so much more is left up to us to figure out ....I think.
There ya go, that's it! No fear, no guilt. Just do it, in harmony with what your "inner voice" says, that's all we can do. God or not-God; we're on our own, and that's the value of our lives, and the dignity of our decisions. Ohhhhhh, how good it feels to get the guilt-trips out of my mind. I'm certainly no guru, but Dede, I'd say you're on the right path.
I AM being a 'realist', since I can't deny a life of experiences that have led me to that conclusion.
Indeed, that's what this is all about. I've never had a clearly identifiable, undeniably conscious interaction with God. Even if I'd had one, personal experience is valid for one person, and one person only: the person that experienced it. Along the lines of what I said to Realist: by induction (e.g. so many other people feel they've had just such a personal experience) I consider the existence of God as a possibility. Also, by induction (e.g. so many other people feel they've never had such an experience) I consider the non-existence of God as a possibility.
When, and if, He speaks to me, in no uncertain terms, then I'll know. In the meantime, it's very much like BluesB says:
All beliefs really come down to an inner conviction that what we read must be true, and this is me, at the moment
But that was just a dream
That was just a dream
Is reality just a dream? Here's one for ya: We all think we have reality in front of our eyes. Now most would say that the past is not real, because it's done and gone, we can't put our hands on it, can't see it; at best we can remember it, or read about it in a book. And the future? Well, that's not real either, because it hasn't even yet happened. So we say "the present is real, I can touch and feel it." But every second of our lives is split into the "one-half second that just went past," and the "one-half second that is about to happen (the immediate future)." And thence down to the millisecond, microsecond, nanosecond. The "real" passes by us so fast, transits from future to past so quickly, that we don't even see it happen; we exist only in this infinitesimally small slice of time as it passes us by. Perhaps it is all a dream. But here I'm hijacking my own thread! LOL
SYN: I do agree with you, and will continue my best effort to employ Occam's razor...with discretion.
asleif, I'll follow up a little later, in conjunction with what jst2 says down a bit.