April 21, 2014
The question is not, nor has it ever been, “Is God real?” This may seem like an issue of semantics, but trust me, it isn’t. God is the question of reality.
What is real?
Our minds’ interactions with our five senses dictate what we, as humans, perceive as real. We are the only species on our planet to build churches, mosques, shrines, and other such complexities to our God or gods. Ants may herd aphids. Dolphins and apes may have recognition of self. But, despite these complexities, none of those animals have a structured dogma. If they practice a faith it is so ingrained in their daily lives as to be indistinguishable from acts of instinct or survival.
So, God is the question of reality. If God only exists in our minds, is that any different from the concept of a separate entity? The classic Zen kōan: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? The tree exists. The tree makes a sound. The mind to perceive it is what is absent.
There is an individualistic taste to God. That has to do with the mind’s relationship to the concept – to reality. Why is God a paternal creator figure to some, and a destructive force to others? Which is real? The mind that interprets the stimulus defines the concept of real.
Again. Whether or not God is real does not matter, because God is the question of reality.