Belief in a higher self is essential for normal human beings. I believe that few true atheists (loosely defined) exist. Most people who think they are atheists merely have a problem with the definition of God. The label ‘God’ is loaded with all sorts of dogmatic implications. The term ‘Higher Power’ is used by 12-steps groups but is not without its own problems. I sometimes prefer thinking of God as a ‘Higher Self’. Anyone who believes that there are things in this universe more important than themselves believes in a higher self. Anyone whose sense of self extends beyond their immediate individuality – such as family, community, humanity, life, totality – believes in a Higher Self. Perhaps only sociopaths can be atheists in this sense. [1 Corinthians 3:16]
One of the greatest gifts that God gives to each of us is the love we share with our family, friends, and fellowmen. It is this divine gift of love that enriches us, gives meaning and purpose to life, and makes it all worth living. Everything else in life is secondary. Everything. And when our time here on earth is over, our lives will not be measured by the riches we accumulate, the honors we receive, the degrees we acquire, or the professional success we achieve, but by our capacity to love and be loved.