Darwin Bedford wearing a T-shirt depicting the international symbol for a wastes container with a religious cross in place of the wastes.

"Everything said in the context of a god being real is mere nonsense."

Darwin Bedford,
Atheists.net author 

Some of this content is intended for those of you who are still religious and some of this content is for those of you who are already non-religious.


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Darwin Bedford



Introducing Spiritual Reality Therapy

An urgent message for those who believe in spirits or gods.

by Darwin Bedford

Spiritual Reality Therapy deals with the belief in the existence of spirits, ghosts, gods, angels and other claimed spiritual entities. The reality is that spiritual entities exist solely in our imagination.

Therapy is required when people cannot understand this. When a child has a serious relationship with an imaginary character, a psychiatrist is employed to help the child. Likewise, adults who share their lives with gods or spirits are just as delusional as a child with an imaginary friend and are equally in need of psychiatric help. Let me illustrate how spirits are a creation of the human mind.

Language evolved as a means of communication between humans. Words, the basic elements of language, were developed by our ancestors and many of these words in one form or another are still in use today, while new words are constantly entering our linguistic data base. However, many of the words we use carry some untruth and since we use words in order to communicate our experiences, much is lost or distorted in the process. The untruths go unnoticed.

We also create concepts or abstract ideas by using these flawed words. We layer these abstract ideas one upon the other (concept upon concept) and then give them a name, such as "God". This leaves us attempting to discuss and communicate these concepts while the untruths continue to go unnoticed.

Spiritual entities were conceived by humans who languaged them into existence while attempting to relate their thoughts and experiences. First we invented tribal spirits, then gods; and then the specter of the single god (the concept of monotheism or my-god's-better-than-your-god) reared its ugly head. The only documentation or backup paper to support the existence of these spiritual entities (e.g. the Bible, the Qur'an, etc.) was written by man using words invented by man.

When the concept of spiritual entities such as gods is examined by rationalists, their existence within the physical realm cannot be demonstrated. This leads people who are still convinced that spirits truly exist to at least concede that they exist only within a spiritual realm. In other words, in their imaginations.

Two other man-made concepts are reincarnation and life after death. Both of these concepts imply that "spirits" can live on after their physical "hosts" have been destroyed. (This is analogous to a software package running and working while installed on a PC that is being used as a boat anchor.) Since spirits can only live in the imagination, it is evident that they must die when the imagination dies.

Here is a simple test to determine whether or not you are living a life consistent with reality:

  • Do you believe in a god or gods and that your god(s) can have a direct influence in your life?
  • Do you pray to god or gods believing that possibly your prayers will be answered?
  • Do you believe that when you die your "soul" will continue to live on in some fashion?
  • Do you believe that a god or gods are watching over you —perhaps caring for you?
  • Do you think that a god can punish, will punish, has punished, or is punishing you for something you did or did not do?
  • Do you feel the need to confess any perceived wrong-doings to someone that you think is a representative of your god?
  • Do you believe your actions during your life will be judged when you die and this judgment will determine the fate of "your eternity"?
  • Are you convinced that you have been visited by a ghost, god or angel?

If you answer "yes" to any of the preceding questions, then you should seek the help of a Spiritual Reality Therapist. Once you free yourself of the irrationality of the concept of "gods" or "spirits", you will feel more pride and ownership of your mind, and real responsibility for your decisions and actions if life.

We are told that we should strive to be healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually. Does this mean that we should also follow a spiritual path? I can go along with that, but only if following a spiritual path means making a conscious effort to grow towards personal integrity.

Finally, with respect to our place in the universe, our lives are insignificant and meaningless in that we matter only to ourselves and the living entities with whom we inter-relate. If you have failed this "reality check", then maybe Spiritual Reality Therapy can help you make the most of your life—your only life.



Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:08:28 -0500
From: Bob Wubbolding <wubsrt@fuse.net>
To: darwin@atheists.net
Subject: Reality Therapy

Dear Darwin Bedford,

Your web page yielded information about "Spiritual Reality Therapy". I
feel the need to comment about it. For 11 years I have been the
Director of Training for the William Glasser Institute which is the
organization which sponsors the certification process in Reality
Therapy. The president of this Institute is William Glasser MD who in
1965 wrote the book Reality Therapy. He coined the phrase "reality

Your description of spiritual reality therapy has nothing to do with
genuine reality therapy. I encourage you to consult the professional
literature on this subject so as to correct your erroneous ideas. You
state that "Spiritual Reality Therapy is a branch of Reality Therapy."
This is simply not true. My suggestion is that you not promote these
inaccuracies. Training in Reality Therapy is available and credentials
can be obtained. They are worth the effort involved.

On a more personal note you have every right to say whatever you want
and to promote this kind of nonsense. I can't imagine that if you
really gave more consideration to this issue you would want to be
identified with such inaccurate ideas.

Robert E. Wubbolding


Bob, thank you for the reality therapy.  Your comments are accurate of course.   I have removed "is a branch of Reality Therapy" from the text.  I have also added a feedback section to the page and a link to your institute.   However, I will continue to use the term "reality therapy" in the context of people needing therapy when they are too far out-of-reality.

From: "Ronald Glenn Cosseboom" <rcossebo@mines.edu>
Subject: Spiritual Reality Therapy
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 07:45:54 -0700

Dear Darwin (if I may use your first name),

I will be graduating May of 2000 as a Religious Science Minister. As part of my Pastoral Counseling Course, I am reading and doing research on Reality Therapy by William Glasser. Your premise is an interesting one, and one that I agree with in the context of dispelling the myth and superstition from what is the Truth. Truth is within each of us, this is what Jesus taught, however, most Christians have misunderstood the teaching and made it into a superstitious mumbo-jumbo along with the deification of Jesus which I disagree with.

I pray daily, but my prayer consists of meditation and spiritual mind treatment as taught by Religious Science or as I prefer to refer to it, Science of Mind. Treatment is a 5 stage process consisting of Recognition, Unification, Realization, Thanksgiving, and Release. In Recognition we recognize or become aware that all there is is One Source of all that is. In Unification, we acknowledge that since there is only One Source, that we are made of, and living in that One Source, therefore what we think, say and do is the One Source acting through us. Realization is where we then state the Truth for the situation we are doing the treatment and know that it is coming from this perfect space creating the perfect condition in thought and ultimately in life. Thanksgiving is just that, we are thankful, grateful for this awareness and this truth being revealed and expressed here and now. In Release we let go of the whole process and from this moment forward don't think of the condition. If we are ill or the condition persists, we merely remind ourselves that treatment has been performed and that at the moment of Release the condition was neutralized on this physical plane. In most teachings of spiritual consciousness it is stated that what we put our thought on is multiplied in our lives. This is the Truth. We must become aware of what we are thinking at all times, not only consciously, but subconsciously. Our subconscious thought is very powerful and unless it is held in check using the conscious thought can create chaos in our lives which we attribute to spirits or gods and in some cases even God. Of course, I still don't think the Christian God exists.

My "religious" path, if you would allow me to refer to it as such, has spanned the large part of my life from the moment I could start questioning. During these many years, I've searched and tried almost every religion there is. I've steered away from cults because I can't understand how anyone can give up their power and responsibilities to live to their fullest to someone else. This is one reason I started studying Science of Mind. It teaches one to be responsible for not only their actions but the outcome of those actions.

Science of Mind is a wonderful teaching, but as in all teachings, the farther one gets from the source, in this case Dr. Ernest S. Holmes, the more the philosophy becomes diluted. Dr. Holmes believed, and so do I, that all there was was God. Now don't stop reading, God is merely a shorthand for Universal Intelligence, Life, Power, Universal Mind, etc. In our philosophy we believe there is One Perfect Source of all there is. Something like what the Quantum Physicists are attempting to prove with the Unification Theory. And that this Perfect Source responds to our slightest thought. In other words, we create our reality through our thoughts and words. The simplest way to kind of understand this without the years of studying the philosophy and reading all the books Holmes wrote is this; upon rising for the start of the day, what are the first thoughts you have? Are they thoughts of joy, health, happiness, abundance, or are they thoughts of illness, dread, fear, anger, frustration, sadness, etc.? If we put out into the universe that we expect Life to be wonderful, then that's what we'll receive; if on the other hand we put out that we expect misery, then that is what we will receive. This thing call Life (also a title of one of Dr. Holmes books) is so sensitive that it responds to whatever thought (conscious or subconscious) we put into it. It permeates all that exists. It is all there is and everything that exists is made from it and exists in it.

So I just wanted to offer this "brief" information to you in response to your page.

Sincerest blessings and I look forward to corresponding with you,


With all Good Thoughts,
Ronald Glenn Cosseboom

Colorado School of Mines

From: "Bluejay Martin"
Subject: spiritual "reality"—does it exist?
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 06:42:29 GMT

Hello, I happened to surf into atheists.net by a) random chance, or b) it was "meant to happen." Does it matter? I looked forward to an open-minded, many-sided view of the earth and its people, which may purport to be atheism's claim. I enjoyed the essay on the complacent manslaughter by first-world countries of third-world humanity. Most interesting of all was the page on the delusion of spirit acceptance, "Introducing Spiritual Reality Therapy." While this viewpoint is an uncommon and therefore necessary one in our faith-soaked environment, your arguments failed to convince me of the inherent wrongness of belief in the unseen.

While the tenets of atheism supposedly guarantee freedom and impartiality, every thesis in this text evoked the fatalistic intolerance of a Scientific Inquisition. Lines such as "The reality is that spiritual entities exist solely in our imagination," read no different to me than any monotheistic religion's claim that their view of existence is the sole reality, one truth for all of humankind.

Secondly, the fact that we should trust the integrity of our respective realities on a magazine-style self-quiz ("Reality Check") appears about as rational as the very cults this page disclaims.

I question whether such a concept as Spiritual Reality carries truth, as it implies a oxymoron. Your "belief" is that reality holds no spirits, as spirits hold no reality. Your "belief" in the universality of science is simply as "real" to you as another's knowledge that faith is the fact of the universe. The title of your reality judgement quiz should have read, "Here is a simple test to determine whether or not you are living a life consistent with MY reality."

After reading that "our lives are insignificant and meaningless in that we matter only to ourselves and the living entities with whom we inter-relate," I wonder why the faulty beliefs of so many unconnected humans should even matter to you.

As long as reincarnation therapy continues to heal those who don't believe in reincarnation, and every revolution in modern science is begot by the "imagination" of a human, who is to determine where faith ends and fact begins?

The very basis of "spirit," a universal thread found in disparate indigenous cultures, consists of an existence apart from what is "real." If the shedding of the falsehood of spirit is your goal, how can "spiritual reality therapy" be your path? Doesn't the "belief" in the nonexistence of spirits require a function of faith beyond what we see and hear? How is one embedded since birth in a spiritual culture supposed to revise their view of "reality" without a leap of faith in what may compromise the unseen?

For that matter, what kind of faith should the layperson put into the realm of "therapy," a man-made tool consisting of a supposed science contrived to "heal" the mind? If the Truth of Fact is the goal, then every possible analysis of unproven human tenets should be our aim. That is my purpose in writing this letter. Please debate—and build. Thanks!


Last updated: January 7, 2000



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