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Excerpted from Out of Darkness Into the Light by Gerald Jampolsky. Copyright 1989 by Gerald Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"At the age of sixty-three, I now realize that, without having been aware of it, I was fighting with God most of my life."

Jerry Jampolsky, 
Out of Darkness, Into the Light
, Part

Not so long ago, a book about a person's "fight with God" would have been the last thing in the world I would have wanted to read. The idea that I might write such a book would have been preposterous. God was a negative word for me. Besides, how can you fight with God? - since I had convinced myself that there just wasn't such an entity.

At the age of sixty-three, I now realize that, without having been aware of it, I was fighting with God most of my life. This may sound strange coming from a person who once proudly called himself an atheist - even more, a militant atheist - and did so in quite a superior manner.

I was sure that anyone who believed in God was intellectually soft, not tuned in to the "real"' world. My snobbery was built on mountains of misguided thoughts. If anyone tried to strike up a conversation about God with me, I simply turned my back on them. I would have none of it.

And yet, my life had not always been like that. I can recall moments when I felt very different, when God seemed close enough to reach out and touch.

When I was about four years old, I was playing alone behind the apartment where we lived. The memory is crystal clear to me. It was one of the happiest moments of my childhood. I found myself talking to the daisies and the butterflies. And they were talking bark. We carried on lengthy conversations. I remember feeling boundless love from them, and I recall how open and flowing my heart felt as I extended my love to them.

As a young child I also had conversations with the sky, the clouds, and with God. The joy I experienced during those moments was like beautiful music. I felt so at one with everything, and everything seemed so beautiful and so forever.

Whenever these memories threatened to surface in my adult life, I did my best to push them back. I held on to my militant atheist stand, maintaining my belief that people who were religious, who were on a spiritual journey - people who believed in God - were only victims of their own fears.

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