I was chatting to someone the other day and they said that they didn't believe in God. I know there are a lot of atheists and agnostics, so this little article is aimed at them :-)
How do I know I'm alive? Well I am conscious of my life in this body and that wouldn't be the case if I hadn't been born. I also know that I had nothing to do with that happening. Suddenly, I was here, that's all I know. Of course, you may well say, well, my parents have that responsibility, they are the ones who gave me my life and this body. I have had the privilege of attending the birth of two of my children and I can assure anyone reading this, that I had nothing consciously to do with those lovely little babies arriving in good health and complete. Yes, I provided the sperm that started the process in conjunction with the egg and womb of the mother. But after that, what was my involvement? The mother provides the environment in which that baby can come to term, but she isn't busy doing anything in there, she feeds herself and that provides nutrients to the foetus. None of that process in which we are involved determines the character and experience of that child. One day it is here and the real process of becoming a human being starts. I can help with that process or I can hinder it, but in either case it will take place inside that little being for which I take responsibility to try and ensure the child will be able to cope with life on planet Earth with all the other beings it shares the place with.
And that is where the real work begins: becoming a conscious human being. To me, all I have to do is look into a mirror and I know that I had nothing to do with being born. My parents didn't give me life, that was the present that would either be given or not. It was given in my case. And if I didn't do it and my parents or the doctors or midwives didn't put life into my body, who or what did? When a baby is born, everybody who is in attendance at the event waits for that magic moment when the first breath enters that body and independent life begins from that moment on. That power which gave me life, which ensured that first and each subsequent breath up to the very last one, is what I call God. It is what keeps me alive. It is not some old man in the sky who rewards and punishes from on high as the whim takes him. No, it is the same power that underpins everything and I am very, very grateful for that precious life.
If it was up to us to keep us alive, we wouldn't have got much past that first breath. It is estimated that a person takes approximately 20'000 breaths a day and that for say an average of 80 years, adds up to about 584 million breaths in a lifetime. If you had take each breath consciously yourself, how long do you think you'd last? So who or what is breathing us?
OK, I'm alive, that bit is clear, so what is the "conscious" bit? I describe myself as a person who is motivated by feelings. I love whatever makes me feel good and I try my best to avoid the things that don't make me feel good. For example, I find that the Swiss are the most self-centred and egotistical drivers of all the countries I've driven in. So much so, that I would get road rage almost every time I had to drive anywhere, especially on the motorways. I really didn't like that feeling and as it was obvious to me that the other drivers were not going to change their habits, I would have to change mine. So I gave away my car and used public transport. That for the last 20+ years. I have never regretted it at all and now, if I really need a car, I rent on and that I can cope with fine.
What has that got to do with consciousness? Well for me to change my habits I had to be conscious of them first and then I had to consciously consider my options and make a choice that would support me in distancing me from that specific feeling. The additional step which has to be made, is to accept responsibility for my feelings - not blame everyone else and hope they would change, but to realise, the problem was the feeling which I had and which I didn't like and that therefore I would have to change something in me.
This is true of all feelings. If you don't like the feeling you get from a situation or person, remove yourself from it and see what you can do to avoid it in future. Becoming conscious of yourself is hard work and is a lifetime occupation. We are subject to change all the time. Every breath is a new one and will never be repeated, so if I want to experience the world consciously as it is and not as others ttell you it is, you have to let go of all your prejudices and opinions and allow the world to be without the pink or black or blue glasses on, just simply as it is. Let yourself be aware of your surroundings, not with tinted spectacles, but as it is, the colours, the sounds, and especially the feelings the natural and real world offers you.
The insanity in the world currently, stems from this lack of consciousness. If a person is really aware of the value of this one-time gif of life, you automatically realise the value of each life for that being. Each on of us is a unique being. There has never been anyone exactly like you or me ever, neither in the past, nor will there be in the future. People will pay millions for a unique but lifeless painting, but are happy to kill another human being for free.
The world is full of unconscious people who see themselves as unimportant and without any rights unless they have serious amounts of money. Those who have serious amounts of money see those without as unimportant and whose rights can be ignored. Both of those views demonstrate a clear lack of consciousness, both are wrong for the reasons I've mentioned above. Currently the stupidity associated with the belief that one can own something - you own what you brought with you into the world: nothing - and so we draw borders and tell others "this is mine and entry is only possible if I say so". And from that we get the hatred and theft and wars that we see currently taking place or about to take place. This primitive attitude is killing the species (and not just ours) and driving people insane. Read any newspaper and you know the world is not conscious.
So, the question is: do you want to be conscious or would you rather carry on blaming the whole world for the perceived mishaps and fight and kill to survive? If the former, there's plenty of hints in this blog, which is my attempt at becoming more conscious. As said, it's a lifetime project, and so far it's taught me to be grateful for the life I've lived - and there were plenty of downs, not just ups - and cannot be thankful enough. Every day I wake up is another opportunity to feel how life pulses within me and to enjoy all the feelings the day will offer. Make the effort - it's well worth it.