Domyo Burk is one of the bloggers on the Patheos Buddhist channel. She’s been doing a lot of research into spirituality and meditation for a new book, and along the way, she realized that she didn’t believe in God.
She never really believed in a personal God who answers your prayers and watches over you, but there were several years where she had “faith in Something Greater.” (That’s where the Zen stuff kicked in.)
But not anymore. She has a fascinating post about her journey away from God — which is nothing like the typical stories we hear — and I really appreciated this analogy:
… Being an atheist is like living without parents. As long as your parents are alive, assuming they were halfway decent parents, you know that somewhere in the world someone cares about you and how you’re doing. You matter in a special way to your parents. Even when you’re completely responsible for taking care of your own life, you’ve got the subtle moral support of parental presence (this can, of course, feel positive, but can also feel like pressure or guilt sometimes).
Once your parents are gone, it’s just you. You may have family and friends who care about you very deeply, but your well-being and existence will never be a central priority in their lives the way it was for your parents. It’s all up to you now, what you make of your life. No one really cares.
So, if atheist practice is like living without parents, why isn’t it just sad? Well, maybe it is, a little. But it also seems like a natural progression in terms of spiritual maturity…
I love that. I’m sure some of you can extend that analogy even further (or, in true Internet form, knock it down completely).
Anyway, you should read Domyo’s full post. Really interesting stuff.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)