Your real god is that to which you give your ultimate allegiance. To whatever truth you devote your life—that is your god. Everybody has at least one god. I have an atheist friend, well actually I have a lot of atheist friends—but this one is particularly curious how it is that otherwise intelligent people can possibly believe in God. At one of his parties he had just kicked back a martini—swaying back and forth he said , “so from what you say Bob, encountering God is like some sort of cosmic orgasm” (that’s not verbatim but close enough).

He caught me a little off guard—I stood there and thought—huh—I had never thought of it like that—I said “Phil, that’s not a bad analogy—In orgasmic pleasure, for a moment, you lose sense of the separate self–self  importance and self consciousness—you are utterly blissful. It works for me,” I said.

The word ‘God’ carries a lot of baggage and such conversations typically requires  the deconstruction of terms.  If by ‘God’ you are only referring to a separate supreme being who lives up there or out there–if that’s the only definition, then I’m an atheist too.

But If you don’t believe in God because there is no evidence or proof–if you can’t think your way into believing in God, then that’s another matter. Not being defined by material reality or limited to the logical functions of the brain, the God I experience can only be believed in  when we ‘get out of our heads.’  God becomes real when I let go of the separate me.  I can’t let go of the awareness of the separate me so long as I am living in my head–or as a neuroscientist might put it, when it comes to God, by itself, the left hemisphere of the brain has tunnel vision.

As Jill Bolte Taylor so powerfully put it in her book My Stroke of Insight,  the left hemisphere of the brain, has a place, but it’s not the whole story. The left hemisphere is sometimes called logical brain. The right hemisphere of the brain performs creative and intuitive functions. The left hemisphere sees details; the right sees the big picture.

Jill Bolte Taylor argues that we cannot live whole and complete lives unless both hemispheres of the brain are in balance.

I don’t know anything about neuroscience.

But I do know that there are some experiences in life that cannot be figured out or reduced to the available evidence. Sometimes, out in nature, we get so caught up with the incredible mystery and wonder of the natural world that we loose self consciousness and experience our unity with everything. Sometimes this happens with other people. When looking into each other’s eyes we see that we are not two, but one.

Everyone has an ideology. Everyone has a body of principles that govern their lives. The power of positive thinking is an ideology; the protestant work ethic that says you will be rewarded if you live right—is an ideology. Your ideology is how you think about life. Your ideology is the principles by which you live. Your ideology is how you dismantle the puzzle of life so as to put it back together so it makes sense to you.  Ideologies are rooted in the left hemisphere.

But some experiences in life don’t make sense. No matter how hard we think about life—we all have experiences that shatter our logical thinking and our ideologies.

Eckhart Tolle asks, “Have you ever gazed upon the infinity of space on a clear night, awestruck by the absolute stillness and inconceivable vastness of it? Have you listened, truly listened to the sound of a mountain stream in the forest—if so you have put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems or past, and future, as well as your knowledge—to experience these things your total presence is required. But beyond the beauty of external forms, there is more here: something that cannot be named, something ineffable, some deep, inner, holy essence…”

There is no ideology that is true. There is no belief system to contain it all. Because the truth is: life is mystery. In every moment we dwell on the edge of mystery—to see it, to touch it, to enter it, requires presence. Always, always, here and now.

This inexplicable Presence is always in us, always living through us and every living being.

This Presence is the power of connection, not only of the brain’s hemispheres–it is the Power that connects all of life. This Presence is always within us and we in it. We are forever held by It, and when we awaken to It, we touch the ineffable Mystery.

Life is an inexplicable and wondrous Mystery.  I’d even go so far as to say that life is itself God.  Wherever there is life, there is God. It’s a matter of waking up.

To believe this mystery can be reduced to the comprehension of the left hemisphere of the brain is the real joke.