More Than Atheism

How atheism is merely a point of awakening, not a final destination.

Is atheism the last station on the track? Of course, upon clearing your head from Abrahamic ownership of the cosmos, it may seem that-day to be a great awakening moment—there is much more to the story than that restricted system allows.

True, there are no gods, but is there nothing else at all? In the tradition of enlightenment we see the value of unbelief, then little by little the source reveals itself from within, that the universe is a complex living way, a happening where we live without belief, but in practice as a singularity.

As anthropology and archaeology sever the 6000 year shoehorning of human history, we find this happening has been going on much longer in a highly developed fashion of ebbs and flows, than the Yahweh story will allow.

Abrahamic religion can no longer hold back the tides of knowledge. Information and collaboration is happening around the world, fostering new discovery of what we can be, who mankind actually is, and ushering in a new, beautiful awakening of the human spirit. Once held divided for centuries by the insistence of one god, that ultimate idol which has distracted us from our true greatness through submission, to the prepackaged, poorly interpreted cultural bias of the awakening experience.

Atheism is simply unbelief in gods, but that may not be the whole story—It is what indigenous and others skilled in the meditative arts have known for a long time, but who in this system has time for that? Carefully guided through life settling for half truth and contradiction, it’s no wonder we’ve gone nowhere.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

113 thoughts on “More Than Atheism”

  1. On the personally thing, I was talking about myself. And yes, when I go to church, I am aware of what is going on. I believe there are those in the church truly searching, have had experiences in their lives that changed them, and that they are truly honest. I also understand that this does not apply to everyone. There’s something one pastor shared that explains some of this. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. In other words, don’t judge Christianity by Christians. That was explained by Paul in the bible, when he explained that followers are not all honest, that they teach others for a variety of reasons. From this, and I already knew this when I was young, I understand that just because someone goes to church, or someone is a pastor, doesn’t mean they’re coming from a good place. And as you probably know, it was written that Jesus didn’t trust men for He knew what was in them.
    Yes, I think the church as a restraint can serve that purpose, for if people, by believing, seek to live better lives, then that has good in it. I do believe, however, that our Lord and Savior wants us to seek Him truly. And in the bible, it explains that when we truly seek and find, we no longer need all the restraints and laws because we are already living those laws. Remember, the first two commandments lead to all the other commandments. If you love God and others as yourself, truly, you already won’t do wrong things. You won’t want to. You’ll naturally speak honestly, helping your neighbors, and do the right thing. But someone explains, how can we do that? No one lives that way. Yet, I’ve been fortunate to meet a few who do live that way. And that is the question that people read the bible. And I’m not talking about blind beliefs. We talking about believing in what we come to understand.

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    1. You might want to reword this … our Lord and Savior in future comments. He’s definitely not MY L&S and somehow I think most of Jim’s readers/visitors would say similar.

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      1. I understand the comment. I understand that God created all of us. Interestingly, it was written in the bible, which helped me understand, that though God made himself known to everyone through all we see and understand, and sent His Son, that though we were created by Him, many would not acknowledge this. So, in order to speak honestly, there will be no rewording. I’m not interested in politics or sparing feelings where real discussion is the purpose. Is that your purpose: real discussion? If so, then real discussion is possible. If not, that belongs to you.

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        1. Actually, after reading many of your comments, it is my considered opinion a “real discussion” with you is an impossible task. So I just occasionally point out some of the more obvious snafus.

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    1. I don’t take anything here personally. There is more to the story than beliefs. That’s all. The churches are a necessary restraint. If people could see what it was really all about there would be a mass exit and jeopardize the game. There’s a reason Jesus spoke parables, and it wasn’t fear of casting pearls.

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  2. I get it. For myself, it’s been a very long road. I always return to realizing I was created, that there is good in the world, but also evil. As a new friend explained, it was all the evil he saw and learned about that brought him to realization, then to Christianity.
    Look. I’ve read and researched, but people arrive at different conclusions, even the most well-read and researched. We have scientists that don’t believe in creation, and their fellow scientists are Christians. They have the same information, discuss at length, and yet, arrive at different conclusions. This tells me it depends upon the inclination of the soul.
    As I explained in another place, a noted scientists, writer, and researcher was struggling with his own beliefs. When he asked a homeless man (The man was well-dressed and articulate, but chose to live on the streets for his own reasons.) whether he believed if God exists, the man replied: Of course. Who do you think made you?
    You see, it’s very easy for some. For myself, I went through years of wonder, reading, and research. Then it came down to understanding. It became, after all the talks, research, and more what do I understand and what is it I’m looking for. And I couldn’t be happy with just belief. For as you know, we all can believe differently, but there’s only one truth. All others are opinions. And yes, there can be different aspects to the same truth. For instance, one person might believe they can’t eat meat, another that they can, and both are believers. That caused me to wonder.
    Yes, I’ve wondered about what is written in the bible. Some things I’ve read seem contradictory. But then, I also understood that the bible we read is not in the original language that we don’t have the experiences of the apostle, not living in those times, and our understanding is partially shaped by our experiences and attitudes. But I also realize truth is truth. Never changing. And what I understand is true: what I’m given to understand. I also discovered that some bibles are not in bible stores even though they are better researched, which again, caused me to realize there are forces at work to keep us uninformed. But if you’re looking, you will find.
    Reading several interpretations of the bible, but also reading the writings of other religions, I saw that interpretations can be very different. For instance, some people believe you should be constantly reading the scriptures. I haven’t found that in the bible. Yet two people can differ on this point. I think our insecurities, fallibility, and own private motives determine what we believe, and I’m certainly imperfect. But two people can read, as I’ve noted, the same book and see far different things.
    As a relative asked, if there is a god, why is there so much suffering? Well, I wondered, perhaps I can ponder upon that, for there must be a reason. But then, I always return that whatever is true, is true, whether I agree or not. And since there is bad in the world, there must be good. That tells me something. It tells me our Creator is good.
    But as you’ve read, the first pair of humans had a choice. They were living in paradise. Every day was peaceful. They were happy. They only had one command: leave that tree alone. That was the tree, according to the serpent, that would make them wise, knowledgeable, and they could become as gods. That was the sin. They had everything, even knowing they would live forever if they left one tree alone. But they chose, willingly, to become gods (which means, to disagree with good), which means, they were rebelling against good. They were rebelling against their own conscience which is inside us.
    So why sufferings. Well, to choose other than good, other than doing what’s right, what’s the alternative? You either listen to your conscience, or you don’t. And when we choose not to listen to our conscience, we are subject to the wrongs in the world. With time, this grows and grows and all manner of evil become. That means, people are going to do bad things, make wrong choices, wars will break out, and more. Yes, I know you know all this, but again, this is for the readers.
    I know, I’m going to get an “I don’t understand you” and all the research done. That’s okay. Remember, share and let others decide.

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    1. This tells me it depends upon the inclination of the soul”. There ya go then. Not sure if you realize it or not, but either a; this leaves me no choice but to go with my gut (my soul), or b; this is the type of smug, one-better spiritual insider crap that even I used to play. There is a C answer as well, that pretending to “know” is well rehearsed in Christian circles. Don’t take this too personally because I understand the faith trap more than most, but this “I can love you more than you love me, I can be more humble, I can deprecate more fully in my worthless state than those around me, pain, sorrow, and downtrodden” is not what drives humanity any worthwhile direction. Humans are better than that charade, really.
      If your making a scientific claim of biological creation by a creator, you need to explain how that is done. God created me is a faith statement, nothing more.

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  3. For some time, this year, I’ve been helping out a friend at his store. A young man walked in, and the discussion of the bible came into our talks. He explained that for many years, he was an atheist, growing up in a home with family that didn’t believe in religion. I asked him, what changed. He explained that over time, he saw how terrible people can be. Like many others, he saw the tragedies of the world. He also explained that he saw real evil, sometimes extreme. With time, he explained that if there was such evil, then there must be good. It was this realization that led him to Christianity.

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    1. Atheism explains that morality is a social obligation but not a passport to heaven and salvation. The theistic belief in divine retribution sidetracked moral behavior in many, many instances. Believers were more prone to please the god of their imagination by prayer and ritual than to conform to rules of moral conduct. Even the first five of ten commandments focus on god more than good conduct. And that same god is justified in leading many to historically bad conduct. The fact is beliefs can lead you astray more than ethics.
      Looking at the trending improvements in safety and life longevity (it’s safer than ever to be alive right now) and we are also more secular than ever before. Atheism is often stereotyped as a directionless monster, but contemplating these issues without fear of god has led most unbelievers to a meaningful standard of ethical behavior.
      No one is as dumb as all of us. Groupthink never amounts to what one can drum up on his own.

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      1. It’s great to have these discussions in an open forum. In this way, the readers can chime in should they choose, or just read. They can also seek for themselves, ponder and/or research, as life is a journey. **I think, much of what you say was shared by many I have spoken to in the past. I think we have a habit of intellectualizing ideas. There’s a far cry difference, although some may say it’s a razor’s edge, between intellectualizing and understanding. It’s also a habit of some, in any arena, to use rhetoric and borrowed passages even from others. When I was reading documents and letters of the founding fathers, federalists, and anti-federalists, I was careful not to think, because I’ve read them, I understand deeply. What I understand comes from inside, but also experiences and readings. But I didn’t live during those times. However, having researched, understanding the problems of today, I could very easily “see” their understandings in today’s world. But remember, regarding the same Constitution and Bill of Rights, the people living those days, going through the very same experiences, knowing the issues, disagreed on the very same topics. I think sometimes, they were either only interested in themselves, concerned about others, were slanted by their own personal experiences, or simply had different interpretations of the same concepts. Or worried how concepts would be utilized.
        **I”m not interested in rhetoric, borrowed ideas (We’ve heard them so many times.), spinning, or a strong determination to prove a point without really discussing. I am willing to see errors in thinking and admit, but also to explain when I understand.
        ***Going the purely intellectual route is too easy. It sounds amazing, but to one looking for understanding, it is not. I’m looking for those who truly think for themselves, honestly, and not to pursue their own agendas for their own reasons only.

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        1. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve yet to read an atheist book, nor do I watch their videos. It surprises me you keep commenting intellectualism. I’ve read far, vast more amounts of scripture and commentary on Christianity as a defender of the faith. Now I simply observe and report. I believe nothing. The premises of Christianity have had their shot. The outcomes don’t match the promises. Internal truth is simply hairsplitting contradiction to align to what you already believe. It’s very predictable.

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  4. There’s another thought. One fellow asked another, of all the information available in the world and universe, how much of it do you think you know? The other fellow replied, 2% or 3%, but certainly not more than 5%. I say, less than 1%. And probably far short. So, the first fellow replied, based upon your information, you’ve come to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing to believe in. Of all the information available, which we know so little. Of course, that goes for me as well. It’s the understanding and realizations, thankfully, that answered some questions, and realizing there’s no other way.
    Here’s another thought. I’m on an island (plane wrecked) with a friend. We meet the islanders. The first few we meet are cruel and terrible. Based upon this (They represent 1.5% of the island population.), we’ve decided all the islanders are terrible.
    Here’s another thought. During WWII, Germany did terrible things to the Jewish population and others. But, having studied, and using understanding, I realize there were many German people who did not agree, loved the Jewish people and others, and so forth.
    Here’s another thought. Thankfully, I never (and encourage others) listen to anyone resorting to pure intellect, rhetoric, and history out of context, not reasoning and understanding. In person, the dialogue would last all of 10 seconds. What I’m looking for are people who truly think, which requires calmness, and look for understanding, not simply to prove their points due to some emotional difficulties they are having.
    Here’s another thought. The biggest cause of death is being born. We all die. But, if we are rational and looking for real answers, we also realize just because people call themselves something doesn’t make it so. If I call myself a giraffe, then beat people up, that doesn’t make me or giraffes bad. I’m using a ridiculous example to demonstrate ridiculous thinking. Those who are truly searching will understand. Those who don’t want to understand, we don’t worry about. Live and let live. **It was shared earlier, how some who said they believed this, and then their behavior indicated problems. It’s not what they say they are, but what truly is.
    I know there is good in the world because we know what bad is. In order to have bad, there must be good that shines the light, which is how we know. We know there is color, for we have seen it and have experienced the absence of color. We know everything was created because of creation.
    **Again, this is for readers: to those who are seeking.

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  5. Listen. I could play the intellectual game all day. In my youth, I had thoughts that would probably scare the pants off others, but the thoughts troubled me so much, because I didn’t have the understanding of the bible, yet. The problem was, I believed in the thoughts and didn’t yet see understanding.
    I used to play the game that you could never know if you’re awake, for what is the state of awakeness. All you know is what you’ve experienced. You might be asleep forever, never knowing it, for as you know, when you’re dreaming, you rarely realize you’re dreaming, thinking the dream is real while you’re dreaming. But when you awaken, then you realize. But who’s to say, the state of awakeness insn’t just another dream. But as a kid, I woke up from dreams, landing into other dreams, later realizing I was still dreaming. Like in the movie, the “Matrix”, where people were born asleep, you could be in a forever sleep, aliens putting thoughts into your head. You see, I could play the intellectual game forever.
    But I’m not looking for intellect. I’m looking for understanding. What I’ve shared is inwardly revealed. I see that I exist, and therefore that I had to have been created, that I didn’t create myself which is contradictory. I also see understanding, which is different from intellect, for it’s like living knowledge. It also leads to faith, for you realize the understanding is coming from above.
    The intellectual game can be “fun” and make a person think how intelligent they are, but it’s empty of any real understanding. Faith comes to some people in different ways, but you get to decide whether you want to find the reason for life and your existence. But one more thing. Some people don’t wish to believe in the bible for they think that our Father would never accept them or forgive them, that they’ve done far too many wrongs ever to be forgiven, but they would rather believe in their own “goodness” by their own ruler. What they haven’t yet realized is our Father knew we would make all these mistakes, for without Him, we’re left to our own whims. But He also knew we had to “see” we need Him, and through His Son, Who took on all of our sins, we are forgiven in that we had to experience rebelliousness to realize that’s not the way. This took years for me to understand.

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    1. Just watch the video. I don’t typically do video, but this benefits believer or non alike.
      I don’t play intellectual games as you insinuate, but the effects of belief has been completely numbing to humanity. I do trust my own eyes though. The outcome of Christianity is the monotheistic stall. Bloodshed and 1500 years of forced conversions. We’ve done things wrong for so long you embrace it. Like a dog to his vomit. Anyone that thought for themselves was devoured by it. Now we stick to infighting over belief. You seem very reasonable to you, but you’ve got some heirs about you. The reliability of perception and personal revelation is widely errant. How many people have died for a complete lie and fabrication over belief? Seriously. Doesn’t that make you wonder?

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  6. Thank you for your share. As one who has listened, learned, researched, I’ve always been one to encourage others to think for themselves. I can only share from my own experiences and understanding. It’s been quite a long road, and with time, I realized more and more. I understand God created everything, that He made me, and with time, I am amazed more and more.
    Adding here, all too often, I have met others who are equally certain of themselves. Some have this very certainty in what “they” came to be certain of. Then, they go about sharing this with others. That’s freedom: free speech. I have no problems with people sharing a diversity of ideas. People should share and let others decide for themselves. If I have someone, because of what I say, believe in what I’m saying, I am grateful and think “Good for Him or Her.” But what I don’t want is someone who believes because they like me or think “Wow,” he makes sense, and then stops thinking for themselves. Such a person I might admonish. Don’t believe because I told you, but because, when I said it, you saw it for yourself. I might be the biggest liar ever. Don’t you see, there are all kinds of people who will deceive or are deceived themselves? And many are egotistically certain of themselves. I see this everywhere. It’s your road. It’s your discovery. And I understand when I’m talking to a person of honesty and integrity versus their own egotism or otherwise. I say this for the readers.
    One thing I’m absolutely certain of. It something is true, it’s true. No amount of beliefs will change that. That’s a truth. And if something is true, whether others have problems with that, or whether disruptions are created, or whether what we want does not turn out our way, the truth is still true. For myself, if I don’t get what I want, or have preconceived notions, or troubles befall, the truth is unshakable. Understanding doesn’t change because of anything I’m experiencing. That, I think, is what causes many people to lose faith. They came to believing something, thought perhaps their lives would work out a certain way, and because of difficulties, tragedies, and other circumstances, that the belief was in error. No. If it was true when they believed, it’s still true even though they no longer believe.
    I have met people who were strong believers, but difficulties hit, loved ones were lost, and other tragedies occurred. For one, they lost faith. For the other, their faith grew. If you’ve read the bible, and I think you have, then you know what the apostles endured. It was even written, that life will be filled with difficulties. Actually, it’s extremely hard. But part of that is due to people not seeking the truth, many who just want to go their own way, many who want to run other people’s lives, and more. We don’t live in a vacuum. We’re all out there. So there are going to be problems. And even if one comes up with the answer that there’s no answer, the same problems will be there.
    It’s not about problems. I’m here. I know I was created. I am travelling and learning as others are. And the understanding keeps growing. Thank the Good Lord.

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      1. I believe you are genuine in your beliefs. I had a friend, whose friend, was a very strong believer. He began having serious health issues, careers didn’t work out, and I believe other things happened which seriously troubled him. He became an atheist. We listened. * For myself, there have been many difficulties. Have I pondered and wondered? You betcha. But I understand one thing. What is true is true, no matter what people do or experience. I don’t pretend to know the reasons why. But, without a doubt, and this is self-revelation/realization, I know I was created and have researched heavily on other aspects of life. Also, reading the bible, learning what others have endured, is inspiring. One person, Nate Shiransky, who wrote several books, shared his trials in the U.S.S.R., being in the gulag for 9 years, enduring the possibility of death daily, held onto his faith. He was eventually freed, returning to his family, wife, and home. Jerusalem and Israel. He never lost faith. And part of the reason was for his fellow men and women. He didn’t give up, partly, because he knew his example gave others hope. *I think I’m discovering it’s not about me, but all of us.

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        1. Actually what is true would even be evident through unbelief. Belief is only a requisite of insufficient knowledge.
          My mother joined the Mormon church and died a lifelong member having never read the Book of Mormon. She just knew it was true no matter the evidence or lack of evidence it presented. Based on your reasoning Islam is about to hold more truth than Christianity. They just know. My current mother in law just knows what she knows, and told me that homosexuals tend to be arsonists. The truth is, there is very little truth. Prayer would be verifiable and duplicable, and the errant outcomes of biblical teaching would be wisdom. It is not. It is a mess of covered up inadequacy that in spite of its intentions, lead to zealous oppression. Truths are self evident.
          You just know you were created. I just know this game has been going on far longer than any of the big 5 religions can account for.
          One thing I completely agree with you though. The whole thing is us. We are like nerve endings of a living universe that has always existed, and I can never, not be. Life is what happens in between death, and the part of me that is not what you see, is a part of that.
          Is it any wonder that the world is becoming more and more secular, and it is also the safest time in the history of the world to be alive? The churches constantly try to persuade us that life is worse and more corrupt than ever. The truth is the opposite of that.

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            1. To one person, what I’m saying makes no sense. When I was younger, I might have thought that what I understand now makes no sense. It took time, observation, and wonder. Then I had “ah haaa…” experiences, bits of understanding.
              When I say, I realize I was created, I really see that. I really understand that. When I say I know God exists, I really see that. I really understand that. The seeing is self-revelation. Intellect alone doesn’t explain. It’s seeing.
              On the something that’s true doesn’t require belief, that’s axiomatic. There are thing in the world I know nothing about, things across the universe I’ve never seen or learned about, yet they’re still there. When I was young, there were truths I hadn’t yet discovered, but they were still true nonetheless, later to be understood by others and myself. *You could also reverse the thought.
              I think, to some people, they are frightened by the consideration that God knows everything, and they will never know all that God knows. We will always be completely reliant on Him. For some, that’s scary. They want to know everything, for only in that, do they feel secure, or at least, to believe there is no other in complete control of their lives, but patiently awaiting. I don’t see it that way. I’m happy that God knows everything, for if I had to completely rely on my own understanding alone, I don’t have all the answers.

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            2. If what you say is true, then is everything anyone else believes deeply is true too? (belief is the biggest hurdle facing humanity) If I may, how old were you when first exposed to Jesus? Sounds like you’ve spent a lifetime reasoning out a way. It takes some mental wrangling no doubt, to overcome the complete list of contradictions from head to toe. I know, I used to do the same thing. Thousands upon thousands of pages everything Christian and I got it just right. Amazing what you can reconcile if we really want to, but in the end it adds up to nothing.
              How many dead and buried just knew Jesus was coming? How many failed prophecies does it take to say hey, wait a minute? This TED talk has some interesting ideas about doubt. It’s not trashing religion and very well done. Let me know what you think. https://youtu.be/DsrxbqFo41k

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  7. Again, two people can see an event and come away with very different explanations. Two people can listen to someone speaking, and again, come away with very different interpretations. And again, the very same people that share are misunderstood, misunderstand, doing exactly what they are claiming in others, yet they don’t see it. I listen, and the other tells me what they are thinking. What tells me this? It’s not me. Something, some clarity, which I’m not the master of, is showing.
    To say someone is living under an illusion, especially when the only information are a few lines here, is to tell a lot about the one writing. To say one has experienced exactly what the other is understanding, again, is to presume much and do the very thing they are claiming. It also discloses the state of mind, whether open or closed, honest or understanding. That’s why I said, I don’t know everything about another, having not lived their lives or seen through their eyes, yet the given point shares a lot regarding the person’s present state of mind, which of course, could later change.
    I’ll share some here, for those reading, and again, it depends upon what you’re looking for. You always find what you’re looking for, whether truly or otherwise.
    When I was young, I suddenly became aware of my own existence. Following that, I wondered how this came to be. Why am I here? Why don’t I have the answers? I hadn’t been to church, my parents never discussed how life became (See, you had already presumed some things you know nothing about.). So, I struggled. What is the meaning of life and how could I ever know, I wondered. Years and years of inner struggle (of course, I went months without thinking about these things) went by. I couldn’t completely shake it. I wondered, why does this concern me.
    With time, and I thank God for this, I started to realize some things, but this can only come to a person seeking, for the intellectual explanation will make no sense to one not wanting to understand.
    First, I realized there has to be truth, for we’re all seeking it (just coming to different conclusions), for even when someone says there’s no truth, they are claiming truth by saying that. Then, one can never say there is no god, for in saying that, one is claiming to be god, for only a god could know everything to know there is no god (another contradiction), and it also shows the understanding of that concept. I strongly believe it’s in our dna, in our souls, that the reason we know (or some choose otherwise) is because it’s His life inside us that gives us life and understanding, again, we can choose to believe or otherwise.
    A recent movie explained this better, in a different light. A Christian asked an atheist how much, of all the knowledge out there, do you think you know (I would have added, what is it in you that allows you to know truth, do you think?)? The other fellow said maybe 2%, but no more than 5% (I would suggest we fall short of 1%). Then he explained, you’re willing to believe you have enough information to completely discount that a creator made everything based upon 2%? You see, we are like little gods thinking we know so much, yet we really know nothing in comparison. We only know what we know, and in other aspects, we have opinions and emotions.
    Over time, more understanding came. From college, to many jobs, back to college, and into a career, I started wondering about this thing called understanding. You see, understanding is “seeing” without knowing how you know. It requires no proof. It is self-evident. Like I can tell when someone is lying or manipulative. I don’t need anyone to tell me otherwise. I can also see honesty, even if the person is correct or misguided. But I also understood that gravity (as a 6th grade teacher would have us believe) is not a pail of water being swung around, and later, realized gravity is something pressing down on the Earth (though I think there are many other aspects involved, one leading to the others). I also understand that everything is made of the same stuff, starting with one, which makes everything else. Both, through research, I have discovered more and more that the understanding, which I don’t know how it came to me, is correct. But how did I know so ill-informed I had been? I saw it. I understood it. As when I’ve explained there has to be a beginning to everything, that time had a beginning, and that an original cause created all the effects, for you can’t go backwards forever. That makes absolutely no sense to me. So, time I realized, was also created. That means, there is a place of no time. Who is there, outside time and space? But you see, if there is an existence outside time and space, that means, wherever that is, there is no beginning or end for there is no time, time not being a factor. Later, I realized, time and space is necessary for creation. So, outside time and space, He Who created everything is not subject to change, always in the present, always Him. And as I understand, so little I know, that’s the only way it could be for you can’t have causes and effects going backwards forever. There must be a starting point. And at the starting point is existence with no beginning, no end, just is everything.
    To one who isn’t searching, I understand this makes no sense. I get it. For when I was younger and heard something similar, it made no sense to me. In fact, regarding churches, I never believed what they explained. I also understood these are men, and in my experience, I cannot completely trust anyone regarding such an important topic without understanding it myself. Then, when I do understand, I also “see” who I can trust. When I talk to someone, or listen, I know if I’m seeing honesty or not. Clarity or misdirection. I also “see” my own confusion from time to time, and I wonder what is showing me my own errors. If I was just a jumble of atoms, subject to only nature, there would be nothing to indicate understanding or error. I would just believe whatever my mind told me.
    Two pastors I talked to, trusted by the people, when I pressed them on their certainty, said that even if what they’re preaching turns out not to be true, the life is much better than the alternative. What!? How can you preach if you yourself aren’t certain? Today, I’m okay with that, but I won’t go along. This confirmed that you cannot believe anything because someone told you. I trust no one regarding such things. Well, one I believe is a man of God. I saw him a long time ago, and immediately recognized something about him different from all others, and with time, realized he may be the most honest person alive. Do I agree with everything he says? If I don’t understand, I leave it at that.
    Regarding not getting all that I want. I’ve never gotten all that I want. Yes, I’ve prayed. Every prayer has not been answered as I’d hoped for or understood (It’s possible they’ve all been answered, just that I’m not yet aware.). One person shared it best when he said, sometimes the answer is “no.” Or wait. But I’ve seen enough prayers answered in ways I never could have imagined, that all the parts and people had to come together in ways I also never imagined. You see, it’s not all about me, like it’s not all about you. There is an understanding far above anything I understand, and understanding has shown this to me. It gives me hope because, if I could only trust in myself, what a hopeless life that would be. Which explains why some people feel so hopeless because they don’t believe in anything, or Anyone, bigger than themselves.

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    1. I know a lot of atheists. I don’t know one that feels hopeless because they don’t believe in a higher power. The exact opposite is true. Atheism is simply the awakening that there are no gods. It puts joy and responsibility for everything in your own court without fear. Nothing depressing at all from my experience.

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      1. No, I get it Jim. I cannot see life through your eyes. That’s for you. From my experiences, which I’ve discovered others share, we are seeking our Father in heaven, for nothing else makes sense, and our hope is in He Who created us through His Son. It is clear to us.
        **But I understand, to one who doesn’t want to be under any authority save their own, to that person atheism and “discovering” they can be their own gods gives them what they’re looking for: to those seeking this.

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        1. dolphin … I’m puzzled. Why does a god — ANY god — need to enter the picture? I’m asking based on your remark: … atheism and “discovering” they can be their own gods .

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        2. Not sure why you threw in that last part, “ But I understand, to one who doesn’t want to be under any authority save their own, to that person atheism and “discovering” they can be their own gods” when you just said you can’t see the world through my eyes. There is no rebellion in me at all. I simply think the story is nonsense covered with miles of excuses for its shortcomings. As far as nothing else making sense (to you) so be it. There are actually some very plausible ways to see the world.

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          1. Okay, as you respond to what I write, from your own understanding, I respond to what you or any others write, from my own understanding. Better, if we have a discussion based upon beliefs and understanding, and let others decide for themselves. I was simply sharing the understanding of views of those I have talked with along with writings, that I might understand. But look at your own words, though you haven’t walked in others shoes, to make such blanket statements about nonsense and shortcomings. That’s your choice, but the words tell a lot of present state of mind. And since your words are all we can share, I share from those very words.

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            1. I actually walked in the shoes of belief for 50 years. I also can friggin add. In the end I just shook my head and laughed it off. Like any guru will do, they place barriers in front of their students. Christianity and Islam are such barriers. Once you see it for what it actually is, it all unravels pretty fast.
              I, and many others like me tried to continue in belief. It was very disruptive and divided my family. I guess as my faith matured, so did my integrity and I was at a crossroad. An impasse to live the life others expected, or chart my own path. I don’t think most of humanity is ready for that responsibility.

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  8. By the way, if I’m in any way imposing, or seem to be judgemental towards one being an atheist, that’s not my intention. I can in no way judge others, for I cannot see through their eyes. I haven’t walked in their shoes. I don’t know their road.
    Even though I absolutely know God exists, and believe He sent His Son, that hasn’t removed my problems in life. I’m still a sinner. I have done many wrong things in my life. I sometimes wonder why the Good Lord hasn’t squashed me from existence. All through my life, there have been little things, some big, that told me He was there, from understanding to helps when I just needed it, to miracles. Sometimes, those prayers took decades in being answered. But they were answered. Not always as I was thinking. But the longer I live, the more aware I’m becoming of these amazing things, but also how far short I fall regarding being called Christian. I tell people, if they ask, I believe in God and that He sent His Son. That’s as far as I explain.

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    1. dolphinwrite — you’re living under an illusion. I know because I’ve been there, done that. All the things you wrote that have given you “assurance” that “God” exists are nothing more than what you’ve been taught and/or told by other believers. None of this comes naturally.

      I’m not saying this in an attempt to change your thinking. I know I can’t. It’s a change that has to come from within and from learning to think “outside the box.”

      You’re obviously content with your belief. But someday things are not going to go the way you expect. Your god is not going to give you something that you sincerely and deeply need or want. When that time comes, I encourage you to take a deep look at your faith and be open to the possibility that all is not as it seems.

      One more thing … you wrote: <the more aware I am … on how far short I fall regarding being called Christian is very self-defeating. You, as a human being, are an amazing person. Do NOT let your religion take that away from you.

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  9. So, which part of my “rhetoric” is false? Apologetics 101 is to condemn the message or diminish the messenger but never identify specifics. I’m all ears and eyes. I certainly wanted to believe after 50 years invested, but there is not one part of Christianity that isn’t a contradiction, or done better by some other teacher. Which studies in hormones or neurology are false? And which part of your understanding doesn’t require great measure of excuse to comfortable believe it? 750,000 cataloged Christian volumes explaining the simplicity of the gospel every year in the US alone. It requires an immense amount of cover to get it just right. Talk about rhetoric. Read Christian apologetics.
    I’ve been curious for a while why the early church had to appeal to faith right away if Jesus was standing right there? Because faith is a trap. And a good one.

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    1. Jim. People are going to believe what they want to believe. Then, they’re going to look for supporting material and reason, in their own minds, to their satisfaction. Then, they’re going to look for others who support them, and argue with others who disagree, for in the altercations, they find their identities. It’s like, if you’re against something, you’re for something, and that gives the person identity where they feel safe and righteous in themselves. I get it. And that’s a person’s choice. You can go an entire life in an agenda. But what about when it’s all over? And this life is for a short time.

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      1. Not everybody is going to believe what they want to believe. I’m not sure why you keep saying that? Some of us actually go where the oven it’s takes us, or lack of. One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years, his beliefs are nothing more than ideation‘s, repetitions, hope, and or nothing of substance but simply a belief. Not one bit of it can be substantiated, but the hormones cling to the feelings of hope that blind us to reality. Simply believing the words that others have spoken and crowd consensus. How long does religion get to meet its objectives? I think we seen enough

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        1. Sorry, Jim. I tend to agree with dolphinwrite. People ARE going to believe what they want to believe. And they’re going to keep those beliefs until someone or something enters their life that causes them to question that belief. (Kinda’ like what you’re doing on your blog.)

          As you’ve inferred before, there’s little doubt belief is as much a matter of physicality as it is mentality. Nevertheless, until something triggers the individual to question their belief(s), they’re not going to change. Religion included.

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          1. I suppose you have a point. Choosing to believe nothing for now, for belief is merely a set of likable ideas you can’t prove. And imo, belief mode is the greatest hurdle facing humanity. Walking around with a calming pretense isn’t my type of reality.

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  10. Nice try and high quality rhetoric. I get it. I’m just a regular guy. I have no more intelligence than anyone else. But I “see” understanding when it’s there versus intellectual explanations. One is understanding, coming from awareness. The other technical thinking that people can utilize any way they wish. It’s like the person who says we can never be sure of truth, yet doesn’t see the contradiction in that statement. I learned long ago, if a person can’t see their own contradictions in their own statements, no amount of understanding will explain. It’s a position of whether one wants to understand, taking their own intellect out of the way. Don’t worry. I’m dumb as a door nail, intellectually. but I am thankful for understanding.

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  11. As I’ve shared with others, you will find what you’re looking for. What you want to believe, you will interpret information to support. Yes, that goes with me as well, but this also came after many years, decades even, of observation and understanding. Others can use rhetoric and high dollar words and phrases, but that can in no way change the truth. If what I’m saying is true, no amount of words, phrases, or beliefs will change it. I only write so others can read and decide for themselves. No one could ever force my beliefs. I had to search for myself.

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    1. but that can in no way change the truth.

      The “truth” is what each individual believes it is. Each of us can provide references, definitions, information, etc., etc. to confirm/prove our version of “the truth.” But when push comes to shove, it all boils down to the individual and his/her history, experiences, influences, education, etc.

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      1. That’s actually a very interesting milk-toast comment that truly invalidates the importance placed on beliefs. Whatever you want is not true. And… I disagree just a bit more. Your comment Dolphin, completely ignores the reproducible facts that can be field tested over and over. For instance; Choosing a belief that cannot exist without special hormones disbursed in the brain, even with outright lies that inspire the subject to adhere to pure fantasy. No hormone, no spiritual anything. Those hormones actually serve very vital purposes that are hijacked by belief, repetition, and the preachers have it down to a science.

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  12. Having been around quite a bit, I’ve pondered if some people come into the world not believing. Since I am just one person, I don’t have the answer, but some people seem naturally believing (actually most), while a handful seem insistent otherwise. I’ve always said, to each his own. Thankfully, I’ve always pondered why we are here, and thankfully, over the years, the answers came.
    An intellectual using all kinds of $10.00 words and phrases can reason any way they like. I can do the same. But I think, growing up, playing outdoors, then working in hands-on jobs, going to college after, gave more insight. During my second stint in college, to finish what I had started, I learned something very helpful. I learned to listen. I learned to hear what the professors were saying, and once I “got it” the grades came easy. But when I was listening, I was also listening for understanding. Was what the professor sharing sensible? Was there a basis of reality in what they were saying? Then, I realized something else. How was it I could tell the difference between rhetoric, intellectual talk, and real understanding? There had to be something inside myself: a gauge if you will, that knows reality/truth by which I could understand whether someone had something of any value. I then believed that the Good Lord had put something inside my mind and heart from which I could “hear” understanding or rhetoric.
    It really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. It doesn’t matter all the words and reasoning used. If I’m honest, really looking, then what doesn’t make sense will show itself and such. If I’m not honest, or misdirected, perhaps traumatized in life, then I might be persuaded otherwise. All the high dollar words and reasoning won’t amount to a nickel.
    For instance, one could argue that you can never know whether you’re asleep, in an unending dream, perhaps in the hands of aliens keeping you in a chamber, asleep forever. Matrix anyone? And I considered that from every point of view, very creative I was as a youngster.
    But there’s something in me that can’t buy that. Without going into all the reasons, I know God exists. I also know He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to Earth, for us. To the mind of understanding, one can see this. And faith is real. I’ll just list a few realizations:

    1) Researching, I discovered the most basic forms of life are incredibly complex, and there’s no way they could have spontaneously formed on their own. Furthermore, science doesn’t allow for it. Either cells arrive fully formed, or nothing ever happens. The chance of twenty metal chairs, in rows of five, with little rubber cups for the legs and rivets, spontaneously forming on a distant, uncharted planet is far more likely then one cell coming into being on its own.
    2) There is no evidence of evolution happening on its own. No half-necked giraffes. Nothing. And some are showing that dinosaurs existed at the same time as man on the earth.
    3) Everything has a beginning. Everything has a cause and effect. Time is a flow. Both tell us of a beginning: a starting point. So, what started everything? Who or what is the cause of everything else?
    4) You’re aware of yourself. How is that so? We have understanding. How did this understanding come about? We have a sense of right and wrong. Why is this?
    5) Truth is not just what is. Truth is a person. Remember, before creation, nothing existed. Only He Who created everything. He’s the truth. Jesus shared that He’s the truth, the way, and the life. He was the most real person anyone ever saw. That’s why they believed. When He talked, people, if they were honest and searching, saw in Him what they’d been looking for all of their lives. They saw truth. They saw reality. Here, for the first time ever, they met one person who had no deception, no ulterior motives, no selfishness, and true love for people.

    **People can choose to believe whatever they want. But no matter the talks and reasoning, if its not true, its not true. And when you get to the end of your life, what comfort have you regarding the next place you’re going. Do you really find comfort in making up ideas, trusting in random thoughts or just yourself, a person who didn’t create themselves, has no control over whether they live or die, and has eternity before him/her? What hope is in this?

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    1. A fine comment Dolphin (Ryan, right?) Sorry about the shotgun response…I’ll touch lightly on everything if I may.
      Nobody is born a believer. They are born gullible and with some very predictable responses believe what they are told by people they trust no matter how ridiculous the superstition. That’s why it’s so important to get to kids between 4-14. The neuro-chemical responses to ideas like belief and faith are also very predictable, but the most exciting thing going is the re-tale of a delusional goat herder. Where was Yahweh before that? Why never the same god twice, but always a different one?

      God as the father figure sending his son is concocted imagery that frankly is idol worship, forming an image of god makes every Christian a product of the imagery, even Christ couldn’t shake.
      There are transitional fossils if you care to look.
      If there is genuine evidence that dinosaurs mingled with people it only goes to show that people have been here a lot longer than Yahweh can account for. Many times life has risen and fallen and risen again in forms suitable for the present climate. And all created by Jesus. Wow! That’s what the awakening does to people unprepared to interpret the experience. I AM is not an exclusive experience to a few that claim it. Muhammad in the cave came out and interpreted it based on his cultural upbringing. Jesus and the father are one—what else would he call it since nothing but the Hebrew father figure was available to him at the time. Had he been raised a Hindu his interpretation would have been much more inclusive and available to all, because it is us. All of it. The churches have spoon fed bits and pieces, but by offering real enlightenment you lose control of the people. There is a reason why the yogi and zen masters learn a skill and discipline, for when they see the whole organism as it is they realize none of this matters and they go off the chain. There is no such thing as ego, although we like to think there is until you see “I” am not what the preachers and mommy’s and daddy’s say we are. So, maybe a little wisdom in spoon feeding hope and restricting the overall experience—keeps us in struggle and need of the churchmen.
      How do you know the universe has a beginning? Science? Bold religious claim. Well, there was never nothing. The churchmen like to say god was the causer that didn’t need a causer. Why, that just is convenient and makes no sense at all but in the default weakness in the Christian theme.
      Are you really aware of yourself? How would you define “I” outside of the background of the universe? You cannot define I, and it always escapes us because it is an illusion. We are like nerve endings or skin cells of a much larger organism, each seeing the universe from a different viewpoint. Consciousness is only elusive because it is what we are. You could never see it because you are it, every bit as much as the rest of the universe. The idea that god has rules and opinions about reproduction for his nothing little creatures is really quite funny. Billions of galaxies to monitor with trillions of planets we can’t even see, and Yahweh gets angry if the ants don’t obey.
      There is plenty of hope and laughter when one understands the game. What could be more exciting than being fearless among the fearful?
      This life is the only possible entertainment for an infinite being such as ourselves. Beings with all the trillions of eons and knowledge at their disposal, for a short time go into a realm of not knowing. We sign up for the mercury pools and death camps, all the vast varieties of the experience. Then, when we break through to the other side…bam! We laugh our asses off for the game gets us every time.
      Not believing in god is not hopeless. On the contrary, we can explore our true selves only after we surpass the restrictive band of religion. But, waking up isn’t for everyone.

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    1. I spent 4 years homesteading in the Panama jungle, yes and lived a primitive life with my wife and kids. It was a pretty fascinating time. We eventually built a house that we still frequent from time to time.

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  13. I think you have to be careful you are not trading atheism, which is a belief in no religion, no gods and no afterlife, for a new age type of religious belief, which is loosely based on quantum mechanics, the mystery of consciousness and panpsychism. I’m not completely discounting it, but man is always looking for some overall meaning and a perpetual ongoing in the great scheme of things. It’s a strong drive within our DNA and evolution.

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    1. Does atheism mean no continuation? I never really saw it as that black and white, but is there a thought experiment that encompasses a complete package without contradicting oneself?
      Let’s assume for a moment that people are actually having these experiences. We see based on cultural influence that they can do nothing but interpret them through their anchoring biases, but the experience is real to them as you are to me. So what it leads me to conclude (giving the benefit of the doubt) that the interpretations are wrong, while we see someone with no belief, say a zen master or other skilled meditator, have the awakening moment and realize there is no mystery. There is nothing to fear, and this entire universe is one big living happening that goes on and on with no one at the helm.
      One of the strangeties to me is the choice we always have between the two ways (both wrong) and not nothing in between, but a third way not even considered by the masses. Now we get to choose between the monarchial boss who’s put us all on this endless, punitive probation, and the other is the primordial ooze where we came from nothing and when we’re dead we’re just dead. Over! Both are terrible ways to live in the world, while I’m exploring a third option, without contradicting science or reason to see if I can do that without the opinions of experts. This life, bookended by two unknown voids, is not the most common state of things. Death is everlasting and takes up far more of our time than physical life. I have a problem picturing myself, now that I am, ever not being in some form or another.
      The universe is us. We can not separate ourselves from it. This life is a party that we’ve taken way too seriously for anyone to even get the joke any more.

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      1. For me atheism does mean no continuation, at least in a consciousness matter…yes, the basic elements do go on for a very very long time.

        Even if there is this total connection beyond the obvious of we are all star stuff….like a cosmic consciousness, we still might lose our current sense of self and any memory of it. So we still may not know.

        And this could all simply be a computer simulation…and when they delete the program, it will be much like when our brain dies from lack of oxygen….game over.

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  14. I’m not sure where the beginning, middle, or end of atheism was for me, or is for anyone. As for all the other 36 things here (LSD and such), that may be a bit too much for me. I dang sure do not see the test for god as dangerous (simplistic? – ouch!). Is it too early for wine? It is Sunday morning and the Catholics are drinking. 🙂

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  15. I think it is dangerous and simplistic to claim there are no gods just because there is no actual, physical proof THAT WE KNOW OF AT THIS TIME that they exist. “Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.” But I think there is plenty of evidence that gods, I prefer to call them “Powers” do exist. First, the persistence of beliefs in such entities. Are billions of people certifiable idiots? (Ok, don’t answer that!) and those of us who blank out divine existence the only sane ones on the planet? Hubris anyone?
    I know “gods” exist. Idols used to have a lot of power among tribal people. Where did that power come from? From faith in said idols. YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, God, holds much power in Christian and Muslim worlds because of billions who uphold this belief by their faith and faith is an aspect of the many powers, we as Earthians, can wield.
    Another “proof” that gods or Powers exist is found in how people act as living entities compared to all other lifeforms on this world. Earthians are violent, greedy, war-mongering, racist and misogynist. Increasingly, their gregariousness expresses in city environments where disconnection with nature is most pronounced. Earthians fear and hate nature because they can no longer live natural lives due to their corrupt civilization. Could naturally evolved creatures live and act the way we do? Not a chance, not ever. It’s not how it works unless we CHOOSE TO LIVE IN TOTAL DENIAL OF EVIDENCE THAT WE CAN ONLY SURVIVE NOW AS ARTIFICIAL CREATURES. We are becoming increasingly “Cyborgged” on how we interact with each other and the world.
    So how did we get this far off-track to the point where we are threatening to destroy the only world we can live on? How do we explain this utter insanity? That isn’t the work of nature. Nature left to its own devices would have balanced the slate a long, long time ago. But man chose not to live by nature’s rules and laws by becoming a denialist and rapist of nature. What’s behind such a driving madness? A glitch? Again, nature would not allow such a thing. So?
    So in total denial which parallels that of religious zealots, we say that, well, nature is a bit slow but this “balancing” act, like the second coming of Jehovian religions, is approaching and is going to happen. Nature then arms its avenging angels and comes forth to destroy the evil works of man and condemns man to annihilation? See where this is going? Full circle. Nothing’s been learned because we can’t face our “real” reality. We can’t admit that we are neither naturally evolved creatures, nor angelic or spirit entities but something “alien” developed in-between the only other possibilities.
    Our life is a puzzle that can be solved and it’s well worth working on it.

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    1. If there are “gods” then they are us, taking roles as guides to assist the process as needed. If by gods you mean “advanced” in wisdom and knowledge, ok, but that does not make them divinity. Part of the problem is religion has destroyed the term god, and you’d be hard pressed to convince me there is a near-eastern monarchial-type boss that rules the universe. How can we be the entire happening, one with all and nature, if ultimately the god is different or above us in composition and potential? God is simply the laws of nature, then we use those awakened personifications as respectful interactors if we ever break free of belief, then have the wisdom to seek their guidance. Gods? That implies something more than the whole thing…I think. I have yet to attempt to interact with such beings, as this thought exercise is to see if one can reason out a viable way without contradicting myself. You?

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      1. I’ll get back to you on this. I need to formulate a concise answer while clarifying the points being discussed. For now relax everyone, I’m definitely not speaking of Jehovian spirit type divinities. Those exist only as people power. They are idols. There’s something else out there.

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      2. Finally a bit of time to get down to the crunch here, I hope.
        First I quote: “If by gods you mean “advanced” in wisdom and knowledge, ok, but that does not make them divinity.”

        It was religion that promoted “the gods” to the status of spirit divinities. I can’t say there aren’t divine spirit beings but if there are we have yet to interact with them sometime in the far future after we’ve evolve beyond the need for physical bodies and learned to roam the cosmos as free mind beings. So let’s stick with now. When I speak of “gods” I’m using the meaning that came to us from the Sumerians and other ancient civilizations. These people were very familiar with their gods because they served them and the gods still lived among them as trainers, teachers, masters, rulers. So I speak of real live entities with whom we share DNA. What I do not mean to imply is that these gods are necessarily more intelligent than we are or necessarily benevolent. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Mankind’s gods – his “creators” – were (and ostensibly remain) for the most part inhumane monsters. Their Earthian clones were their slaves in every sense of the word. The slaves had no rights and no freedom, neither of body nor mind. The “gods” used physical restraints and mass executions to control and cow the slaves but they mostly used mind programming. That programming remains as active as ever. What is not realized is that every Earthian has an “implant” – the soul – that acts as an operating system. As long as the soul is active the Earthian can basically be used to commit any sort of crime, using that term in the broadest meaning possible.

        So my answer to you is that there are unseen powers that continue to affect the Earthian species, to control it and to cause it to suffer through endless tribulations, none of which make any kind of logical sense. The reason this continues to work when it no longer should since we think we are so intelligent is because we don’t believe that such a controlling Matrix exists. When you were in the church you must have heard the saying that Satan’s greatest trick is to make people believe he doesn’t exist. Well “Satan” as an entity does not exist, I’m pretty sure on that, but the powers who set up and maintain the Matrix do. I was given a brief history of these “powers” and what I was told made total sense (as well as making my blood go cold). My Teachers called them “Time Lords.”

        I questioned a lot of the teaching I received because it was so radical, so to make things easier I was taught to observe events, their effects and always, always, seek to find the source, what energized these things, whether wars or genocides or the brutality expressed against women – misogyny, especially if such acts were repetitive and on-going regardless of where or when it took place. I was taught to consider very carefully whether such acts could be traced to nature or something truly insidious beyond nature. Then I was taught to look at the universe from the basic “formula” of “as below, so above.” We turn it around here, but this is the proper way. Once I understood how power moved on earth, I understood how it moved throughout the entire universe. We are not alone and we are certainly not exceptional. We are mind slaves who refuse to accept that they belong to vile, violent, abusive and jealous slave masters.

        You mention you have yet to interact with such beings. I have interacted with some. The scariest part is, they’re amazingly like us… or should I say, we’re a lot like them.

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        1. That would be a fabulous movie script. It does make sense that we are stuck in this repetitive behaviors and never seem to go anywhere. Beliefs, those all important, insignificant, never ending grasps at relevance is a complete disaster well played on the human mind

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          1. Have you ever watched the Warshawski Brothers’ very first Matrix movie? I know “it’s just a movie” but how close do we need to get to the truth before we finally give in and accept it? Blue pill or red pill. Most automatically opt for the blue pill. Many, like the traitorous Cypher in the Matrix return to their fake reality: it’s always just a bit easier, even if one knows that the Matrix is the enslaver; the real enemy and life stealer.
            “Do you believe in fate, Neo?” “No, I do not.” “Why not?” “Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
            Religion would never let me be in control of my own life yet I didn’t mind so much as long as I could believe that being a Christian GUARANTEED that I would eventually become a really good person. It was a matter of obedience and yet when I put my entire mind into that process Jim, I was booted out of my Mennonite fellowship. I spoke against the church’s greed and my church in particular which had a top heavy membership of politicians, developers, doctors, lawyers, managers of credit unions, you name it. The fact of the matter was (likely remains) that they were money worshipers, nothing else. My point is, if God, or in this case, Jesus, could not make these people accountable for their overt lying deportment vis-a-vis the gospels, then that God/Jesus did not deserve to be in charge of my life. I was done with that one hypocrisy but I soon discovered that “the Matrix” had many other avenues of control to lead me into. That’s when I became a “conspiracy” buff, no longer believing in, or trusting in, anything or anyone. So, like Neo I chose self empowerment. Now I am in charge of my own life while the Matrix carries on, just like at the end of the movie. I can tell people how to take charge of their own lives; I can demonstrate how that works but the programming throws up a wall of fear; of embedded beliefs; of attachments; of accusations that I have ulterior motives, etc. It’s how it is and only a cataclysm affecting all of man’s civilization can ever shake this universal control. I wish people weren’t so eager to go there, like the young oysters going after the Walrus and the Carpenter.

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            1. I haven’t seen Matrix in ten years or so. I had my aha awakening about 5 years ago while living in the jungle. Since then I have been whittling away to the core issue I see affecting humanity (belief) I see atheism as a jolt of clarity, but no god doesn’t mean to what most atheists acquiesce. Of course the definition really means no god, which would require more than the universe itself. But, we are alive and are as much the source as we are a part of the whole, but how to fit all the pieces together without the influences of expert fallacy is the key. The things you say can incorporate into this non contradictory path, and as long as I keep my mind open and curious, the answers come bit by bit, usually when I wake in the morning.
              I don’t have a sinister side to me since leaving religion, and it is not my nature to assume an evil plan, but I will consider all things as to how they fit in.
              If what you say is how it is, it doesn’t mean that us, as liberated individuals cannot win this thing in one tour of duty or another.
              There is nothing to fear for the realms of death is where we spend most of our time. I just hope this life isn’t a break from the real misery. Haha. Why else would anyone come here but to escape? Or it’s a play to keep immortal souls entertained. Imagine the thrill and the laughter when we break back through to the other side. What else could we do other than enter a realm where we didn’t know the outcome? The short moments in our infinite existence without everything at our disposal. The game would get us every time!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I say “how it is” just as I’ve deduced it using the motto, “as below, so above” and as received in part from ‘the Teachers.’ The “Teacher” part is usually where I lose everybody so I’m used to that. Everybody it seems already have their own “Teachers” and no one likes anyone else’s unless they have the same name, i.e., Jesus for one, or the Buddha, or White Buffalo Calf Woman or whomever. Anyhow, the way it comes across is, we are in a war that’s been going on for millions of (our) years. We exist on one of an endless number of conquered worlds that have been turned into prison planets and subjected to Draconian laws and rules, worlds in which death is the measure of all things. The reason we can’t accept this is because we are programmed to “see” the surface of the underlying Matrix. We see what we’re told to see, everything else is conspiracy theory. In my religious teachings it was a war between Jesus’ followers and Satanic unbelievers, there being no middle ground. The underlying ever fighting entities being God and Satan. Why an omnipotent God could not defeat Satan was never explained of course, except by Epicurus!
              Is this war ever going to end? According to what I’ve “seen” yes it does end, but not because the people finally wake up to the overt lie but because the overlords age, become inept, grossly incapable of maintaining their empire and many of their sycophants break away to form their own local empires. What destroys the Time Lords eventually is entropy. They system, exactly like the Earthian mini system is entirely based on taking, gobbling resources, killing life, replacing nothing, leaving world after world denuded and essentially dead. Even in a place as big as this universe (or how we conceive of size) you cannot keep taking forever. Entropy will win.
              What happens then to the life which the Time Lords conquered, enslaved and ate up? It disappears in that particular form but those who escaped, who found a way into the Nexus, a “hidden” or, to borrow a term from Frank Herbert’s Dune books, a no-world place, some of it continues and evolves itself as it was meant to prior to the invasion.
              Yeah, I’m sure I could write a great sci-fi movie script from my notes but you’ve probably noticed that anything within this Matrix presented as teaching through the entertainment medium remains just that: entertainment. You have to want to learn to learn and be willing that your entire belief world collapses from under your feet. Freedom comes, not from securing a place but from free fall.
              Quote: “…how to fit all the pieces together without the influences of expert fallacy is the key.” Well said. Each one of us has to become her/his own “expert” at translating events and drawing conclusions. Example, the above story is just my story. It’s my “novel” which I write bit by bit. It may trigger something for someone else; it may turn them off or it may entertain. If someone wanted to follow the path I’ve carved for myself they would just get lost on it. Only room for one. The others have to make their own.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. When the curtain gets pulled it’ll be like the ending of Casino, a bunch of old dying bastards to sick to incarcerate, then one last barrage of bullets.

              Liked by 2 people

  16. Hey, Jim, it is really nice to learn that you are willing to look beyond atheism. While it is a huge step to get past religion, it is but a small step on the journey of life. Too many people are so excited to make the break with gods and such that they stop looking. Yet there is so much more to see…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ll see what comes of it. I am a curious sort, but really believe nothing. Why would I? Maybe that will be my key to knowing. I can’t trifle with belief. I see where that stagnates the brain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully you will discover something that gives you an inner joy. Religion purports to give such a feeling, but it restricts the ways or places you can find it, and it is never truly inner.
        You’ve gotten rid of religion, so now there are myriad places you can look to find something for you. It might even be the “nothing” you see right now. Looking is the fun part. Finding something is a reward. It just isn’t necessarily what others will find, but no sweat. It will be yours.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. A great post and elaboration Jim. As I was reading it and arriving to “Abrahamic religion can no longer hold back the tides of knowledge” and the rest of that wonderful paragraph and the post’s conclusion, you reminded me of a well-known, popular, profound Steven Pinker quote:

    “Challenge a person’s beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons or that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man after Muhammad. When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them–or worse, who credibly rebut them–they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith [or that doesn’t evolve over time with progress and learned knowledge!*] by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful.”
    Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    ( * my insert)

    Think where we might be if there was never any scrutiny allowed, or verification and confirmation allowed, or free curiosity and exploration allowed, or oversight and culpability/accountability in this modern toxic age of trending authoritarian populism and mass disinformation with propaganda!? 😮 Progress cannot be made and human virtues learned and maintained without these core social, Universal values. Period.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Belief now carries immunity, as so expertly mocked by the FSM sect, then protected by law because none of them can stand on their own merits. Plus they get a free pass on outcomes, which negate any reasonable notching, forward progress. It’s been played masterfully on the human psyche, but once you have that moment of clarity, bam! Mystery solved. There is no mystery but how the continued weakness of humanity can continue to self perpetuate. Great comment and quote my friend. Always a pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is no mystery but how the continued weakness of humanity can continue to self perpetuate.

        Ahh, yes… exactly. It takes an ENORMOUS amount of courage and selflessness to go against the crowd or common, conventional orthodoxy when doing so history, cults, religions, state-police, etc, threaten total ostracism, torture, imprisonment, or death. Think of all the iconic non-conformists of the past, some who paid the ultimate price, their life: Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks, my family heritage of the Waldensians vs the Catholic Church, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malala Yousafzai, Martin Luther King Jr, Harvey Milk, and so many others—I could fill several pages!

        What is needed Jim are millions and millions more of THOSE type courageous activists/protesters and their organizers to rally the greater good. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are very few courageous or defiant genes left in the pool. Anyone that resisted is long gone. Look at the Russian fox experiment. In ten years they had a completely different animal, solely for breeding on temperament. Had they just killed all the resistant ones, they could’ve done it in two.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, the Russian Fox experiment (or extermination, Holocaust) is a well-known historical tactic for Power-control of a system/ideology, wipe-out all your opponents/enemies. The Victors write history, as the saying goes. The Romans did the same thing on the Homeland Jews of Palestine between 66 – 135 CE, essentially wiping out most all historical records of the Second Temple Period (and Jesus’)—fortunately not the Dead Sea Scrolls!!! 🙂

            But as forensic science perpetually advances we see more and more that NOT ALL condemning, incriminating evidence is destroyed or lost!!!! WOOOHOOOO! 🥳 Evil and corruption does NOT always win, does it?

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Hey, PT. Most people have no idea there is or can be a greater good, and even if there was they would not want it. They like being the centres of their universes. Who can blame them.
          You cannot teach someone to see what they are not ready to see. They have to get there all on their own. Very much like Atheism, it is a choice.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. True Monica. That reminds me of two favorite quotes of mine I’m gonna throw down here if Jim doesn’t mind. 😉 One from my all-time favorite American Humanist poets:

              “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”
              Walt Whitman

              In my five decades I have done many, MANY things in my life. Been to many, MANY places around the world with many, MANY people… and yet, even that is quite limited because of time. And so my second quote:

              “No man ever steps in the same river twice,
              for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
              Heraclitus

              We are ultimately a very subjective and subjugated species to this Pale Blue-dot of a planet in this endlessly daunting Cosmos aren’t we? 😄

              Liked by 3 people

  18. Excellent post Jim

    “who mankind actually is”

    One thing that religion kept us from, still keeps people from, is our kinship with all other living things.

    I wrote a poem about it here https://wordpress.com/post/nomdeplume707.blog/4936

    It also kept us from knowing the immensity of the universe, and how deep our origins ultimately lie in stardust;

    https://wordpress.com/post/nomdeplume707.blog/5042

    And it kept us from knowing we are social animals, descended from social animals, and that the origins of love, child nurturing, cooperative working, empathy, care for the aged, all come from our ancestry, not imposed by some arbitrary imaginary figure whose values represent those of the people who first imagined him.

    And finally, it kept us from knowing that our minds/ “souls” are a function of our brains, not some separate function which can outlive us.

    All important things to know if we are to reach our full potential as individuals and as a species.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I have never studied Buddhism, really know very little about it. Do I sound like a Buddhist here? I have been waking up in the morning with some foreign concepts (to me) but I really like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Research with psilocybin and LSD suggests that our consciousness is not really a product of our mind, but part of something larger. Hard to know if the theory is valid, though. I’d like to think it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There is no evidence that ideas come from inside out head. But LSD? Easy Eilene! But your right. The pathway to spirituality can certainly enhance the thalamus with meds.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I will attest to the LSD experience. It opened my mind to a wondrous cosmos, but it is better left unvisited. It took me close to 50 years to understand my two such experiences. I spent alot of time thinking I was insane. Knowing a bit is like knowing the first words of a book. “Grok the fullness.” But the fullness of what, that is the question.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Maybe. I had none of that. Nor did I have pure LSD. And it was actually from being in a frightful situation that set me off on my first journey. The rest is my history.

          Liked by 2 people

  21. excellent! even quantum physics is beginning to unveil the underlying unity of all existence. not as matter, but as something much more subtle and refined. in the presence of which duality between ‘i’ and the ‘world’ disappears. transcendental awareness or pure being remains.
    it’s a natural evolution of consciousness. just as first we care only about ourselves, as we mature our care extends to family, then the world at large. the ‘awakened’ vision sees no one as separate, but as a different manifestation of the same stuff. this is an actual experience, not theoretical. in the space of ‘oneness’ no god is needed. it is itself the source of all, including the material universe, which it holds like breath upholds life.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Religion teaches us that we are dependent, insignificant creatures created of clay. Realizing we are everything as one would surely improve human perspective.

      Liked by 4 people

          1. haha! correct. other forms of ‘being’. other dimensions, telepathic communication, instant manifestation, and other mind-boggling possibilities. what did Jesus say “this too you shall do, and much more” … our potential is limited only by what we think.

            Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi Monica,
          Humanity is but a speck of all that is alive. Life is capable of being infinite, if it does not destroy itself. But like all species die, life itself too can die. I once thought life was inevitable, and life-consciousness would eventually come to all. These last few years have shown my bias. Life can commit suicide, if we are too blind to notice it happening…

          Liked by 2 people

          1. hello rawgod!😊 you feel life can die because you associate life only with what is seen, the body and other forms. but if you realized that all that is seen has its source in consciousness, which is without quality and dimensionless, you would know beyond doubt that life has no beginning and no end. just different ways of manifesting.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. It’s like fire isn’t it. You build a fire and when it runs out of fuel it dies off but fire itself just exists in many forms and any individual fire can be kindled from the source.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. a nice analogy. we all know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it only changes its form (a true physics fact) like the water that evaporates and becomes invisible mist. doesn’t mean it isn’t there anymore.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. Hi Monica,
              I won’t debate what you say here, or anywhere. I know what I perceive, and it is certainly not that life exists only on physical planes. I call it spirit rather than consciousness, but only because “spirit” is the closest word I can find in the English language. And while the English language is not a good language for cosmic thought, it is the only one I have at this time and place. It is very confining.

              Liked by 1 person

  22. As I see it, humanities shortcomings are products of our biology. Our sensory organs evolved to theoretically favor reproduction not to transcend us to what we could be and not what we are. It will take a collective change in personal expectations for the future. When people share an understanding of a common need to be one species with inalienable rights as humans we can begin a new journey into the future. Imagine. Just say’n.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think it’s entirely possible if the major religions will promote the rest of the gig. They don’t teach anything useful, yet keep you in want and need. We alone hold all the power there is. It would certainly change the perspectives as it does with the individuals who come to that realization that it’s all one happening.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Being one human species does not go far enough. All species of life, known and unknown, are part of one “being,” the beingness of life. If we try to go into the future alone, humans and no one else, we will not get far. All species are one species, and all lives are one life.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I believe, what you are describing is referred to as the “wholistic approach or view” and you are correct that all other organisms will either thrive or parish based almost solely on the choices humans make.

            To put it in the vernacular of the day, it’s the “come to Jesus” moment of our time.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Only there is no Jesus there to save us, or anyone. If ever there was a god, which I doubt ( read completely deny!) she/he/it left this universe billions of years ago, and went looking for greener pastures. There is no “super-director” of life as we know it. No one can will something to happen, except for coincidence.
              Humans can make all physical life end, but that does not mean it cannot survive humanity. The possibilities are endless, until they are not.

              Like

  23. There is a concept called The Island of Knowledge. It exists in a Sea of Unknowing. When we were confronted by the unknown, we unfortunately made up causes for things that turned out to be completely imaginary. When we set aside these incorrect attempts to understand, we open ourselves to things we can truthfully understand and Sea of Unknowing is vast, so, “Yes, there is more, much, much more.”

    Liked by 6 people

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