I am writing this article (and future articles) with the utmost respect for those that do believe in god whether it is a monotheist, polytheist, panentheist, pantheist or any other form of theism or deism. I have been there too, believing in a god that existed in the literal and figurative form, so I am not here to judge your path but rather to pave the way for perhaps a more logical understanding of my own path and possibly give a voice for those that walk the similar path to mine.
I grew up in a Hindu home but my mom came from a Christian family who converted to Hinduism when she married. I would say it was not much of a conversion as Hinduism holds the belief of polytheism that recognised a Pantheon of Gods that was believed to be different aspects of the one being. Hinduism stood to be an umbrella which had all these diverse beliefs under it. All roads lead to Rome…….all religions lead to one God, the predominant belief in Hinduism. *Hinduism is rated the most tolerant religion in the world because of this most prominent approach. It also speaks of Hinduism not being a Religion but rather a science. They also subscribe to the notion we are all gods but we just have to reach a realisation of it. So yes, I grew up being a Hindu that went to temples and Sunday school or church every so often.
*PS – this is written from an understanding of I did not know any better, so I am keeping it that way. I have recently learned deeper truths about Hinduism which I will tackle in another post later on.
I never was a religious person but considered myself a spiritual person very much so. I delved into many esoteric arts and divinations over the years possessing labels such Pagan, Wicca, **Goth, Druidism, Pantheist, trying to find the most comfortable seat to be in. For most parts of my life I would have considered myself a Pantheist and now I comfortably align myself with Atheism.
**Goth is not a religion, it is a pop culture.
Did I experience god? Of cos I did? If God meant the oneness of all that is and god is neither here nor there, and is neither male nor female and is yin and yang of it all. Did I receive divine interventions and spoke to loved ones that crossed over and felt the angels and gods and goddesses around me? Absolutely! Did I know who I was and felt a power within me that I could not describe and reached nirvana at some point in my life, with Nirvana meaning complete bliss and the oneness of all existence past, present, future? 100% true! Am I psychic and clairaudient and have premonition dreams? That I cannot deny as it has been part of who I am since I can remember being a child and the proof (for myself) of its existence cannot be denied from my experiences; my abilities to hear or see what is beyond what our naked eye can see.
But there was this uncomfortable, niggly feeling in me that eventually started to make me want to vomit and feel ill when someone used the word god. The word god started to leave a bitter taste in my mouth, I know, it does sound so harsh and disassociated but it is true because this all mighty god is nowhere to be seen when everything else in the world is so wrong. Whether you are a pantheist or some other theist it still did not make sense to me. One day over five years ago something happened that had me lose all hope in humanity and existence itself. That is the day where I stood naked in the truth, the rose-tinted-glasses dropped off and I saw the world for what it is, for the first time.
Christianity had heaven and hell and gave Satan an excellent job title. Islam believes in the existence of Shaytan. Core Hinduism believe the earth is hell as all suffering happens here and in order to stop coming here you need to reach realisation and then you join the other souls that reached realisation. Where that is I do not know. Where the Christian hell is, I have no clue! And why some Islams believe in Jihad, god only knows, no pun intended! I think the best moral rule that I have seen so far is in paganism, harm non! Do as yeh will! But even that comes with a price as when you hurt someone then you are bound to have something happening to you sevenfold! Which brings us to the modern spiritualist that believes everything happens for a reason.
It took me a while to start telling people that I align myself to atheism (will not call myself an atheist as I do not subscribe to labels but for argument’s sake, I would be called that) because I needed to understand what it meant as I could not deny my past experiences. How was I going to explain all of that without the old man being in the picture? How was I going to explain how I saw Jesus or Lord Ganesha has been my spirit guide all my life? These are the type of questions I was left with when I was peeling away the layers of my beliefs.
Let me start with:
What is the meaning of Atheism?
Atheism is not someone who believes god does not exist, but it is the lack of the belief in god. If I can explain it better, just imagine for once that the word or the entity just was not there and never was there and there is no feeling or recollection of it anywhere, that is what it is, so Atheism is NOT a belief system as some people may consider it.
Many people, who know me, know that I have a deep sense of spirituality and I am extremely empathetic and well connected to my inner being, so for many of them, it may come to a shock that I am an Atheist (from being Pantheist). In simple layman’s terms, I was not buying all the bullshit on why people are suffering, I was not buying the “everything happens for a reason” or even “Cos Karma is a Bitch”. These are all just ways of us humans to make ourselves feel better about the things that are so freaking wrong in this world. Can the white-old-man-with-the-white-beard please stand up! I got tired of hiding behind all these reasoning though I was a spiritualist and not religious, as spiritual quacking’s also got to me ……. eventually. Everything happens for a reason is just as good as me taking the bible to a homeless child that is skin and bones and telling them Pray, god will help you.
Did Atheism help me become more spiritual?
The journey of becoming who You Really Are, that’s what is important. That is what spirituality is about. It was a long journey thus far, but shedding away the dogmatism and self-indoctrination allowed my true authentic self to be exposed. Logic, reasoning, and complexity are vital for spiritual growth. It makes you give up old unwanted belief systems and see things for what they are and to evolve and not get stuck in old methods of realisation. It makes you see that the only time is really now and the past present future exists in quantum. It makes you take a look at other possibilities that exist other than in our monkey mind. Spirituality is living in your own Truth and if this my truth then I have gotten deeper in touch with myself.
Explaining my past experiences and present ‘gifts’
Telepathy, premonition dreams, intuition and its likes do not need god for it to exist. We belong in a world where everything is undeniably connected. How do birds know they have to migrate, or fish swim as shoals and dolphins nurture their young? It is all through intuition and instincts. I still need to explore the ideas of quantum physics, the theory of parallel worlds and the matrix of information that exists and it available to all of us. The experience of Ganesha and Jesus Christ (it has been 6 years since I experienced angels and demons as such), is what I grew up with. They do not exist as we were led to believe. They have been my coping mechanisms. Yes, they served a purpose of me holding onto a belief that they exist and they helped me through many hard times but even I knew that they are just aspects of ourselves we hold onto to survive. If I grew up in Islam or old Egypt then I would have held onto a different god/goddess presented by that culture. I also will not discourage those that have these types of relationships with themselves, as believe me when I say; if it was not for certain beliefs I would not have gotten through certain periods in my life. They were there when I needed myself to be strong for myself, but I have found a different kind of strength. The strength of living THIS life and not worrying about past lives and future lives as the only truth is now. The strength of knowing that it is perfectly ok to not rely on anything outside of yourself and know you are good enough for yourself to get through whatever you need to. I do not have to ‘pray’ for strength because the strength already exists. I empower myself by my daily affirmations and do not need something to empower me.
As for the experience of Nirvana/Enlightenment/oneness of all, this cannot be conceptualised or explained with words. At that time being a pantheist, I likened the experience of it being god/goddess, but with these realisations, one cannot give these experiences semantics. It is just a blissful experience that we try to describe for others to understand and the most common explanation is god/goddess. This also means I stopped subscribing to the age old concept that Hindus belief of we are all gods and we just have to realise it. No, we are not, those that go down the self-seeking path become awaken, nothing more nothing less.
This is just the end of the old and making room for the new in relation to me. Continue to join me as I explore the depths of my journey and discovering new and better truths. Like one of my friends reminded me of what Maya Angelou said: “when you know better, then do better”.
I would like to also add, “what I know, I know and what I don’t know, I don’t know” a famous quote by Sadhguru. So even labeling yourself as atheist has no room for growth, you are still stuck in old patterns.