Firstly I would like to say thank you to rawgodsrantings for the kind words, it is always refreshing to hear from a fellow atheist with a different perspective. The email was on the topic of spirituality, a great coincidence as I just arrived home from Waterstones (our equivalent to Barnes and Noble) with these.
I was hoping for that striking cover of Waking Up with the very relaxed being in the clouds in front of a blue sky, I guess the content is more important. I decided to buy the book as I have only listened to the podcast for Waking Up and Sam Harris’ talks on it. I was going through an episode of anxiety and depression and it was comforting to know that there was a way out in the absence of religious belief, I came out of the dark period before actually buying the book. It is never too long before such a period rears its ugly head again, I am hoping to learn a lot from the book and I am sure it will inspire me for future posts.
I tend to drift away from using the word ‘spiritual’ as all too often my lack of belief comes into question.
‘Oh you say bless you after I sneeze, you must have Jesus in your heart to some extent?’
‘You say Oh my God?! You know there is a God, you are just denying it’
The above sentences are not uncommon for atheist ears, using the word ‘spiritual’ can give off mixed signals or send me into an unnecessary debate. Despite this, I do feel spiritual, maybe even more so than many theists. I do not feel detached from the universe, far from it. I guess the closest I have been in blog form to addressing this is in my post Has a star ever told you it loves you? in which I talk about our parents and loved ones going from stardust to complex lifeforms, capable of looking after us. From this perspective, the universe has a duty to look after us and as a result, I realise I am the universe trying to understand itself. I struggle to see how atheism prevents the possibility. Am I alone in thinking if there is a God, our nature doesn’t change so much? What if a species does in fact evolve to the point of immortality, how different could the Christian God be? Going back to Arthur C Clarke’s third law, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The universe doesn’t lose any magic because I do not believe in a God, I gain an increased amount of awe and wonder without the limitations of religion. The only down side I have so far is just how mind blowing the universe is when not limited to a poor interpretation by stone age communities. It can become very overwhelming.
Thankfully, the universe has been kind to me so far, to an extent. As it cannot hear me I devote this appreciate to the people around me.
I will leave this with a video I found whilst looking for some insight. It reflects my own perceptions quite well.