How I Met Jesus: The Journey of an Atheist
Over a year ago I announced that I have accepted Jesus, while at the same time I said that I don’t believe the Bible is the word of God. This prompted several friends, both Christians and atheists to question me about it.
It appears to them that my position is contradictory. “If you don’t believe in the Bible, how you could possibly know Jesus,” ask my Christian friends. My atheist friends ask how I could believe in Jesus when the only book that talks about him is a book of fables and myths. The questions are similar. So I will give the same answer to both.
I understand that my views are not welcomed by anyone. Atheists are pissed off because I now believe in God and Christians don’t accept my version of faith in Jesus, since it is not based on the Scriptures. Many Hindus have been very angry and some have even reviled me on Twitter and I don’t think I can count on Muslim’s love either.
Why any sane person would adopt a position that angers everyone? Am I a masochist? Why would I want to alienate the entire world and say things that no one likes? No I don’t think I am insane. I think my views are the only sane ones. Okay, you heard that before.
Now, speaking seriously, the truth is that I never cared what others think about me. All that matters is that I should be at peace with my conscience. I always said, be a prophet to yourself. I didn’t mean it quite literally, but apparently that is what I have become. My version of religion is entirely mine. It may not be unique. If it is true, many others may have come to the same conclusion. Truth is not exclusive. Perhaps they don’t talk about it because they don’t want to piss everyone off. I am the reckless one. If my views are true, they will eventually overcome all other views. If I am wrong, as I have often been, I see this as another stepping stone to higher understanding.
I confess that I always thought of Jesus highly. However, I considered him to be a mythological figure. Sometimes people asked me, if I have such a high regards for Jesus why I don’t accept him. I would tell them jokingly, Can i be an atheist Christian? God to me was fairytale.
I did not believe in God because I was not convinced of the evidence presented. In fact there was none. Materialism is not completely convincing either, but it sounded more rational. Considering the absence of evidence of a spiritual world, it made more sense to believe that this world is all there is and once we die, that is it. Not only it made more sense I was happy with that too. Life sucks! One is too many.
My views changed about a year and half ago when I stumbled upon the testimonies of people who had died and had come back to life. Many of them were resuscitated by their doctors and a few had woken up on their own, sometimes after spending a few days in the morgue, of course dead. I watched one, and then two and then more and I was hooked.
These people woke up with strange stories. They claim they never lost consciousness and that they were fully awake and aware of everything even when they were dead with no heartbeat and no brain activity. They saw the doctors operating on them, their body lying on the operation table, and sometimes went through the walls and saw their relatives in the waiting room or the chapel and heard their conversation. Not only did they not lose consciousness they had gained acute sensory perceptions that they had not experienced before.
They saw their body from the vantage point of being out of it, as if looking down at another person hovering over them. Although the experiences vary, many of them went through a tunnel, at the end of which they encountered a being of lite, sometimes in the form of a man. They explain that the light has masculine voice, even though the conversation is not communicated verbally. It is made telepathically. He is very authoritative while very loving.
The light embraced them. He sometimes hugged them, and some even sat on his lap like a baby. He told them they were safe and they felt absolute bliss and extraordinary sharpness. They felt so much love that if they were to experience it in their physical body they won’t be able to stand it. Clearly this being could not be Allah who according to Muhammad hides behind the veil. I wonder why Allah does not show his face? Is it because then people will see he is an imposter?
I watched hundreds of these videos. I must have seen most of them. These are testimonies of people of diverse backgrounds. Some were Christian. Others were Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, atheist, and even Muslim. Some were old and some still toddler. Many of these people saw Jesus. Muslims did not see Muhammad. Hindus did not see Hindu gods. It appeared that Jesus was a big shot there. If you believe these guys you’d say that he really has a kingdom up there.
Now, I am a rationalist, Things must make sense or they are nonsense. This whole think sounded so wacky. How can I believe in spirits and angels? Angels? That is ridiculous. But some of these stories were told by atheists who just like me, laughed at the idea of such mythological creatures.
Well, maybe these experiences are just the “last hurray of a dying brain,” as some pseudo-skeptics have put it. But that makes no sense! Why a dying brain needs a last hurray? Explain that from the Darwinian point of view.
There is compelling and irrefutable evidence that these experiences are not the function of the dying brain. They take place when the brain flat-lines. It means it ceases to function. When neurons don’t fire up, no imagination can take place, no thought can occur. Pseudo-skeptics argue that the brain cells are still alive. But they have to communicate to generate thoughts, if indeed thoughts are the function of the brain.
This is a strong argument in favor of the independence of consciousness from brain, but there is one that is still stronger, actually irrefutable! Many of these “dead people” accurately reported what those around them did and said when they were dead. Their ears were plugged, their eyes were covered, their heart had stopped and their brain had flat-lined. Yet, they could see everything from above with total clarity, and reported them accurately after they were brought back to life. A born blind woman said that she was able to see for the first time, including her own body. She had never seen anything in life.
There is no other explanation for such phenomena other than consciousness is independent from body and outlives it.
Sometimes these otherworldly observations are witnessed by the caregivers and the relatives of the dying person. Raymond Moody has collected several such stories, in his latest book Shared Death Experiences.
After watching dozens of these verified stories I had no other choice but to believe in the survival of consciousness after death. It seems that death is only a transition from one dimension to another. We don’t die. Consciousness survives. This is true also for animals, plants and bugs. Anything that is alive has consciousness and consciousness is indestructible. Those who are interested in quantum physics know that information is indestructible. Consciousness is information.
Scientists are now starting to believe that the universe is only a hologram and that the reality is somewhere else. This confirms the tale of the near death experiencers who say there are plants and animals in heaven and everything is conscience. Everything vibrates with love. Love is the motor of the universe. It is the force behind everything.
Today’s science cannot detect consciousness. But the independence of consciousness is now observed and confirmed. If you watch a lot of testimonies of people who died and came back, it will be impossible to deny that.
Observation rules! Observation is above science. It is above logic. Science has been proven wrong time and again thanks to observation. In fact that is how science evolves. When observation and science collide, the latter must give in to remain relevant. Observation has the last word. The evidence is there for those who want to see. Many refuse to see because they have already made their mind and are willfully ignorant. And people can deceive themselves with faulty logic.
Consciousness is another name of spirit. It appears that we are spiritual beings, having a physical experience.
This knowledge shifts our paradigm completely. I no longer see myself as a mortal being. We are all spiritual beings, connected with each other and with the universe. As spirit I am eternal. I am not a creation of God. I am a piece of God, in the same way that a molecule is a piece of the ocean and like the ocean from which it emanates, it is eternal. A better analogy is to say I am a copy of God. He made us in His image. This is not unique to humans. All living and sentient beings are made in the image of God.
We are all one. The separation between us is illusory. We all come from the same Source and are made from the same essence. We are divine beings.
I said many near death experiencers saw Jesus in heaven, but that is not the only reason I believe in him. Suddenly the words of Jesus started to make sense to me. Suddenly I saw the depth of his knowledge and the vastness of his understanding.
I am older than Jesus. I am more learned than him. I have a doctorate and have read hundreds of books. I have traveled and I am familiar with many cultures and creeds. I live in the age of the Internet. I have all the information at the tip of my finger. Jesus had none of that. I doubt he had read a single book in his entire short life. Books were not in print back then. How could he have access to so much spiritual insight if he was not connected to the Source?
It takes an expert to recognize the value of something. I read the words of Jesus many times and they sounded nice. It took me decades of learning and search to understand they are not nice. They are portals to divine knowledge. Jesus could not have said them if he had no access to divine knowledge. And unless you have a piece of divine in you, you cannot notice that, as I didn’t all these years.
We all have that piece of divine in us. For many it remains dormant their entire life. They eat and defecate, they copulate and procreate, they step on each others heads and trample others to get ahead and then they die and suddenly become aware, they did not activate the divinity in them, that all that they had striven for were meaningless. That they really screwed up and missed their chance. What a waste of life!
One day, after watching the testimony of a Muslim who had died and had seen Jesus, who not only healed his physical body but also gave him the power to heal others I sat on my knees and prayed to God to accept me as His own. I asked Him to guide my steps, to illumine my path, and to be my shepherd.
Please don’t misunderstand me. God has no religion and he cares not about what we believe. He cares how much we love. The reason Islam will not lead you to God is because there is no love in this faith. To the extent that you follow Muhammad you get away from God. He only taught hate. But you can be saved if you are a Hindu, a Buddhist or an atheist as long as you have love in your hearth. Jesus said he is the Way and no one will come the Lord except through him. He was talking about love. The path to God is love. You are not saved if you claim to follow Jesus while you hate everyone.
You can have any religion or no religion and if you love, God loves you. I know many Hindus that are consumed with hatred of Christians and even Jews. I have great respect for Hinduism, and do meditation. Hindus sages had found some techniques that allowed them to travel out of their body, which allowed them to observe things from a different perspective. But the path to God is through love. That is the only way.
You ask why I don’t accept the Bible. My question is why should I? Apart from the fact that nowhere in the Bible it says it is the word of God, and each book has the name of its alleged author attached to it, the Bible is a book of myths and ancient legends. It is scientifically wrong. We don’t descent from a couple called Adam and Eve. Our physical body is product of billions of years of evolution.
The God that I rejected was the God of the Bible. I still reject that god. I accepted the living God. He is the God of reason, not of fairytale. All the arguments atheists make against God is based on the fallacies they find in the Bible. They are winning because those who claim to believe in Jesus cling to this book of fairy tales and absurdities and are not willing to let go.
I don’t say the entire Bible is false. Think of it as a gold mine. There is gold in it, but much of it is dirt. Most people cling to the dirt and can’t even see the gold. They are spiritually blind. These are the ones who are so obsessed with observing the law that ignore the entire message of Jesus that was love. They think they have found the truth and dislike everyone else who does not agree with their understanding.
The message of Jesus can be condensed in the parable he made in Matthew 25. This is not just a nice parable. It shows Jesus knew about our divine essence. He knew the only way to love God is by loving his creatures. God is in all beings. When you love someone or even an animal, you love God. If you think you love God while your heart is filled with hatred of his creatures, you love only your fantasy. God is here, among us. He is in your spouse, in your neighbor. He is in all living beings. When you cheat someone, you cheat God, when you feed someone you feed God and when you mistreat an animal you mistreat God. The universe is the reflection of Divine. You can only love God by loving sentient beings that reflect his consciousness.
Over 20 years ago I read a book containing stories written on tablets unearthed in 1950s that had been buried for 4000 years. Many of the stories were the same you find in the Bible. It is clear that the Bible is a collection of ancient stories of Sumerians, Canaanites, Moabites, Philistines and Mesopotamians.
If it were not for the Bible I would have accepted Jesus much sooner. I don’t owe anything to this book of fables, absurdity and even obscenity. I owe my salvation to the people who died and were lucky enough to actually meet Jesus in person, and to the Holy Spirit that came to me, confirmed me in my faith and solaced my heart. Yes Jesus is alive and he runs a kingdom.
I trust the testimony of thousands of people who met Jesus and God in person, who are alive and whose faces I can see on YouTube. If you are a Christian by the Scriptures you rely on the testimony of a few early Christians who heard about Jesus decades later and did not meet him in person. There is evidence that the guys i rely on are sincere. Their experience has changed them completely. Many of them changed their careers, became more altruistic and less materialistic. I don’t doubt the sincerity of the guys who wrote the Gospels. I doubt however the authenticity of their sources. It seems there is a lot of ancient stories, predating Jesus that have crept into the Gospels.
This testimony offends Christians, because I say their holy scriptures is mostly legend of the ancient people, predating the Bible. It offends people of other religions because I declare Jesus is the son of God, and it offends atheists because they just can’t stomach any of it. So be it. I have found God. He is sufficient to me. He loves me and I love him and I can’t wait to do what I have been assigned to do in this world then fly to my Lord and meet Him again. I yearn for His embrace.