the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 24/81


On tiptoes
I am not steady.
With long strides
I do not walk the fastest or the farthest.
Looking around to see who can be seen
is blindness.
Making myself the center of attention
I am lost.
Judging others
I find myself lacking.
With great claims and projects
I will accomplish nothing.
Pride will bring me a future
in which no one knows who I am.

In nature such traits
are excessive and wasteful.
They rot the person.
Natural beings
avoid them.

There are many forms of atheism in the world: Eastern religions like Daoism, Buddhism, Charwaka Hinduism and Jainism, the subversive atheisms of Socrates and the early Christians in Rome, the atheism of suspicion fostered by d'Holbach, the atheism of psychology promoted by Sigmund Freud, the atheism of utopia written by Karl Marx and Ernst Bloch, the atheism of existence according to Jean Paul Sartre, the Jewish atheisms of Mordecai Kaplan and Sherwin Wine, the Christian atheisms of Thomas Altizer, Gabriel Vahanian and William Hamilton, the humanist Unitarian atheism of John Dietrich, the anti-theism of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the holy atheism of liberation theology, the Lakota atheism of the Great Mystery, the Night Way initiation of the Dinay youth ...

The world, both present and past, is filled with atheisms, all of which take part in the religious quest for meaning. Its history contains theism, atheism and anti-theism, belief in god/s and disbelief in anything supernatural. It is religion: the desire to be connected with some idea, some person, some group, on an uncommon level of existence.

In the past and present of the West, as one religious group defines, another counter-defines. Antagonism and antithesis rule. In my life it has been that way, and in my family it has even been twin against twin. This is not the way of harmony and understanding.

On one concept all can agree: the universe is unknown, it is a mystery. How we approach that mystery is based on family, cultural tradition, thought and experience. One's initial approach and later engagements are usually very different. Events in our family, high school, work place, college, relationships, aging, change our perspective. But the greater mystery of the universe still remains.

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