Experience God or Believe in God

Belief? Or experience?

I was brought up to believe in God. This word, belief, has long puzzled me. It means something like having confidence that something is true or something exists even though there is no empirical evidence that it is, indeed, true.

Faith also seems to me to be similar to belief.

I struggle with these words. They seem lacking. Not descriptive enough. What do you mean that you don’t know that God exists?

Do you ever wonder about this? Or wonder if God is real?

There is a group or community of people who have ecstatic experiences of the Spirit. We call them pentacostal or maybe other terms. I am not one, quite, but I know many. This is experiential worship. But many people are just not the right personality type for ecstatic worship.

I could say that I believe that people can experience God. But that sounds like a contradiction.

So, I’ve thought about all this for many years.

Then about 30 years ago, when I discovered that people really exist (as a science/engineering personality type, I was lost in a world of ideas for most of my early life), I started reading psychology. A lot. Freud. James, John Climacus. Jung.

Finally, an observation that seemed to fit my thinking as well as my experiences. Carl Jung, toward the end of his life of deep exploration of the psyche, was asked if he believed in God. “Believe?” he answered, “no, I don’t believe. I know.”

Pondering visionary experiences of God while contemplating John’s Revelation, brought back memories of my experiences. Yes, I know. God’s beyond belief. God is real.

Modern psychologists or English professors or the like would say that I am merely delusional. But they say that because they do not know! It’s not belief. I know God is with me.

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