the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 69/81


Military strategists have said
When you don't think you have a good defense,
take the offense
When you don't think you have a good offense,

Retreat is called marching in place
rolling up your sleeves but not showing any muscle
the rose in the fisted glove
confronting without threatening.

In life there is nothing worse than
getting mad and attacking
and finding
nothing there ...

Only by losing your possessions
and your self
can you have no enemy.

In war, when armies are recruited and conscripted
when battles are waged
the victor will be the reluctant nation
who takes no joy or glory from fighting.

Warriors are people who lead a life dedicated to being strong
and in the service of other people, placing others before themselves, willing to give up their own lives so that others may live.
Warriors live with war, but they do not create it.
They act within it, but take no joy in the consequences.
Every ideology has its warriors, like the Jesuits as "shock troops" of the Pope. Atheism, too, has its warriors, but these are not to be confused with the foot soldiers or mercenaries who fight for atheism out of self-interest or revenge.

What are the positive aspects of the atheist warrior?
Being grounded in experience
curiosity towards religion
openness towards learning from other religions
letting go of bad feelings towards religion, dealing with them as specifics rather than generalities
facing the bad within every religion, including atheism, as a testimony of human being, naturally found within every human system
greater acceptance of mystery in life
understanding the power of ritual
positive discourse with other religions

What are the negative aspects of the atheist warrior?
Losing the crutch of long-standing antagonism towards religion
that gives anti-theism its definition and feeds it.

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