Challenges to God

Is there a God? Why are we here on this earth? Is there any meaning to our existence? Could we just be accidents of nature?

For 50 years Renoir asked herself these questions. She was raised in a Christian environment and accepted its teachings. But she had no sense of God in her life. If she had discovered ultimate meaning through her faith, she would have expected to feel different or to have her life transformed in some way.

To address this problem, Renoir proposes a different concept of truth. She examines the way Western philosophers have argued for and against the existence of God. Then she looks at implications from quantum theory: the oneness of all reality and the multidimensionality of the universe. Parallels are then drawn between these ideas and the experiences of mystics, where the awareness of self and objects disappears, everything being absorbed into a mysterious oneness.

After examining similarities in the religious experience of individuals within the various traditions, Renoir suggests that no one set of teachings can be regarded as "the truth". The question of personal transformation, in her view, goes beyond the domain of concepts that are either right or wrong. Her basic thesis is that whether a set of ideas is life transforming for a given individual will depend on the manner in which those ideas resonate at the most profound level of that person's being. For some, this will involve belief in a personal God, whereas for others it will be a belief in the oneness of all reality.