the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 10/81


Living both an emotional and intellectual life,
can you join them without separation?
Breathing and moving,
can you be as soft as a child?
can you narrow and sharpen your focus
on the universe till it is perfect?
can you care for and lead all the people
without becoming known as the care-provider and leader?
Opening and closing the gates of life and death
can you remain powerless?
Knowing and understanding science, reason and politics,
are you able to let it go?

Create and sustain ideas and things,
but do not attempt to control them.
Manage them, but do not ask them for credit or favors.
Guide them, but do not dominate.
This is the way of the universe.

Religion, both theism and atheism, has developed very differently in the East and West. Each of the three dominant Western religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- is concerned with maintaining a respectful relationship with a god. Judaism is concerned with maintaining the special relationship between the god Yahweh and his "chosen" people, Christianity promotes the attainment of eternal life with Jesus in heaven, and Islam the proper obedience to the will of Allah.
Eastern religions have a very different perspective.
Hinduism incorporates polytheism, monotheism and atheism alike, with myths and gods for those who need them, with philosophy for those who don't. Metaphysical metaphor abounds among texts that know no beginning or end. Buddhism, Charwaka and Jainism are three atheist Hindu heresies.
Buddhism's primary interest is in escaping the cycle of human suffering.
Daoism teaches the inter-connection of all the universe, with the personal goal of living in balance.
Apart from the traditional dualism of East and West are demographically smaller native religions that tend more toward the Eastern idea of balance than the Western concept of salvation.

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