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Dr Shantanu Panigrahi’s rationale for his personal atheism

In my adult life, I tried very hard with total devotion and faith for years and years, to the point that I was taken into a mental hospital at the insistence of my wife to shake me off my quest for the truth about a Personal God. This truth-search was built into every thing that I did, in that I wished to check if a supernatural power knew what I was doing and monitoring me in my activities. How else can one find out if there is a Personal God. From 1997 (when a career of 35 scientific papers and 40 more unpublished papers was thrown down the drain in this search) to today, I swung periodically like a pendulum between all positions from strong theism to atheism, to theism, to atheothesim to theism, and finally atheism today.

After the bitter experience of two mental hospital incarcerations for my truth-search and ‘following the perceived God’ activities and throwing away £20,000 of savings in addition to a £30,000 per annum scientific job in which I had attained three promotions before the God-bug hit me, I had no choice but to temper my activities because I knew that I had only just escaped electric shock treatment at the hospital. I did not wish to end up there a third time. So I started to rebuild my life in the petrol station two years ago, keeping my nose cleaner, taking my medications that they prescribed for me (Risperidone 2-3 mg per day) and backing off the faith and devotion. I was therefore forced by the adverse conditions generated by my faith to give up that faith and lead a more normal life. I had been to the brink of total disaster and when this job gave me a life line back to normalcy I grabbed it with both hands. And it has paid dividends in that I have had a more contented and satisfying life in which I avoided destitution and living as a tramp that I feared two and half years ago that I was unemployed after the loss of my last job exclusively by following a perceived God.

I paused for reflective-thought that I wasted £20,000 of our savings chasing a God delusion those days and my wife did the right thing to have the doctors examine me and the doctors duly sectioned me. But I also know that I was out of the hospital apparently perfectly normal three months later on the first occasion and only one month later on the second occasion that my wife got the doctors in. The diagnosis in the end was ‘persistent delusional disorder’. What do I learn from that? That I should not take instructions from a perceived God using the tool of communications that I devised of digital clock time sightings as messages of positive action/affirmative answer to do a particular task in my personal life by numbers 3, 6 and 9 and the remainder numbers meaning negative to the proposed task. I should infact not seek any messages from God using any method because I had not found the ultimate knowledge of how to communicate with God; the simple reason for that being that a Personal God able to give messages to humans as revelations just did not exist.

A perceived God was responsible for my loss of Professional Scientist’s job and since that loss I never did over the next 15 years in the prime of my life find a College/University job as a Professor or a even a Lecturer in Animal Nutrition that my professional qualifications merit. Any fool can see from this that that there is no such thing as God’s justice on Earth. If I find such a good career position now as an atheist that would be obviously be no thanks to any God: in fact it will be because I have found and live in real reality now that I will try and find such a job for myself. The idea of the existence of a Personal God is well past its shelf life when diehard faithfuls like me lose their faith.

This was truth search and truth accomodation, what I describe as satya-advaita (Satya=truth; advaita=oneness with reality) Calling myself openly in internet discussion forums (Rational Skepticism and Talk Rational) as a strong atheist is another step in my rehabiliation from the illness of severe God-delusion that I suffered. I am waiting to see if it will lead to better things for me in my life materially. That will be the test.

31 May 2013 Update: On 21 March 2013, I changed my mind and realised that there is a Personal God. This was realised through a combination of rationalising events that took place in my life, renewed deja vu-type experiences and further positive sightings of ’7′ at critical times from my advaita clock checking habit. It has been a roller coaster ride over 15 years of search but I am a theist who today sees no reason to change his mind that God is watching and has made things happen for me.

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