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Thread: Example Of Atheistic Spirituality

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    Example Of Atheistic Spirituality

    Seeing as how there has been a lot of questions and such about being spiritual and being an atheist I though I'd post a few of the things in my life I do that I view as spiritual as an example of how atheistic spirituality can look.

    First of all I have little morning rituals that I try to remember to do every morning... I sit down in the back yard and look out over the trees surrounding it and sip my tea, thinking about the beauty of the world around me, the vastness of the sky and how happy I am to be a part of this magnificent universe.

    I have a little "altar" like thing where I have two strawberry scented candles, incense, my Buddhist mantra beads and a pendant that I inherited from my grandmother.
    It's good for me to have this one little corner where I can sit down, light candles, breath and practice mindfulness. (Being here and now without judging)
    The only thing the little table is dedicated to is myself and my well-being.

    I make brewing my tea and drinking it into a small ceremony at least once a day... also with the purpose of mindfulness, something I learned in therapy.

    I practice what one might call "magic" every now and then with mantras, affirmations, aromatherapy, herbal lore and similar things.
    While I do not believe in Gods or Goddesses that does not mean that I do not believe in rituals and ceremonies to focus your mind on specific things, allowing yourself to put more energy into what you need and want.

    I believe in the power that symbols and habits have on our psyche and our mind, and I gladly indulge in symbolism that means a lot to me.

    While most of my spirituality is based on psychology and I am fully aware of that, I do not think it makes me any less spiritual than someone who believes in Gods and Goddesses.
    And it doesn't make me less of an Atheist either.

    I hope this made sense to those of you who find the concept of atheistic spirituality interesting.
    Have a fabulous day!
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


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    That is interesting, thanks for posting.

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    Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to hear more responses from others as well.

    For a long time I've "believed" in the gods without certainty and its caused me a lot of headaches which is why I'm leaning more towards Agnosticism.

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    Thanks for this post.

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    Very interesting Njorun Alma! My beliefs have been going through a major over haul, for the better i think! I've been watching a lot of clips from the Atheist Experience(their rationalism beats the theists's arguments everytime! lol! ), confessionals from atheists on youtube, reading quotes from others revolving around the topic, having discussions with my boyfriend (he's an agnostic atheist), reading notes on facebook on the subject, reading debates between non-theists and theists, and just plain ole being honest with myself! I've been going back and forth with myself on the topic for a long while now, occasionally slipping back into theist mode out of fear and reaching back to what is (or was in this case) comfortable. I can't force myself to believe anymore in something that has no proof or evidence. As of now, i'm not sure what to call myself: pantheist? agnostic atheist? simply agnostic? maybe all of them smushed (sp?) together? lol!

    Your spirituality in relation to atheism reminds me of my own. For example,i too don't see the gods and goddesses as real entities, but i find them inspirational as symbols or archetypes. I don't plan on taking down my altar area and the various "pagany" things i put up on my wall, they still mean a lot to me! Some people probably don't realize that you can be spiritual and atheistic as well, heck apart of me thought this way to for awhile. I came across this website awhile back, and i think it sums up things nicely: :http://www.centerforabetterworld.com...al-atheism.htm

    It probably sounds silly, but apart of me is afraid to simply say it out loud that i'm not a theist anymore. A few days ago though i looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and said, "I'm an atheist" out loud more than once, and it felt really empowering..although i'm still confused as to what i should call myself! lol!
    Last edited by MoonBreath; October 20th, 2009 at 11:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonBreath View Post
    Very interesting Njorun Alma! My beliefs have been going through a major over haul, for the better i think! I've been watching a lot of clips from the Atheist Experience(their rationalism beats the theists's arguments everytime! lol! ), confessionals from atheists on youtube, reading quotes from others revolving around the topic, having discussions with my boyfriend (he's an agnostic atheist), reading notes on facebook on the subject, reading debates between non-theists and theists, and just plain ole being honest with myself! I've been going back and forth with myself on the topic for a long while now, occasionally slipping back into theist mode out of fear and reaching back to what is (or was in this case) comfortable. I can't force myself to believe anymore in something that has no proof or evidence. As of now, i'm not sure what to call myself: pantheist? agnostic atheist? simply agnostic? maybe all of them smushed (sp?) together? lol!

    Your spirituality in relation to atheism reminds me of my own. For example,i too don't see the gods and goddesses as real entities, but i find them inspirational as symbols or archetypes. I don't plan on taking down my altar area and the various "pagany" things i put up on my wall, they still mean a lot to me! Some people probably don't realize that you can be spiritual and atheistic as well, heck apart of me thought this way to for awhile. I came across this website awhile back, and i think it sums up things nicely: :http://www.centerforabetterworld.com...al-atheism.htm

    It probably sounds silly, but apart of me is afraid to simply say it out loud that i'm not a theist anymore. A few days ago though i looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and said, "I'm an atheist" out loud more than once, and it felt really empowering..although i'm still confused as to what i should call myself! lol!
    Parts of this remind me of myself.
    Although I did identify as atheist for a while, I'm currently not sure if that label still fits. I'm also not sure if I'm an atheist, agnostic, or pantheist, either, or a "smushed" up blend of them all. haha.

    I haven't really taken up any spiritual practices since I left Christianity about seven years ago (still remained theistic for several years after that though), although sometimes I have wanted to.

    Part of the reason I wonder about pantheism is the way I feel when I'm walking through nature trails, or having a boat ride for example. It fills me with a sense of awe or reverence, you might say.

    Njorun Alma, I like the idea of a tea ceremony. I usually drink a couple cups of tea a day, maybe drinking a cup mindfully would be nice. Except I'm not 100% sure I know what that means. Is it appreciating the moment for what it is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to hear more responses from others as well.

    For a long time I've "believed" in the gods without certainty and its caused me a lot of headaches which is why I'm leaning more towards Agnosticism.
    I still use gods and goddesses as manifestations of the different sides of me every now and then. As literary and psychological archetypes they still hold power, even if it isn't as supernatural entities but representations of all our sides.
    That lets me still blend in the beautiful romanticism of Freya in her chariot pulled by cats with my rational side without any headaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hærfest Leah View Post
    Thanks for this post.
    You're quite welcome, glad it did something for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonBreath View Post
    Very interesting Njorun Alma! My beliefs have been going through a major over haul, for the better i think! I've been watching a lot of clips from the Atheist Experience(their rationalism beats the theists's arguments everytime! lol! ), confessionals from atheists on youtube, reading quotes from others revolving around the topic, having discussions with my boyfriend (he's an agnostic atheist), reading notes on facebook on the subject, reading debates between non-theists and theists, and just plain ole being honest with myself! I've been going back and forth with myself on the topic for a long while now, occasionally slipping back into theist mode out of fear and reaching back to what is (or was in this case) comfortable. I can't force myself to believe anymore in something that has no proof or evidence. As of now, i'm not sure what to call myself: pantheist? agnostic atheist? simply agnostic? maybe all of them smushed (sp?) together? lol!

    Your spirituality in relation to atheism reminds me of my own. For example,i too don't see the gods and goddesses as real entities, but i find them inspirational as symbols or archetypes. I don't plan on taking down my altar area and the various "pagany" things i put up on my wall, they still mean a lot to me! Some people probably don't realize that you can be spiritual and atheistic as well, heck apart of me thought this way to for awhile. I came across this website awhile back, and i think it sums up things nicely: :http://www.centerforabetterworld.com...al-atheism.htm

    It probably sounds silly, but apart of me is afraid to simply say it out loud that i'm not a theist anymore. A few days ago though i looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and said, "I'm an atheist" out loud more than once, and it felt really empowering..although i'm still confused as to what i should call myself! lol!
    Oh, I know all about the nagging fear and the comfort zone when one initially edged into "non-theism". But once one takes that step and realizes that all the rituals and ceremonies can still be preformed although for the benefit or from the power of oneself, it is oddly empowering. No one controls your life but you.

    It is scary to say "hey... I don't believe in a God or Goddess of any kind" because it is less acceptable than at least believing in some divine thing. But it is empowering as well.
    I call myself an atheist because I don't believe in Gods and Goddesses as divine entities.
    What one calls oneself is all different, and labels might not mean much. I like calling myself an atheist because of the mind provoking aspect it presents to some people, but then again, I've always done that.



    Quote Originally Posted by gwendar View Post

    Njorun Alma, I like the idea of a tea ceremony. I usually drink a couple cups of tea a day, maybe drinking a cup mindfully would be nice. Except I'm not 100% sure I know what that means. Is it appreciating the moment for what it is?
    I try to keep mindful at every step of the way... it might sound corny, but it's observing everything without judging.
    "I'm boiling the water, it's hot and starting to boil,
    I pour the boiling water over the tea-leaves,
    scented steam caresses my face.
    I am holding the cup, it's hot, it smells like green tea.
    I am taking a sip, it's warming me, it's soothing me."

    And from then on just focus on the scent and the taste and whatever thoughts and emotions it brings to you, just have them and then let them go.

    I know it sounds odd, but it's something that really works for me as a "quiet and peaceful" moment. Just that cup of tea, without judging anything.
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


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    I like this thread.

    Reminds me of my own journey of spiritual exploration. When I was young I used to imagine a family of gods. I wondered if thier thoughts created the circumstances that I experienced in life. There was a mom god, a dad god, and children gods. This is my earliest memory of the divine. With research and thought, I realized how silly the possibility of omniscient and omnipotent things being real. Take away all the paradoxes, and you would still have to ask why all powerful beings wouldn't reveal themselves. I mean, what would they be hiding, why would they need to hide in the first place? They know all our thoughts, our questions, our fears and pain. If its in thier power to come to you and tell you what to do, why wouldn't they? Or at least, why wouldn't they nudge you in the right direction.

    When the reality that we are just infitismally small beings in a ginormous universe sinks in, there is a period of sadness. Or at least for me. It was a very short spell though, because then you realize that, the universe becomes more real. There is no script, nothing is written down, anything can change, and all there is is your fellow man/woman. You control the majority of your path, and you can have a great impact on the world. Despite these realizations, there are still cultural things that take time realizing. What of rituals? What of holidays? What of celebrations?

    Personal rituals are a hard thing to explain. I know there is energy all around me that I can't see. The air around me at this very moment is just a large collection of atoms. Just because I can't see it, doesn't make it non-existent. So with this open mind, I celebrate rituals. On the rare occasion that I can swim nude in the ocean beneath a full moon, I feel empowered. Whether it's because of the tactile pleasure or the spiritual pleasure, it's still there. When its windy, I like to swirl and dance in sync with the gusts. I stand in the rain just to get soaked. Its probably just in my mind, but I do get the sense of a greater feeling when I do these things. When I light a candle for a loved one, sometimes I feel my thoughts of good will travel to them. Perhaps they feel my thoughts as a comforting breeze, most likely they don't but it still doesn't stop me from feeling ok. My spirituality is quite selfish. I do things for my own enjoyment, they may not have an effect on the world, but at least I know its all in my mind.

    I still celebrate holidays. Although, looking at history, I see them a different way. When I celebrate yule, its because I see it as a milestone of our species. We realized our seasons could be mapped accurately. While that may seem small now, it totally changed our perception of the world. In the heat and passion of summer, I celebrate the invention/discovery of fire. In spring, I celebrate agriculture and the wonders that it has bestowed us. Celebration isn't solely spiritual, it is cerebral as well as emotional. Its an important part of our species, where we recognize achievements and what they have brought us. I also celebrate thanksgiving. One of the things I wonder, is when we as a species truley realized what death was. The true end, the great abyss. When I celebrate thanksgiving, I ponder this thought.

    While it may seem like the death is the end, no one truely knows. Even though I think it is the end, that doesn't mean that it is. It is a great mystery. We don't live that long, in fact, are time is so short, sometimes I wonder why we live at all. In a universe of death, we are a vein of life. I say vein because I believe we are only a small part of life. It seems incomprehensible that we are the only planet of life. Surely there must be another planet of life, complex or not, that experience the universe.

    I try everyday to explore my spirituality. I do it from different mediums, through different people and places. This is how I explore my spiritual side of life without the divine.
    Last edited by ignescentphoenix; October 25th, 2009 at 01:25 AM. Reason: For grammatical errors, blame OKTOBERFEST!!!
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    I approve of this thread.

    I think atheistic spirituality can also be an expanded way of looking at the world. I can look at a tree and see simply an unconscious (but immensely complex) assemblage of life chemicals, but when I'm in a different frame of mind it becomes also a symbol for beauty or strength or wisdom that I can weave into whatever mundane thing I'm contemplating. Or some days it's just what other people see - a tree: decoration for the sidewalk maybe. Somewhere for my dog to pee. But it's all spiritual in its way, to me. This may be going in a totally different direction than the OP intended. But there you are!

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    I find atheist spirituality to be simple.

    An atheist doesn't believe in deity. That doesn't mean we all don't believe in other metaphysical ideals!!

    I believe in spirit, in energy thats conscious and that without. I believe in many realms of existence, some physical and many non-physical.

    I just dont believe in any thing thats a higher power!
    I dont segregate spirit. I dont believe in any one entity or several that created everything else or are superior!

    Why is it is hard to understand that just because you dont believe in a deity, you can still believe in a spirit? A deity is a different thing than a spirit.

    I believe I have a spirit. I believe a tree, a dog, also have a spirit.
    I just dont believe in any deities.

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