Ok, I am doing Step 2, and I have a query: What about We Fully-Paid-Up-Richard-Dawkins-Brand-of-Atheists?!
How have other people, atheists, got beyond this point? (I think this is where we Brits differ from our American cousins: church attendance in this country is a minority rather than a majority.)
As a child I was very spiritual. My mother was into Buddhism when I was very young, and this is something that has stayed with me, but this is more of a philosophy, a way of life, than religion (i.e. the idea of a god in Buddhism is somewhat irrelevant*). Later in life I grew interested in Hinduism, but in my early 20s I rejected it - along with any other god based rhetoric - and have ever since rejected any notion of god.
So how do I get past this point? As the book says "we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, "who then made all this?" There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost". Well no, not really - I just thinking big-bang, hydrogen, light waves… ('wow, bet he's romantic'!!!)
So how do I get in touch with that lost sense of spirituality I had up till my teens? Haven't got an answer for that, but one thing is for sure - I am willing to try. And as someone once said**, he was asked "what you would like God to be?" He wrote down a lists of things, was then told "you can begin with that!".
So that is what I will be doing - write a list of what this higher power will be to me. My list, my god. I just hope I can rekindle that wonderment of yesteryear…
I would love to hear from anyone who has struggled with the idea of a god, or a higher power, and how you came to move beyond it.
*At least that is my reading of it, I do not profess to be an expert (and indeed I refer to Theravada Buddhism, other strands do have more 'mystic' elements, e.g. the more well-known Tibetan Buddhism)
** Charlie and Joe do an excellent read through and interpretation of the Big Book, it can be found HERE.