Hullo My Good People….
For all my lofty intentions, I’ve not gotten very far on this blog. Internetting via Android was novel for awhile, but sadly fails to meet my needs for a true web addiction. I’m not feeling eloquent, wise or inspired these days, but thought I’d check in with ya’s.
So remember this http://vaweber.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/won-the-lottery-should-i-share/ ? The post conveying my eagerness for others to join the ranks of atheism? Yeah, well….mmm, not so much anymore. I’m actually surprised myself, having figured that my zeal for logic, reason & empirical data would keep me amped up on my atheism kick. I still very much appreciate those things. But here’s what’s happened:
1) Beginning in May of this year, I had some interactions or observations that reminded me of our fragility as human beings. I found that my desire to help the people I care about superseded any desire to have them think as I do.
Here’s my thing: when I was a Christian, I made up my own god. And really, most of us do. Granted, most of us do so within the framework of an established faith tradition, but from there we decide how literally or figuratively we’re going to take the words offered to us; we decide if we’re going to accept religious authority in making moral & ethical decisions, or if we’re going to use our hearts & heads. In a congregation of 200, there are 200 gods, at least, each with its particular nuanced personality assigned by its creator.
The god I created changed according to my changing spirituality….and got better every time. And while I don’t believe in literal deities, when a friend was in spiritual distress in May, I used God to help him. I took the god that I created and used Him to offer my friend peace & comfort. I wasn’t being deceitful–my friend knows I’m not a believer. I simply worked from his particular world view in order to best help him. I dunno, maybe it’s the UU in me. But I would do it again and again and again…to help the people I care about. I will introduce them to my God.
2) And here’s what else: I still adore some religious stuff. I enjoy certain music, mythology, symbolism & rituals. I can say with almost complete certainty that I’ll never give up the mystical musings of Rumi & Hafiz. I gladly chant with Krishna Das the songs to Hindu deities. I cry when Amazing Grace is played on the bagpipes. I miss some of my old favorite Christian pop music. And a couple months ago I almost suddenly became comfortable with this side of myself again. I’m OK with allowing these things to feed my spiritual self without my having to subscribe to their respective belief systems. I don’t even care if people think I’m Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever. I know what I enjoy, I know what I believe, and I’d rather be concerned about whether people think I’m compassionate, honest, ethical, intelligent, encouraging, hard-working, kind, inspiring…who cares if they get my belief system wrong?
I know, I know, my atheist readers are rolling their eyes. Don’t worry. I still love science & reason. I still loathe religious abuses. I don’t believe in gods, demons, angels, ghosts and the like. But I’ve given myself permission to entertain them for the sake of human compassion and connection.
For J, A, N, J, C, & S ~ thinking of you as I write this; it’s my tenderness for you that causes me to write this. xoxo