The Robcast Podcast
Rob Bell is the host of The Robcast podcast. He recently completed a brilliant and impactful 5-part series on his podcast which he dubbed “Alternative Wisdom”.
In this multi-part series, Rob identifies and discusses issues that have persisted and swirled around in my head for years. Issues like insecurities, not feeling worthy enough, and wondering what life is all about.
Rob has a warm and casual way of taking all these pressing topics of the human experience, laying them out on an examining table, and offering up bits of wisdom that allow for a whole new perspective to arise in relation to these common and shared struggles.
A Real-World Approach To Spirituality
If any mention of Jesus makes you immediately recoil in a defensive posture I completely understand but please try and stay open here. I still stay at arm’s length from any hint of religious overtures as well but organized religion is the furthest thing from Rob’s approach to spirituality.
Rob is not about archaic institutions, blindly pledging to dogma, or obediently biding his time until the promise of some glory bound afterlife can be delivered. He is about enriching this current life we live, free from the traps of big box religion.
Rob views and uses the Bible as a collection of timeless stories written and compiled by human beings who are trying to make sense of life.
Rob interprets these stories to give people a different way of living outside the usual human experience which is often plagued with judgment, fear, and insecurities.
He is providing an entirely new approach to spirituality, practical spirituality, in a world overrun by impractical and outdated institutions.
This “Alternative Wisdom” series is compelling, highly entertaining, and chocked full of moments that will stop you in your tracks, uttering “a-ha” as the light bulb goes on in your brain. Stay open and enjoy the ride that Rob welcomes you on. This is Rob Bell at his finest.
This is the “Alternative Wisdom” series:
My Spiritual Journey
Belief In God
Do I believe in God? Yes, I do on some level. Admittedly, though, the belief is often driven by fear of the unknown and is at times plagued with doubt. If I begin to ponder what happens when we die, I have to immediately shutter that thought in favor of some sort of benign distraction.
Thoughts about death and God keep coming, though, especially as I grow older and progress further into fatherhood. For me, a relationship with God is not about attending Church on Sundays or adhering to archaic doctrine.
So what or who is God and how are we supposed to engage with God, let alone hold a firm belief?
Inquiring About God
I have purchased and read a few books about God in hopes of finding answers to my countless questions. Each time I begin one of these books I somehow kid myself into thinking the author will be able to impart on me the key piece of wisdom that can end my lingering doubts and finally cement my belief in God for good.
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into The Afterlife was a fascinating read authored by Eben Alexander, a brain surgeon who was a staunch atheist. He believed only in science and felt anything remotely mystical, like near-death experiences, could be explained with cold hard science. Dr. Alexander’s book chronicles a harrowing and incredibly rare infection he suffered which ultimately triggered his own near-death experience.
That experience moved him away from being an atheist and firmly entrenched him in the belief of God camp. I do not believe a person with his prominence would dare risk the credibility and legacy he built in his career, if he did not fully believe in the experience he claims to have had.
His recounting of angels, a Godlike presence, and an afterlife, are all so comforting, but also require incredible leaps of faith to believe that these heavenly concepts are awaiting for all of us when we pass.
Deepak Chopra's The Future of God was a comforting read that allowed me to take a slight step forward in figuring out my beliefs. He suggests we let go of the image of a bearded man sitting on a cloud and instead find God in our own consciousness and through the spirit of love.
By seeking stillness and presence we can become more in tune with the universe and feel the presence of God within us all, through our own consciousness. It was a more pragmatic approach to God and it resonated with me.
A Growing Connection To The Universe
Lately, my fearful thoughts about death and the unknown have been slowly subsiding to a growing feeling of a greater connection to something bigger and deeper than myself. These feelings of connectedness are to the people around me, to nature, and the stars up in the sky.
It is a palpable oneness that was never present until these past few years and certainly never arose from any religious dogma I had been exposed to in my youth. I mainly credit my meditation practice for this which is now going strong for 3+ years.
It is becoming clearer to me that if I am to have any shred of belief in God, let alone an active relationship, it must grow organically through experiences. I am starting to believe, though, that those experiences are born out of our ability to become present and a desire to continually seek out moments of stillness.
Empowering podcasts like Rob Bell’s show and practices like meditation can tune our mind into a frequency that allows for the chance to actually experience something special firsthand. I will never kid myself or you into thinking I can definitively identify what that experience is, but I do know how it felt to me and what it means for me moving forward.
It means I am slowly moving away from hoping for the presence of a God because I fear death and the unknown. Instead, I am now moving closer to believing in a higher spirit as a result of life experience and can now carry this belief through faith.
How do you actively engage in a spiritual practice? What other podcasts do you enjoy that help foster your spiritual curiosity?