Thursday, 7 November 2013
A Rose by any other name!
I keep tweaking away at my “title”, sometimes I think people must wonder why!
There was a time when I referred to myself simply as a “recovered catholic”, but my Australian friends said it made them think I was still in that wretched church!
So in capitol letters I added “Happy Atheist! because I am indeed an atheist - in as much as I don’t believe in god or any other “out of this world” concept .(apart from the wonders that science will, no doubt, in the future ,unfold)
I am not an agnostic or a “don’t know” I am very definitely atheist!
This does not take away any magic for me, The wonders and majesty of the World is more potent,now I understand the origins of the Universe, and the way we have evolved to be a benevolent intelligent species.
In some ways there can be an aggressive tone to atheism, and in the atheist movement there is sometimes an overtone of militancy similar to that which we have accused the church of for years.
Quite often that is the perception that others have of atheists, and I fear that while there is any kind of rigid offensive argumentative thinking, that image will remain.
I do support however, the fight of my atheist friends who are persecuted in countries that are not fortunate enough to have their lack of belief respected.
But if I can only listen to those who are identical to me I will miss out!
I would miss out on all of the other wonderful human beings who have influenced me and have shown me their compassion and love even though they come from a very different angle.
I have to say that really dislike being round evangelical religious people, not only because it is a trigger for me
(I grew up with horrible examples around me) but because I always feel their agenda is constantly trying to convert, and therefore I don’t ever get to the real person.
When the veils came off my eyes, and the fearfilled indoctrination started to weaken , my re-found excitement about physics gave me a more realistic understanding of the Universe, and I was aware that for me, the garden is very beautiful - I do not need fairies at the bottom of it !
After years of pain and fear, not to mention the sordidness of active addiction, in my centre I craved cleanness and to have the ability to just live along decent lines.
I had looked at all all manner of religions over the years, I found them all to be pretty similar, many of them claim in their “adverts”, a desire to help and care for others, but most of them are bigoted and aggressive, and I found them distinctly lacking.
Any respect I have , in the words of a Dirk Bogarde film is in “the singer not the song”! The singers often sing quite beautifully (albeit deludedly) the song, however is absolutely wasted on me.
They are all full of evangelical people, and why wouldn’t they be? one would expect someone with fervent beliefs to be evangelical, but none of them seem to do what they say on the tin.! and I opened a lot of tins!
They have, at their centre, a fundamental belief in a deity of some sort, a real stumbling block for me because I do not share that belief.This is I am quite sure because my befuddled and damaged brain, gradually gained the ability to reason again!
The only thing that has ever spoken to my heart has been an interest humanism, atheism, and also in buddhist practice! (mindfulness and meditation, but without the dogma!.)I suppose it’s affinity with scientific concepts, it’s lack of a deity sits better with my being.The Buddha’s directive to “not listen to anyone, not the teachers, not even the Buddha, but find out for yourself!
was so refreshing to me!!
I have no interest in reincarnation or adhering to all of the “rules” but from my buddhist friends I have learned about meditation, (proven to help the brain!) loving kindness and mindfulness.
From my atheist friends I have learned that being decent is something that does not need a god, or the promise of a reward in heaven in order to want to do the right thing!
There are teachers everywhere, and if I close my mind to them because they don’t quite believe everything I believe, then I will miss out on their humanity.
So I still get a very warm glow from the sort of inspirational quotes that people post on my Facebook page, I still like to see others view of the magic.
If someone gives me a “good luck charm” or a talisman,I value that person so will love the gesture.
If someone tells me they will “pray” for me, I reply that I will “think” for them!
So hence my statement to be very firmly and happily : Atheist - Humanist but with a Buddhist slant!