the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 20/81


Give up morality and social conventions
and be free of your problems.
What is really the difference between social classes?
Is it like the difference between good and bad?
between theism and atheism?
"That's the way it's always been done"
"Everybody else is doing it"
how artificial!

Everyone else is happy
celebrating the sacrifice of the lamb or the Son
or going to the opening party.
Yet I am alone and motionless
like a baby that has yet to smile
like an old man on a park bench.

Everyone else has more than enough to eat and
pay the rent and dream and take trips,
I alone have nothing.
My mind is so confused,
I must be stupid.
Everyone else can see the light,
I alone am blind.
Everyone else is happy and well-adjusted,
I alone am depressed.

Yet I am in motion like the bottom cycles of the ocean tides,
like flotsam and jetsam, never to rest.
Everyone else has a career or a job,
I alone am useless.
But I am also different from everyone else,
because the earth itself feeds me.

There are communities of affirmation and communities of contradiction among atheists.
Communities of affirmation support individuals in the quest for meaning and truth, in living within yet distinct from the rest of society.
Communities of contradiction stand in contrast to the values of society, whether the values are moralistic, spiritual or materialistic.
Every person ever called an atheist -- Socrates, Jesus, the Buddha, Marx -- was called so for being other than socially mainstream, for contradicting the status quo. Every theism has its beginning in contradicting its own origin.
Within atheism there are politics of cohesion and politics of division.

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