I had just finished hearing AC Grayling talk at the Gleebooks bookshop in Glebe, Sydney. I walked down the stairs and a book caught my eye just as I was about to walk out. It was The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and a burst of energy surged through my body.
There was something about that book I thought was dangerous, heresy. I was a devout pentecostal Christian who was just starting to explore the fringes of my faith. Here was a book that totally recanted my fundamental assumption about existence.
I purchased the book, wondering if I would be stuck down for this act of defiance, and read it over the course of a week while on the beach in Noosa.
I got to the end of the book and thought, I wonder if my life would be better or worse if I lived as if there were no God?
And I decided in that moment to try the idea on for size, and make an assessment in six months time. If there was a degradation to my life, I would go back to believing in God. If there was an improvement, then it was time for a different path.
It is scary to try new ideas on for size, because there is the possibility that everything we have believed and lived up to that moment has been based on an mistruth.
I tried the 'no God' idea on for size, and over the course of six months my life did improve, largely because I realised I had to take responsibility for my own life. There was no higher power doing it for me.
That was almost 10 years ago, and my spirituality has gone through many iterations since then. But this was the first time I allowed myself to fully embrace an idea I previously could not even look at sideways.