Posted in Identity

Reflections on the question “Are you afraid of becoming an atheist?”

I would say it depends on which part of my journey I am answering this question. If this question were to be asked, say, 5 or 6 years ago when I was still following the mainstream christian religion and attending church services, I might think twice about saying I don’t believe in God because of the fear-based church teachings. But at this point of my life, I would say I am not afraid to be an atheist, in the sense that I don’t really see any need to label myself based on what I believe. I think labelling is probably more for the sake of convenience when people were to categorise me, such as in a conversation or when filling up a form to declare my religion. Other than that, I would see myself as a human being, or spiritual being on a human journey. If someone were to classify me as an atheist, I am ok with that. In actuality, my beliefs change every day, if not within a day itself, from atheism to christianity to buddhism and back to atheism, so given my ever changing beliefs, it can be hard to pinpoint at which moment of my life that I am an atheist, so to speak.

This is honestly where I stand because I believe we are multi-dimensional beings and there are grey areas regarding what each of us actually believes in. In fact, the word “atheism” is hardly used in my growing up years, and the closest word to it is “free thinker”. So I would consider myself as a free thinker, as I am free to choose which aspects of a particular religion or belief system to subscribe to, without wholly subscribing to that particular religion or belief system. Perhaps the word “atheism” is more commonly used in America and Europe, which may be seen as a stance against religions. I like reading materials that are open to possibilities and invite the readers to think for themselves on the various perspectives of looking at things/life/God/divine, such as Rob Bell’s new book “What we talk about when we talk about God”.

It is liberating for me to remain a free thinker. Sometimes I would like to see myself as a mystic, having a sense of awe and wonder about the mysterious. Maybe each of us has that childlike wonder within us. For example, there is something inspiring about Nature – the trees, the flowers, the clouds, the stars – when I pay attention to it and allow a sense of awe and wonder to arise in me. It happens to me spontaneously and is not something that I must do, otherwise it can become another form of religion filled with rules and regulations.

“The Lamps are different, but the Light is the same.” ~ Rumi

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Author:

I am a beloved child of Divine Love/Great Spirit, and so are you. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. My main interests in life include Nature, music, spirituality, inspiration, philosophy, sports, reading and photography.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on the question “Are you afraid of becoming an atheist?”

  1. Hi Jimmy. I’ve been attending a women’s meet-up group in which I am the only person who is not a born-again Christian. They are all very nice people, which is why I go, but I myself do not belong to any religion. Like you, I am a mystic, I suppose. I don’t feel the need for any religion, but I am definitely a spiritual being, like all of us. I am trying to figure out how to suggest to these ladies – some of whom are frightened and offended by children or co-workers who are atheists – that it does not matter what we believe. Each person is on his or her own path of self-discovery, and all that matters is that we live in the moment, connect to our higher self to find inspiration and joy, and learn to feel love and compassion for our self and for others. It is also important to me to help raise the energetic vibration of myself and the world by using my talents. Making good choices and being responsible for them is also important to me. A lot of the values in various religions and the teachings that are passed down are interesting, but at some point, I feel we all need to grow up and let go. God is not limited by Jesus, Buddha, or anyone else. As human beings, it is comforting to hold onto traditions – and for these women – to feel “saved”. I am personally not very comfortable with the personifications that are used, but if it makes some people feel better and helps them through life – I am ok with it. As long as they are not judging me or forcing me to do the same. People eventually, I feel, give up religion and rules when they are more mature, collectively speaking. That will probably take a very long time! Be confident in who you are, and, above all, love and respect yourself. That is the hardest thing to do…

    1. Thanks Merma0499 for sharing your views. I like what you said about maturity – yes, sometimes people may need organised religions that come with rules and personifications as a platform to learn and practise spirituality, but at some point, we all need to grow up and let go of these traditions and connect to our higher self and live our own truths that bring love, peace and joy. Indeed it is important to love and respect ourselves and be confident in who we are because no one else can define our identity except ourselves, and self-love and acceptance is probably the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and the world. Like what Marianne Williamson said, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

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