Some have a misconception that Spiritual Guidance is reserved for “believers.” Speaking for myself, that is certainly not the case. I humbly honor non-believers equally, as well as those in inquiry. Truth-seeking is a profound undertaking, worthy of respect at every stage. To keep asking questions is to engage in an ever-unfolding, rich and dynamic spiritual life.
Insightful mystic and teacher, Osho (pictured below), articulates the noble position of the agnostic in The God Conspiracy. “Doubt makes you assert your individuality. You start finding your path on your own. You don’t accept the maps given to you by others. It is cheap to believe, it is cheap to disbelieve. But it is really a dangerous journey to know.” Why might he say “dangerous?” Because you must trust your own hard won experience above the comfort and familiarity of prevailing schools of thought. To rest in uncertainty is to embrace the unknown. That can be lonely. It takes guts. But it can lead to authentic knowing– the real thing. “Doubt is the insistence of the individual that he wants to taste, to experience the truth. He is not ready to accept it from anybody else, this way or that.”
Even among theists and atheists, matters of faith are not necessarily fixed. According to How God Changes Your Brain by cutting-edge neuroscientist, Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, “Our research disclosed that when it comes to God, there are few “true believers,” for even the most devoted believers expressed some doubts about the validity of their spiritual beliefs. Even the majority of young atheists that we’ve interviewed expressed uncertainty about their disbeliefs.”
I am privelaged to serve those who have the courage to examine their evolving unique personal beliefs and disbeliefs, as well as the growing number of Spiritual Eclectics among us. “Indeed,” Newberg and Waldman report, “current research reflects a growing tendency of people who are unwilling to identify themselves with any single system of belief.” Spiritual Guidance gives those for whom established religion does not feel a fit somewhere to turn for support, in absence of a brick and mortar place of worship–not to mention, community.
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson. Well said as usual, Ralph.
To those inclined to bravely delve into the mystery and go their own way, I say, more power to you. And if there comes a time when you seek companionship along the way, I would be privileged to join you, wherever you are.