No matter what’s your view of God or nature, it changes nothing in terms of reality. You were born, you will die, fire burns and gravity still works as intended. Not only that. Even the concern whether the phenomena are real (or to what extent) is irrelevant. That what is, no matter how it appears (or not), remains the same.
There is a scene in a religious movie about Bodhidharma, Master of Zen (1994), that I always find very instructive. Although the whole low budget (already) classic is rather kitschy (to put it mildly), the said scene is golden.
According to this rendition of an old legend, on his journey to the East, Bodhidharma once stopped in a village for a lunch. In that village lived a senior monk who enjoyed a lot of veneration as he was often seen in public, preaching dharma. The rumors of Bodhidharma’s seemingly fantastic feats spread fast among the locals and so the word quickly reached the monk too. He approached Bodhidharma, who was eating in an inn, and pretended to implore for a teaching.
“Oh, great master please enlighten me on the dharma!” the monk bowed his head. Afterwards, he swiftly sat across the table and victoriously continued, “Mind, Buddha, living beings — everything is empty. Reality is an illusion. Without beginning, without end, not good, not bad, everything is empty such as this, isn’t it?” Monk pointed with a broad gesture at the whole world around him.
Bodhidharma slapped the monk on his forehead.
“Why do you beat me?!” shocked monk jumped back.
Bodhidharma looked at the monk and replied, “You said, everything is empty. So, where does the pain come from? See the invisible, hear the inaudible, know the unknowable.”
In that instant, the monk became enlightened.
Sometimes I feel that the whole spiritual community needs a vigorous slap on the forehead. The vast majority just reads, thinks, talks and argues instead of walking the path. Out of the few that do, all still have to realize that one does not “do” the practice. Though that, at least, creates a chance to know. And still, none of the above tackles the overwhelming masses of common folks who are content with veneration of senior monks (no matter the bullshit they spout).
Do you still wonder why all gods of theism, God included, are essentially no different from an advanced extraterrestrial overlord (civilization)? And isn’t it funny that quite a number of “deconstructed believers” literally worships space aliens? It seems like a textbook case of Stockholm syndrome. With all its bells and whistles.
Is this the way of life you want to contribute to? How long will you wait? If you think that everyone has their own pace — well sure, but to paraphrase another classic — you have all the time in the world, but please, for the sake of everyone (which naturally includes you), hurry up.
Then again, as I said in the beginning, reality does not depend on whether you know it or not. It will, thankfully, stay the same either way.