the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 51/81


The way creates
its truth sustains
its matter shapes
its energy is the spark of life
There is not one thing that does not know the way
or is not influenced by it
even though there is no instruction to follow
or bill to pay.
It is just so naturally.

As the universe creates everything,
sustains it, shapes it, enlivens it,
you are called
to care for the world but not own it,
use it but not abuse it,
lead but do not control.
This is the way of the universe.

There are four models in Western literature that can serve as archetypes of atheists. The first is Socrates -- a thinker, a questioner, a wonderer, a gad-fly to the authorities, a theist who, for his radical thinking and questioning, was found guilty of atheism and assassinated by the state as the only way to keep him quiet.
The second is Thomas the apostle of Jesus, said to be the twin brother of Jesus in the gnostic gospel -- a doubter, a skeptic, a man who wouldn't believe until their was physical proof presented.
The third is don Manuel, a Roman Catholic priest in the northern mountains of Spain, the main character in Unamuno's story, San Manuel Bueno, mártir, who, even though he had lost his own faith, continued to serve the faith of the town's believers.
The fourth is Brer Rabbit -- a person who wouldn't and couldn't take silence for an answer, and had to keep beating up on Brer Fox's dumb Tar Baby until he himself was completely stuck to the Tar Baby and covered with tar.

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