this channel and do like and comment on the video below. You can also share this episode with your friends and family who you feel will really enjoy this episode. You can follow The Bearded Mystic Podcast on social media and I leave the links in the description below. Do remember that an episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast is uploaded every Sunday and every Thursday. Take care. See you again soon. Bye.