SPIRITUAL ATHEISM con’t. Part Two: What’s the Point?

A reader asked, “What is the point of this transcendence, this oneness which for a short time is us?” How to answer this question? On what level of awareness is this being asked?

I guess, to begin, I never think of anything as transcendence, per se. I think of life as being a many-leveled form of existence. But then, I am now used to living in three realms, if I may call them that. I live in the body, I live in the mind, and I, at least, live in the spirit. That is what makes a whole life, for me.

But, I can remember when I had no idea I had a spirit. Because I did not know it was there, I had no idea anything was missing. So, on this level of being, my physical realm, I guess there isn’t much point in knowing about spirit. I went about my daily life in my own way. I think I can say we all do that, however we each do that, some of us leading full happy lives, and with many of us suffering in some way, often struggling to make ends meet. In many cultures that means not knowing where the next meal will come from. Possibly not even knowing where there is a a safe place to sleep. In our Western culture, we are privileged, to a point. We pretty much know where we will sleep, though in these days of stray bullets from seemingly random gunfights, we never know how truly safe we are. But at least, we feel safe, and that is a big step up from not having a safe place to sleep. We also know, more often than not, that we are going to have another meal, to the point of expecting the cultural norm of three meals a day, for most people. Not for all, but for most, relatvely speaking. That describes our physical realms.

Then there are our mental realms. We really only get to visit our mental realms once our physical needs are taken care of. In our culture, with most of us being born into safety, we don’t even realize there are people who do not have what we take for granted having. Now, with full bellies, and safe beds, we can look for more. For me, right now, my mental world centers mostly around my computer device, presently a handheld tablet. I can sit anywhere I want in my home, and reach out into the world though the internet, meeting all kinds of people I could never even think to have met under old, pre-internet conditions. And, when I put my tablet down, I can let my imagination run wild. I can think of many different things on many different levels. Philosophy, religion, non-religion, science, nature, conditions of life, other people, even sex and pleasure. The world of imagination is boundless. But, having said that, it can also be lonely, cold, heartless, conniving, and cruel. Not everyone has it great. Still, our culture gives us so many opportunities, opportunities that people living in some other cultures cannot even imagine. We are free to do whatever we want to do, not just what we need to do. Read a book. Watch TV. Play golf. Go for a walk. Almost anything. Life is good for a lot of us. Again, not for all. But a lot of us. And for many of us, that is all we need. All these this happen in the mental world, where we can think, consider, feel feelings, and use our imaginations.

And we can communicate. With the advent of the internet, we can communicate as we have never communicated before. We can talk to people all over the world. People like us. People unlike us. People we would never meet in real life. People we will probably never meet in real life. People with different thoughts. People with different ways of doing things. People with different goals in life. People with no goals in life. And people with different dreams! For as much as we are alike, being human beings, we are also unlike. And for as much as we are unlike, we can (usually) find common ground. Because we are human. We are all connected, in some way.

But not everyone feels those connections the same way. Some barely feel any connection at all. Family connections, most of us feel, at least to some extent. Friendship connections, if we have friends. People connections, if we want to be connected to other people. But for a lot of people, that is where connections stop. I am not saying for all people, I try to never say anything for all people. But humans are just one species of living beings amongst millions of species of living beings. And while some people feel connections to other living beings, like pets, wildlife, houseplants, even some tree huggers, there are billions of us who don’t even think we can have connections to any non-human living beings, generally speaking.

(I apologize for seeming to be off on a tangent here, but hopefully down the line I will make the connections clear. For now, it is time to address the third realm I live in.

As I said, when I was younger, I knew about the physical realm, and I knew about the realm of mind, but I was always looking for something more. Many people found their more in learning, religion, in science, even in politics or community affairs, or whatever. But I was looking for something on a more individual level, something that spoke to me about meaning, I guess you could call it. I asked myself the big question, “Does my life have meaning? Does my life have purpose?” In the words of the reader I quoted above, I asked myself, “What’s the point?”

Sometimes I worded it differently, as in “Does life have meaning?”, but I didn’t know if that questioning pertained to others. When I tried to talk to others, I either got blank stares, or answers that were meaningless to me, like “God gives life meaning.” or even, “There is no meaning to life!” But those answers were not helpful. Somewhere, deep, deep, inside of me, I felt my life had a meaning of some kind, so I went in search of it… And, for me, I found something that gave my life meaning. And, as time went on, I came to call that something spiritual atheism.

But to be clear, spiritual atheism is not a thing. It is a only symbol to describe how I feel deep down inside of me. That is where I discovered my spirit, that part of me that, while connected to the being that is me here on the physical (body) and metaphysical (mind) realms, exists in its own realm, the realm I call spirit. How to describe that realm? You cannot experience it with your senses. Nor can you truly experience it with your thoughts and imagination. But you can experience it through the connections you feel for others, if you allow yourselves to do so. I have learned how to do so.

A number of years ago, a university group did a study on spirit, and they declared it to exist, though even they could not define it very well. They found it in such things as team spirit, or workplace spirit, or school spirit. Anywhere people strove together to reach a singular goal. If the goal was achieved, or even just approached, all the teammates or workers or students felt uplifted in some way. They shared a feeling of success, and all were happy. However, if the team could not reach its goals, if the workers did not achieve creating whatever they were spending all their energy to create, they felt sad, bordering on or even crossing into depression. Their spirit sagged.

In some groups, religious congregations for example, where people often worshipped together (the type of religion did not matter), they found that fewer members of the group suffered from serious diseases, including mental diseases. It did not matter what they worshipped, it only mattered that they did it together. That they connected with each other.

Now, this type of spirit probably does not directly speak to the kind of spirit I am trying to describe to you, but yet I think it operates on a similar level. When you are with the group you feel the spirit. When you are away from the group you feel apart from it, you feel somehow diminished. A level of this happens to me too.

When I am living only in my body, concentrating on survival, I feel alone and neglected, like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. But, when I am living in my mind, generally I am feeling good about myself. And, when I am living with all three, including my spirit, I have a joy inside me, like my life is worth living. And when I first discovered this feeling in me, it changed my life. I didn’t yet know what the point would be, but at least I knew I had a point, a purpose, a meaning.

SPIRITUAL ATHEISM con’t. Part Two: What’s the Point?

A reader asked, “What is the point of this transcendence, this oneness which for a short time is us?” How to answer this question? On what level of awareness is this being asked?

I guess, to begin, I never think of anything as transcendence, per se. I think of life as being a many-leveled form of existence. But then, I am now used to living in three realms, if I may call them that. I live in the body, I live in the mind, and I, at least, live in the spirit. That is what makes a whole life, for me.

But, I can remember when I had no idea I had a spirit. Because I did not know it was there, I had no idea anything was missing. So, on this level of being, my physical realm, I guess there isn’t much point in knowing about spirit. I went about my daily life in my own way. I think I can say we all do that, however we each do that, some of us leading full happy lives, and with many of us suffering in some way, often struggling to make ends meet. In many cultures that means not knowing where the next meal will come from. Possibly not even knowing where there is a a safe place to sleep. In our Western culture, we are privileged, to a point. We pretty much know where we will sleep, though in these days of stray bullets from seemingly random gunfights, we never know how truly safe we are. But at least, we feel safe, and that is a big step up from not having a safe place to sleep. We also know, more often than not, that we are going to have another meal, to the point of expecting the cultural norm of three meals a day, for most people. Not for all, but for most, relatvely speaking. That describes our physical realms.

Then there are our mental realms. We really only get to visit our mental realms once our physical needs are taken care of. In our culture, with most of us being born into safety, we don’t even realize there are people who do not have what we take for granted having. Now, with full bellies, and safe beds, we can look for more. For me, right now, my mental world centers mostly around my computer device, presently a handheld tablet. I can sit anywhere I want in my home, and reach out into the world though the internet, meeting all kinds of people I could never even think to have met under old, pre-internet conditions. And, when I put my tablet down, I can let my imagination run wild. I can think of many different things on many different levels. Philosophy, religion, non-religion, science, nature, conditions of life, other people, even sex and pleasure. The world of imagination is boundless. But, having said that, it can also be lonely, cold, heartless, conniving, and cruel. Not everyone has it great. Still, our culture gives us so many opportunities, opportunities that people living in some other cultures cannot even imagine. We are free to do whatever we want to do, not just what we need to do. Read a book. Watch TV. Play golf. Go for a walk. Almost anything. Life is good for a lot of us. Again, not for all. But a lot of us. And for many of us, that is all we need. All these this happen in the mental world, where we can think, consider, feel feelings, and use our imaginations.

And we can communicate. With the advent of the internet, we can communicate as we have never communicated before. We can talk to people all over the world. People like us. People unlike us. People we would never meet in real life. People we will probably never meet in real life. People with different thoughts. People with different ways of doing things. People with different goals in life. People with no goals in life. And people with different dreams! For as much as we are alike, being human beings, we are also unlike. And for as much as we are unlike, we can (usually) find common ground. Because we are human. We are all connected, in some way.

But not everyone feels those connections the same way. Some barely feel any connection at all. Family connections, most of us feel, at least to some extent. Friendship connections, if we have friends. People connections, if we want to be connected to other people. But for a lot of people, that is where connections stop. I am not saying for all people, I try to never say anything for all people. But humans are just one species of living beings amongst millions of species of living beings. And while some people feel connections to other living beings, like pets, wildlife, houseplants, even some tree huggers, there are billions of us who don’t even think we can have connections to any non-human living beings, generally speaking.

(I apologize for seeming to be off on a tangent here, but hopefully down the line I will make the connections clear. For now, it is time to address the third realm I live in.

As I said, when I was younger, I knew about the physical realm, and I knew about the realm of mind, but I was always looking for something more. Many people found their more in learning, religion, in science, even in politics or community affairs, or whatever. But I was looking for something on a more individual level, something that spoke to me about meaning, I guess you could call it. I asked myself the big question, “Does my life have meaning? Does my life have purpose?” In the words of the reader I quoted above, I asked myself, “What’s the point?”

Sometimes I worded it differently, as in “Does life have meaning?”, but I didn’t know if that questioning pertained to others. When I tried to talk to others, I either got blank stares, or answers that were meaningless to me, like “God gives life meaning.” or even, “There is no meaning to life!” But those answers were not helpful. Somewhere, deep, deep, inside of me, I felt my life had a meaning of some kind, so I went in search of it… And, for me, I found something that gave my life meaning. And, as time went on, I came to call that something spiritual atheism.

But to be clear, spiritual atheism is not a thing. It is a only symbol to describe how I feel deep down inside of me. That is where I discovered my spirit, that part of me that, while connected to the being that is me here on the physical (body) and metaphysical (mind) realms, exists in its own realm, the realm I call spirit. How to describe that realm? You cannot experience it with your senses. Nor can you truly experience it with your thoughts and imagination. But you can experience it through the connections you feel for others, if you allow yourselves to do so. I have learned how to do so.

A number of years ago, a university group did a study on spirit, and they declared it to exist, though even they could not define it very well. They found it in such things as team spirit, or workplace spirit, or school spirit. Anywhere people strove together to reach a singular goal. If the goal was achieved, or even just approached, all the teammates or workers or students felt uplifted in some way. They shared a feeling of success, and all were happy. However, if the team could not reach its goals, if the workers did not achieve creating whatever they were spending all their energy to create, they felt sad, bordering on or even crossing into depression. Their spirit sagged.

In some groups, religious congregations for example, where people often worshipped together (the type of religion did not matter), they found that fewer members of the group suffered from serious diseases, including mental diseases. It did not matter what they worshipped, it only mattered that they did it together. That they connected with each other.

Now, this type of spirit probably does not directly speak to the kind of spirit I am trying to describe to you, but yet I think it operates on a similar level. When you are with the group you feel the spirit. When you are away from the group you feel apart from it, you feel somehow diminished. A level of this happens to me too.

When I am living only in my body, concentrating on survival, I feel alone and neglected, like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. But, when I am living in my mind, generally I am feeling good about myself. And, when I am living with all three, including my spirit, I have a joy inside me, like my life is worth living. And when I first discovered this feeling in me, it changed my life. I didn’t yet know what the point would be, but at least I knew I had a point, a purpose, a meaning.

SPIRITUAL ATHEISM REVISITED. Part One: Defining the Undefinable

Many years ago, I strung together two words to create a seeming new oxymoron. spiritual atheism. Why? I was an atheist. I stopped believing in a God, or gods, or creators, or controllers, or super beings of any kind. I could find nothing that held the universe together consciously. But, at the same time, I did not accept the atheistic contention that life stopped with death. As a young adult I had gone through some experiences that proved, to me, my life would go on past death. But what to call those experiences to differentiate them from religious beliefs, or even some philisophical beliefs, like heaven, hell, paradise, or nirvana, etc. All those beliefs suggested that life had a stopping place, whether right after death, or in some wondrous place accessible only by death. Even the eastern religions (what I could find out about them, there was no internet yet, and my local library had very little on Asian religions) with their beliefs in reincarnation, still seemed to have a set target for a final resting place. That was contrary to my own experiences. As I could understand it, life has no foreseeable end.

But what do you call that, using the very limited vocabulary of the English language. My search may not have been as exhaustive as was ultimately possible, but for my young self it was as exhaustive as I was capable of. And the only word that I could find to even come close to my needs was spirituality.

Where the Abrahamic religions, in particular Christianity and what we then called Mohammedism (I was never able to really tie Judaism down to a particular belief about life after death, even with having countless Jewish friends and acquaintances. However, since Judaism was the forerunner, the father of the other two, I decided to wrap the three of them together under the collective name Abrahamic.) used the word soul, that word did not fit for me. Soul spoke to an individual aspect of life-after-death, that people would continue to be people, just disembodied souls, and that was not how I understood life to work. According to these religions, good souls went to heaven, and evil souls went to hell. That did not fit with anything I had experienced.

So I commandeered the word spirit! For me, spirit spoke to the life force within every living being, not just human beings. I do not know that even sfter all these years I can explain, in English, my definition of spirit as I use it, but I will try, once more. But we cannot start with spirit, we have to start with life. Life is a word we take very much for granted. We are alive, so we have life. In fourteen definitions of the word life in the Oxford English Dictionary, none of them speak to a life force, and that is all I see, spiritually speaking. Like gravity is a force, a thing which acts on other things though gravity itself is not a material thing, life is not a material thing, yet, life is what enables us to act in the material world (or any world, for that matter). It is the force of life within us that allows us to be alive. Yet, like gravity, which is with us at all times, as long as we are on a revolving mass, such as the Earth, no matter who we are, life is always with us too. Gravity is neverending in the universe, life is neverending in the cosmos. As long as something is alive, be it a one-celled organism or a multi-billion celled organism, or a non-celled collection of energy, life is there acting on our molecules or anti-molecules to allow them to live. This is how I see life, and that bit of life that acts within us as individuals is what I call spirit. And like gravity, like life, spirit too is neverending.

But here is where the water gets really muddied, and, in my understanding, almost impossible to explain. That life force within every living being, that spirit, is not itself individual in the way we see ourselves as individual. Some people believe in what they call a collective consciousness. If I understand them correctly, there is, somewhere, an undefined something where all consciousnesses resides, like a balloon filled with uncountble air molecules all acting together to keep the balloon inflated. At some esoteric level, and please forgive me if I screw this up, our individual consciousnesses come together to influence how we think, feel, and act. The existence of a collective consciousness would be a beautiful, wonderful thing. Not that I would have a choice, but had I a choice, I would join a collective consciousness in an instant. Without having to think about it! But I do not see conciousness working that way. How would that explain people like Adolphe Hitler, Donald Trump, or Vladimir Putin. People such as them operate completely on their own, with no regard for anyone but themselves. I do not want to go any deeper into this here, but a collective consciousness would seem to infer that all conscious beings would inherently know to act for the good of all. Since that is not the case, I do not think we share a collective consciousness.

But there is something we do all share, at a level more basic than consciousness, and that is life. Life does not mean we all have to feel, think, and act the same, it just means we all get to act, feel, and hopefully, think. Collectively, we, all living beings, get to be alive. Individually, in our material world, we each get to live as we see fit. And that includes every species of life, and every individual within every species. To put this into my own words, we all share spirit, we all have spirit.

So, back to Spiritual Atheism, we all share spirit, but there is no guiding or ruling consciousness. We are all on our own. We each get to choose how we live.

WHAT DO I BELIEVE? I WAS ASKED. I BELIEVE…

As is often my wont, I love to take comments to individual readers, and recycle them as posts. I do this because I particularly like the way I responded to a comment, or to something I wrote in the comment that intrigued even me. Sometimes I just write without really knowing what I am about to write. While the following post is kind of one of those, I don’t think I really wrote anything new, nothing I have not said many times already. But what was new, this time, was collecting these things together, and presenting them as what I hope is a coherent piece of writing. I knew, just over half the way through, I would be making this a post, but I hope I did not let that interfere with the thought process or fluidity.

A believer, whom I will not name here, asked me this question: “If you do not believe in God, do you believe in something alternate?”

This was my answer:

Do I believe in something alternate? As in, something that runs or governs the universe? Fate. Destiny? Other super-beings? Karma? If those are what you mean by alternate, a resounding NO! I do not believe in any of those things. I hardly believe in anything most of my fellow atheists believe in. Yet, I am the product of my experiences, just as you are, just as anyone else is.

So, do I believe in anything? FIrst and foremost, I believe in life, which I often write capitalized, as in Life. Life is the driving force of the cosmos (all universes, all planes of existence, all places where life inhabits and exists whether we on Earth can know them or imagine them or not!. Your Heaven, if you believe in it, would be part of the cosmos, since it does not exist in our universe!).

Without life, or Life, however you want to think of it, there could be no God, no gods, no love, no people, no plants, no one-celled or multi-celled beings, not even “nothing.” Everything exists because there is life to see it, use it, and acknowledge it.

I also believe in chaos, the lack of ultimate direction or control. Although we petty humans think we can control our environments, and we can to a certain extent, we control nothing. Our homes, which we consider our safest places, can be designed, built, painted, whatever someone might want to do to show they are in control, but they cannot control the fire that consumes them, or the flash flood that washes them away, or the hurricane or tornado that rips them apart and throws the bits across the countryside!

We cannot even control our own lives. We can do all kinds of things that make us think we are in control, but we cannot control a car that strikes us, or a random bullet that happens to hit us, or the plane that crashes with us on board. We cannot even control who we meet in life, or who we love. All those things that cannot be controlled, those are acts of chaos. When chaos happens, control is impossible.

I also believe in evolution, which is a product of chaos. Looking backward, we can trace the evolution of life from the earliest one-celled beings to live in the primal soup to the beings that are us (humans), or any of the plants and animals that surround us. What we see looks like an orderly progression, especially when we look at DNA. All living beings share the same DNA, with little tweaks here and there to turn some into spiders, some into shrimps, some into redwood trees, some into mushrooms, and some into humans. But what we cannot see is more important than anything we can see. We cannot see most of the things that evolution tried, but that were unsuccessful. Most did not last long enough to leave a fossil record to prove that they ever existed. And even then, many many many that did leave fossil records are no longer with us. Dinosaurs existed for millions of years, but they were still an evolutionary dead end. If the new science is right, that dinosaurs changed into birds, then they weren’t a total failure. But, it took evolution for them to make that change. How long did it take for stomping big animals heavy enough to leave millions of year old footprints in the sand to change into tiny near-weightless birds that soar through the air on wings that left no visible records of their journeys? That did not happen in decades, or even centuries, or millenia. That tooks eons and epochs. And though humans have the words for eons and epochs, we cannot truly imagine what an eon or an epoch was like.

We can barely imagine our own lifetimes. As a senior citizen it is almost impossible to really remember what it was like to be a child–and impossible to rember what it was like to be a baby!

For every successful evolutionary advance, scientists estimate there were tens of thousands, or even millions, of failures. Most of those failures happened at the microscopic level, a place that was not even known about till just a few hundred years ago. So what looks like a straight road to us today was really a series of dead end roads, so numerous as to be beyond our ability to comprehend.

Besides these things I believe a lot of other things too numerous to write about here at this time. If you stick around, I am more than willing to talk about them.
But, I will never again believe in a consciousness of any kind such as the one you call God, who is in total control of everything that happens in a square foot plot of land, let alone on this Earth, and especially not in this universe. I do not mean to be deliberately insulting, but just the thought of imagining “anything” being in control of “everything” is just too mind-blowing to even be seriously considered.

These are examples of my thoughts and beliefs. I know they probably stretch your imagination way past its limits, not to mention those things you actually believe. They certainly would have been beyond my mental abilities when I was a Christian believing in the Bible.

But that was 60 years ago. Maybe Christianity has changed since then. You can correct me on those old assumptions, educate me on what today’s Christians believe, as embodied by you. Or maybe nothing much has changed in 60 years. You can let me know that too!

And that was where I left it. But now, I would like to pass the question on to you, slightly altered. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?, that you might want to share with my readers, or the blogging world. I was told, years ago, that if you sat in one place long enough, everyone in the world would pass in front of you. Obviously, that is not believable. But , if you sit in one place, a very public place, for long enough, a hell of a lot of people would pass in front of you. If you had the opportunity to tell them what you believe, what might you say to them? No one will be allowed to challenge your beliefs, if you share them. I will see to that! Please feel safe to share…

I Have a Dream…a side trip to the future

You cannot force yourself to evolve spiritually, but it will happen when you are ready

Spiritual Atheism

Question: What is Spiritual Atheism?

Answer: it is the belief (I would say knowledge) that all living beings are possessed of a spirit that never dies, and that there are no beings (some call them God or gods) superior to any other. We are all one, on the plane of existence.

Question: What is the purpose of Spiritual Atheism?

Answer: To bring about a new way of living.

Question: How is it that we can do that?

Answer: By learning who we really are and living a life filled with happiness and love.

Question: You say that the best way to do that is to look inside ourselves?

Answer: All the tools to discover ourselves and take control of our own lives are inside us, and using them will help us end all the things that are wrong with our society.

Question: Is such a life possible?

Answer: It is not only possible, but it is probable, even if “I” never write another word. It has nothing to do with me. It is all up to everyone individually.

Question: How can you guarantee such a thing will happen?

Answer: Spiritual evolution cannot be stopped. I just happen to be the first person “I know of” that is willing to write it down for others to find. Please note, though, you cannot force yourself to evolve spiritually, just as you cannot force your body to evolve physically. Yet this will happen.

Question: In your writings you use the term “living beings” a lot. Do you not merely mean human beings? People?

Answer: I do not know that earth is the only planet harbouring life, and in particular intelligent life. Life on our planet did not start out as intelligent, but as both natural and spiritual evolution have advanced us to this time and space, so they will continue to advance us as we continue to change and progress. Barring us blowing up our planet with nuclear weapons, or killing all life on earth with biological weapons, evolution cannot be stopped. It is my dream that we will remain alive as a life-sustaining ecosystem, and we will reach a point sometime in the future where we need no gods to worship and plead with, no gold to have to use to buy the things we need to be able to live, and no governments to tell us how to live our own lives. I call this the Era of Responsible Anarchy. Having said all that, I see all living beings as equals, each species and each individual contributing to the whole in some way, shape, or form. We all evolved from the same single-celled beings, and therefore we are all still related — no matter how different we may look, act, think, live, etc. We all share one thing in common, life. We are all living beings, none more important than any other, being bacteria, plant, animal, or otherwise.

Question: This sounds like a pipe dream, another oxymoronic phrase just like spiritual atheism. What do you mean by responsible anarchy?

Answer: Responsible Anarchy simply means living our lives by taking responsibility for our actions and our speech. Once enough of us reach this stage, the need for gods, gold (as represented by money), and government will all become obsolete. What that means to us as individuals and as a species, notwithstanding that all living beings throughout the universe are heading in this same direction, is a world society filled with love and respect for everyone, and everything. Many of our so-called emotions will disappear: hatred, greed, anger, envy, jealousy and others will prove to be coping mechanisms learned at our parents knees, or through the lives of friends. When we see others get angry and become aggressive, we will realize they are letting go of their need for self-control. Hatred is what you allow yourself to feel when you do not understand something that is going on around you: seeing someone of another race acting differently than you are obliged by society to act, or not being able to understand their language and customs, or even meeting someone who looks exactly like you, but yet they are as different from you as night is from day, any kind of misunderstanding can provoke anger. But take note, humans express anger mostly when they are around someone weaker than they are, or someone they know will not react to their anger in a way they understand. Or, if you feel you need to be punished for some real or imagined misdeed, then you will let your anger come out in hope of that other person punishing you. Even love does not have to be a real emotion, but an excuse to get close to someone you want to dominate, be dominated by, or even just to have sex with. Few of these things happen without cause, consciously or subconsciously, but because you learned them by watching or experiencing them as a child. By becoming responsible for yourself, these “learned expressions of feelings” will become a thing of the past. You will not need anyone else telling you what to do or how to act, because you will know inside you that you will be able to get along with this other person or group of persons, and your children will learn responsibility at your knees without you having to reprimand them for not learning them. When people are ready for some lesson to be learned, they will learn it, internalize it, and see that it fits with the kind of person they are inside themselves.

Responsible Anarchy — a discussion

As people evolve spiritually, they tend to realize they live alone in their own minds. For millenia, probably since the first intelligent being on the planet said, “I,” she, the one the scientists call Lucy, the mother of all human beings, looked around her and thought, What am I?, and came to the conclusion her parents, who had no intelligence, were to blame for her being different from every being on the planet. The amazing thing about this was that she passed the gene for intelligence on through her DNA , and her children passed it on to their children. This is how a mutation works. Somehow a sperm and an ovary came together in such a way that Lucy metamorphosed from an animal into a person, and though she did not understand it, she probably did not like being different from her group. But there was more to it than that. Lucy was probably a vegetarian as were all her group, but the gene she passed on prepared her descendants for the next drought, the one where plant life dried up and died before it could provide the nutrients for human life. But the intelligence gene alive in her children’s children saw the possibility of eating meat as a way to replace the lost nutrients from the dead plant life. By eating grubs and other insects, they survived, but they too mutated into a new kind of being, a hunter. It would not have taken a group of hunters long to scavenge the land around them for bugs and grubs, so they had to branch out from the valley of their birth in search of food capable of keeping them alive. Not understanding the works of nature, they would have found blame in the dying plants, and the scarcity of crawling foods, for their predicament. They ended up having to move farther and farther away from “home,” until they were  lost. They no longer knew where their home was. But the important thing is, they did not blame themselves for the predicament they were in, but blamed nature for forcing them away.

However, this set the tone for all future generations that have lived until today, and even for some generations still to come. Right now there are few people who admit to being to blame for their actions, and the others can find all kinds of scapegoats for why they do the things they do. This was the fate of humanity, until someone invented the God Theory, and suddenly besides blaming others, they began to blame their gods for all their bad luck. It was only the few that took the blame upon themselves, and most of them were executed for their indiscretions. The resulting problem was that no one became responsible for themselves, and eventually God became the focus of the blame for a large number of the world’s population, and it was an easy accusation because no God stood up for itself to say “It is not my fault.”

“It is the will of God!” has been spoken from so many lips that to try and count them would take hundreds of lifetimes. It is time to break that pattern, and for us to take responsibility for our actions and our words. I call this Responsible Anarchy. As you gain confidence in who you are, you begin to take over your own life. If something happens and you are the one responsible for that happening, you stand up and say, It was me who did that. Or the group you belong to. YOU are becoming responsible to yourself, as well as to your society. And as that happens, you begin to realize that it is the lawmakers of the land who are trying so hard to control the public that they are making laws to benefit themselves more than others, and designing the laws to keep a steady stream of individual workers under their thumbs, with very little change in allowing more freedom to the very people they say they represent. Law is not about granting freedoms, but about taking away those freedoms that the average worker still has. And this eventually will have to stop. Karl Marx suggested the overthrow of the capitalist classes by the workers, if not by peaceful means, then by violence. I see this happening more by throwing out the lawmakers (government) because it will be a social necessity. When no one cares about imposed laws, and one is able to live as one wants to live, politics will die a quiet death.

Now let us take a leap into the future, I do not know how far we have to go. But THIS IS MY DREAM. People, all people, are allowed to live freely together no matter what their race, religion and creed. No matter if they have lots of money or not. That will eventually level itself out, one way or another. And there will be no one in charge, because we will all have roles to follow, roles that we choose on our own, and roles that allow us supreme freedom.

This is what the future holds for us, because this is where Spiritual Atheism is trying to lead  us. And it is through Spiritual Evolution that all this will come to pass. I say again, the thing to remember is that we cannot rush this to happen. It has taken 3 billion years or so to get this far. It is not something we can accomplish overnight. But it will be accomplished, and I hope we (future human beings) are there to see it happen.

ATHEISTS DON’T HAVE TO PROVE NUTHIN’

I am continually reading about theists who think they know all about, and understand, atheists. What gets me, the more they write, the more they prove they have no idea what atheism is all about. But that is understandable, the lens they look through does not understand individuality. By their very nature, theists think in group-think. They need to be part of a group. They cannot understand that atheists are individuals, all with their own individual ways of thinking about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

But of all their foibles, religious people have one serious flaw when it comes to atheism — they try to make us think we have to prove their God, or gods, do not exist. Meanwhile, knowing all the while, it is impossible to prove a non-existent thing. They think they can tie us up in knots by demanding we prove ourselves. It is time to turn the table on them, and demand they prove their God, or gods, exist. Proving an existing thing exists should be easy for them. It that thing really exists… But they have no proof, do they? How can they have proof. Their God or gods do not exist, end of discussion.

But they will never let it end there. After all, they have their religious texts. They believe what they read — when what they read agrees with what they believe. The Bible is the Word of the One True God! The Koran tells Muslims that the God of Araham, now renamed as Allah, was misunderstood by both Jews and Christians, and they know where those misunderstanding went wrong. Please pardon the expression, but SAME SHIT, DIFFERENT PILE. Having a religious book proves nothing. It was written by humans, for humans, and is not worth the paper it is written on!

So please, do not try to play their games. When they demand proof of non-existence, give it to them straight. A negative cannot be proven. If they pretend to not be able to accept that, it is their problem. Not ours.

There is one more thing I would like to add to this post, and this is actually directed to those religious folk for who are phishing for something to attack atheists with. Spend your time in talking about that which you think you understand, your God or gods, and forget about trying to attack atheism. You are just wasting your time, and your God’s time. Leave those things you cannot understand to those who understand them. For as long as you attack us, we will just show you how useless that attack is. Brighten up. We are not going away. But you will be…

I STAND CORRECTED!… OR DO I?

50 some years ago I came up with the basic idea of spiritual evolution, but it took me another 10 years to refine the philosophy to where I could name it. Obviously I named it Spiritual Evolution. There was no Internet in those days, no way to check to see if the idea was my own, or whether others had predated me. Just this morning I found out others had; it seems it has been around for a few centuries at least. There are so many names associated with it, I am not even going to try to list them. Wikipedia has a page dedicated to it at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_evolution. Please check it out.

So, at first I was heartbroken. My idea was not a new one after all. But the more I read on the page, the more I became aware that maybe I have taken it to a new place, or sent it in a new direction, so-to-speak. Not everything, but almost everything on that page discusses two main tenets: spiritual evolution is human-centric, and God-centric. Only humans are evolved enough to be self-aware enough to the point of being able to know they are evolved; and the evolution of the spirit seems to always have a knowable purpose, and that purpose is either to evolve into God, or to lead humans to God in some way. Maybe not everyone uses that term, God, but they certainly have a similarity of godliness and god-directed morality.

Now, I have to admit that I started out with similar ideas. The very name rawgod began as the idea I was training myself to become one with God, or, after a while as my atheism took hold, to create a god where no god existed yet. Big goals, assuredly, but not too big for the person I was becoming.

And then, one day, I realized, I did not want to be any kind of god! I did not want to rule the universe, or anyone in it. To even try to do so would be the height of arrogance. So I started examining myself, and the spirit I knew to be inside of me. Things were not making sense to me anymore. Something had to give. And that is when I changed my focus from wanting to change the focus from become one with God to wanting to just live in this universe to the best of my abilities. If I wanted to be part of anything, I wanted to be part of life. The universe was what it was, it needed no changing, it was already perfect. And, decidedly, humans were nowhere close to perfect. In fact, humans are very much imperfect.

Still, the goal of my brand of spiritual evolution, if there could be said to be one, was to aim for perfection. That meant being a part of life, all forms of life. Every form of life. Life was taking on a new meaning. Life was no longer just the condition of being alive, life was a being all on its own in a manner of speaking. And every living being was a representative of life. Each of us, from single-celled plants and animals right up to quadrillion-celled plants and animals, are equal partners in life. While our physical bodies are definitely the result of physical evolution–check out your DNA as compared to the DNA of any living being, you will see the similarities–so too are our spirits the result of a different form of evolution, Spiritual Evolution.

So, while my original thesis had changed, still it kept the original base idea, we, all living beings, are moving in a particular direction. We are, generally-speaking, trying to become better people, where all living beings are people in their own ways–we all share the condition of life.

As usual, I have digressed from my original intent for this post. It is a very bad habit of mine. All it takes is a word here and a different word there, and my micro purpose is redirected from my macro purpose. My mind goes where it wants to go, or rather, where my spirit wants it to go. So, for now, I am going to leave this idea here. I suspect it will require more…

A Philosophy for All Living Beings (The NEW Part 1)

From the time the term came into my mind, “A PHILOSOPHY FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS,” upon which I posted 3 entries on my blog during February of 2018, I was completely dissatisfied with my writings, they were not a dissertation on my philosophy, but turned out to be more of a “How To…” discussion on to to become a self-aware, self-actuated or self-powered, spiritual being, providing you were human, and able to read English. These posts were so bad (as they did not relate to my philosophy hardly at all, though they were decent renditions of what they really turned out to be) that I developed a writer’s block that lasted many months. Where did I go so wrong? I might not be a talkative person, although that is in the process of changing, but when I pick up a pen, or sit at a keyboard, I usually have so much to say I cannot keep focus on what I am trying to write about, even as in this very minute. I love to explain, and even more I love to digress. And digression led me away from my original purpose in Part 1 of my earlier attempt. So now, if I may be so rude as to repeat myself, I am going to quote a few of the paragraphs I wrote in Part 1 while I was still trying to stay on focus, then go on from there. My sincerest apologies…

Sanity is a condition of life that LOCKS us inside a universal (or should I say, at this time, planet-wide?) shared concept of what reality is. Insanity, in its turn, appears to mean something like unable to live in that shared reality that sane people exist in. But unsanity, as I use it, means able to go beyond the shared planet-wide concept of reality without losing that concept of reality. “I feel like I am unsane because I can see through the veil of reality while still being able to live in that shared reality without making other people think I am insane, or unable to cope with that reality in some way. As I see myself, and the reality around me, I am not locked into that reality, but able to transcend it whenever I see or feel the need. Therefore I am more than sane, I am unsane.” To wit, I am unsane enough to believe I can write a philosophy for all living beings….

“…I did not start out to discover a philosophy for all living beings, because to even have had that concept before I stumbled onto it would have been insane, even to me. All I was looking for was something I could live with, a thought or idea or maybe even a purpose about my life, or for my life. You might say I was adrift in a sea of concepts, all handed down to me from the people whom I thought understood the world into which I had been born. Yes, I believed what I was told, for maybe the first 10 years of my life.” But then I started to grow up…

And lastly, “Reality on Earth is many things, but is not always the same for all people as one would think it would have to be if there was nothing beyond reality.” — rawgod (Feb. 2018)

But there is something beyond our shared concept of reality, at least in my opinion. In fact, I have experienced things, drug-induced, to be truthful, under the influence of LSD, that turned out to be very similar to Near Death Experiences (NDEs), only my experiences were not induced by life threatening accidents, or even intential suicide attempts, or Out-Of-Body (OBE) events, they were induced by taking LSD caused by my hope to discover if there was anything beyond our shared concept of reality–beyond sanity.

If you care to stop reading right here, that is your choice, I will not hate you for it, but I am going to keep on writing, even if nobody but me reads my words. Please remember, however, everything I am about to say is “in my opinion,” or “from my personal experience,” or arrived at through long consideration by my mind or by my spiritual self. To go on…

There is life beyond the reality we see around us every day. Mostly, no one gets to see this other Reality-Beyond-Our-Reality (RBOR), or (“arbour,” also “arbor” like a group of leafy trees designed to create a shelter), or (a place to rest unseen due to blocking of penetrating vision–rawgod) except those who have died in this perceived shared reality we call life on Earth. “Death is the ultimate trip,” hippies were wont to say back in the 1960s, but even we did not see how close we were to RBOR. Close, but yet so far, because for most living beings in the after-death, a return to life is barely an infinite blink away. But, what can occur during that infinite blink!

The body dies, and the mind detaches from it. A door opens inside the mind, and as mind dies the spirit flies through the the door. A tunnel leads the way to a shining welcome. There are no eyes and yet the sense of music of the spheres. There are no ears, yet notes and chords are brought to notice with more colours than are in the rainbow. There is no nose, and yet the communication of telepathy . There is no mouth but yet the warmth of sharing. There is no skin but yet the beauty of being. There is no me, but yet there now is us. A movie reel (real?) starts and runs from birth to death, yet no judgment hammers the view. Then all is all there is, yet is becomes, and life is formed and sent to start anew. A womb or egg or seed or spore or splitting by mitosis is chosen, spirit is set in life, and reality closes the door, and us is back to me…

Poetic, don’t you think, in every sense of the word. But this is death in my experience, or as close as I could come without dying, and bringing back with me things I did not know were attached. It has taken me 50 years and more to move from delight to insanity to fear to confusion to maybe to possibility to finally a sense of undertanding. But understanding is not yet complete, and may never be, unless I live another 50 years or more. There is so much beyond the capacity of even spirit to hold while on this realm, this plane of mainly physical being. Social workers, of which I once was one, now retired, have a word for life on earth, biophysicalpsychlogicalsocialspiritualbeing. Not all social workers ascribe to this or similar views of life, but that depends on many factors, including the willingness or unwillingness to understand life as a spiritual experience. Like social workers, people from all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, all physiologies, all psychological types, all social communities, and all spiuritual communities, or lack of any acceptance of all or any above states and biologies of being, may choose for themselves what they want to believe, or even not choose to make a choice. All reactions are welcome, and all choices are acceptable. There is no right or wrong. There only is.

TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE ULTIMATE IMPASSE

Hello Friends, It’s been awhile, which if I was a Canadian I might spend the next half-hour apologizing for, but while I was born and still live in Canada, I am a Child of the Universe, and for so-being I will not apologize for putting certain other activities ahead of this blog.

Also, I am going to start at the end of a conversation that took place today between myself, a spiritual atheist, and my friend named Peter who is a confirmed Deist. To make things even weirder, Peter is my mechanic, and I am his supplier of almost-free-of-THC medical marijuana. Sometimes when we meet to do business, we get into discussions between his religion and my philosophy.

Weirdest of all is that I am finding it necessary to start this blog, my first in what seems like months, with Peter’s and mine final sentences before saying “Good-bye,” for the afternoon. He, the deist, said to me, “Knowing that life exists proves to me [Peter] that God exists.” I on the other hand, restate my final declaration: “Knowing that Life exists allows me the freedom to think for myself, which tells me that no living being exists that can call itself God, or that we can call god.”

We are at that ultimate impasse where the person who was brought up to believe in a god-creator cannot see life without a god-creator. Meanwhile, though I was brought up to believe there was a god, creator or not, I learned to reject everything that was taught to me as a belief, and go with what I find within myself. There is no room for a god within me. There is only room for life. And life is eternal… And life is forever changing… Peter’s god is never-changing….

And yet we are so close together in thought it almost scares me. But he cannot make the leap from being a mostly-free-thinker to being a totally free thinker, whereas being a totally free thinker gives me the power to believe only that which I can find inside me, inside my mind, inside my spirit. This is like being in that proverbial place between a rock and a hard place–for both of us. Yet I cannot go back to believing in a god, nor do I want to, while he, Peter, cannot take that final step that makes him completely free.

The question, therefore, becomes does one of us need to change in order to co-exist, or is it sufficiently acceptable for both of us to accept the other as he is and allow life to go on, each of us in our own way. My gut tells me I can go on, because that is part of who I am. Accept everyone for who they are at this time, knowing they cannot escape the inescapable, when the time is right to move on, Peter will make that final step to totally free thinking and realize god cannot exist, and I for my turn will continue to search for what comes after accepting atheism as reality. This, I believe, is what upsets me so much about people who declare themselves atheists yet spend all their time still denying the existence of god. I see them as stuck, unable to move on, even when that too must change when it is time to make the change. I think I must be angry at myself, frustrated with myself for not being able to envision what comes next. Becoming atheist cannot be the be-all and end-all of life. Humanity is too inquisitive to allow that to be the ultimate goal. It contradicts my third condition of life, that need to keep on evolving. There was once a time I was satisfied having freed myself from the control of others, from taking complete responsibility for who and what I am and do. I am no longer satisfied with that position. I needed a rest after getting there, but now it is time to move again. But where?

But where?

rawgod versus the God of Atheism?

The possibilities are endless.

Life is endless.

And I am endless.

A couple months ago I found a website serving the  God of Atheism, Clinton Richard Dawkins. I had tried to reach him before, but I guess I was beneath his notice. This site was about “Militant Atheism,” so figuring that title suited me as well as anyone else, I purposely called him an anti-theist rather than an atheist, because, in my opinion, that is what he is. I believe I have the right to tell someone when I think their anti-theism is hurting the atheistic cause. Continually arguing with, debating, and shaming others is not something to be proud of or praised, but rather something to be condemned for.  So I condemned him for his stance, insinuating that there is no such thing as an atheist movement which was what he seemed to be saying. For him to assume that atheism by its very nature is an organized group of living beings trying to convince the world we live on, the world we live in, that atheism is the only way to go is to assume, as I said above, the godship of the idea of atheism. I am not writing this protest for reading by non-atheists (well, maybe for agnostics who are leaning towards atheism), I am writing to grab the attention of people who are already atheists, or believe themselves to be atheists, to get CRD (not Charles Robert Darwin) to talk to me. He probably does not agree with me that atheism can be a spiritual journey through life. But I know it can be, and I know that it is exactly how I have described it. At least, it is for me, even if for not for anyone else. But since this group of comments was for Militant Atheists, I felt it is my right to FIGHT against anti-theists, and try to make them understand that the chaos of this universe, while it is not controlled, CAN BE CONTROLLED, if one has the desire to do it. And such is my desire.

(The above paragraph is a paraphrase of the first comment I wrote to CRD earlier tonight. The following paragraphs will be unedited (except for typos) of what I wrote tonight, attacking him with everything I could think to use, and still keep my words intelligible. If anyone who reads the following words happens to know the self-appointed God of Atheism, please pass on my message to him. I don’t know him at all except through his written and spoken words, and I might be totally off base on who he is inside his mind, but without meeting the man, I have to go with the image I see of him in public. And in public, he comes across as an intelligent, possibly even a genius of a man. But one with a chip on his shoulder that needs to be excised. And if anyone can do that, I believe I am the surgeon who can succeed. I am a virtual unknown in the world of atheism,  but that doesn’t mean I am weak, or unintelligent, if not a genius myself. And I am not out to argue with him, debate him, or shame him. I just want to show him he can be a much more important person than he already is, if only he would listen to someone besides his ego.)

So, if I do not think atheists should be wasting their time on trying to change closed minds and closed ears, what is it I think they should be doing? The critical words in that sentence being “what is it I think they should be doing.” I think they should be working to improve the state humanity and all other living beings presently find themselves in. So let me define what I mean by “improve.” I’ll start by saying what I know it is not, which is anything to do with god, gold, or government. More people have died on this world because of religious differences. More people have been hurt and caused to live lives of suffering by those who own the most money. And more hatred has been caused by living under different governing systems, which includes words like culture, society, nationality, race, location, and whatever you can think of in that vein. But I have not yet added that system of government that is found all over our world, is worshiped by just about every mother and father, and yet ruins more lives than every other cause mentioned above added all together. That system of government is the nuclear family.
This is not to say that every parent is a bad parent, though 99% of parents screw up their children in some way or other, and not in just one way, but in so many ways it would take a million books to describe them all, and even then some would still be missed. The only people I might leave out of this list are those that have already learned it is best to share parenting as a group, not as individual families, and those would be aboriginal peoples still using the methods they used before the European Empire-builders tore their ways of life apart, believing aboriginal peoples were savages, meanwhile showing themselves to be the most savage group of people that ever lived, and who still live their savage lifestyles to this day.

These are what we must overcome if ever the people of earth are to become worthy of calling themselves human. I don’t have the room here to show how all these problems can be fixed, but I certainly have the room to declare that alienating others is NOT the way to succeed at anything. To succeed at making our planet the home of the mentally and physically healthiest beings in our universe, it will take cooperation, belief in the capabilities of humanity to create positive change, and the will and willingness to get it done.
And one of the first steps is to deconstruct the nuclear family and replace it with communal homes run by psychologically safe and loving people hired as community parents, and that would be their full-time profession. Once these community homes have been established, the next step would be to grow children into responsibly anarchistic adults. Responsible anarchy is the state of being wherein all people take responsibility for their every action, which in turn means that they would take responsibility to help all those around them to become responsible for themselves too. Remember, we are all members of one species, even though we seldom ever accept responsibility for ourselves, let alone responsibility for those around us. We would rather violate those around us in ways that show no respect for the fact we are all related. But this change is not only possible, it is probable. That is because, even as we are all physically related, we are also all spiritually related. While evolution accounts for for growth from single-celled beings to beings made up of somewhere between 30 to 37 trillion cells, spiritual evolution has helped raise us from never-concious instinct-driven beings to always-concious intelligence-driven beings capable of all types of genius.

But, a a member of the group of living beings extant upon our planet, individual lives can have other purposes. The life of my spirit, which has gone through millions of incarnations, shows my purpose is to be the best person I can be. And while I have not reached that point yet, I am working on it. Thanks to being born human, I can still see where improvements can be made. Thanks to having been born in Canada, I have been able to see what still needs to be improved. And thanks to having been born in a nuclear family, I can see its flaws. This is why I can say what my purpose is.

What next if ever I accomplish this task? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I know it won’t be heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, Mt Olympus, Bifrost, or any other human-imagined place of reward. I expect it will be a place where the fight to survive and progress will be even harder than in our present universe. The chaos will be even more chaotic. But life as we do not know it will still be there, in some form or formlessness, shapeless or shapeshifting, monocellular, multicellular, or non-cellular.

The possibilities are endless.

Life is endless.

And I am endless.

Please, ia anyone out there?