Why Do I Have To Call Myself An Atheist?

To begin this article let me start off by saying if you define yourself as an Atheist please read the following words very carefully, actually read them 3 or 4 times until you understand.

I, “Echo” am not here to judge you… I, don’t have an opinion either way about you being an Atheist. The content within this article are my observations, not my opinions but what is actually happening in reality. So please [[[ DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY ]]] if you are an Atheist, go on with your beliefs I’m not trying to change your belief system or how you want to define yourself.

To start lets clarify what it is to actually have a belief.

be⋅lief

    1.something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
    2.confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

    3.confidence; faith; trust: a child’s belief in his parents.

    4.a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

    (link to reference page)

Having a belief in something is basically having come to a conclusion. So what we have here are a world of believers and non-believers, ironically the non-believers, non-belief becomes their belief.

Ideally this is how it works for the believers. A group of people say we’ve looked back over all of time, we’ve looked back over history since man has kept a record and after our rigorous unbiased investigations of history and reality this is our conclusion, this is our set of beliefs.

If one would like to question their set of beliefs then they (the believers) will produce the evidence that substantiates their findings e.g., Bible, Quran, Bagavaghita, Scrolls or any other ancient text or findings.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the non-believers.

How it works for the non-believers is EXACTLY the same. A group of people say we’ve looked back over all of time, we’ve looked back over history since man has kept a record and after our rigorous unbiased and scientific investigations of history and reality this is our conclusion, this is our set of beliefs.

Although the non-believers won’t put a name on anything like God, Jesus, Buddha, Jehovah for example nameless or not they now have a belief that there is NO GOD.

a⋅the⋅ist

    1.a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    (link to reference page)

Let me quickly summarize to make sure that we’re on the same page here. Whether you want to call yourself a believer in whatever faith (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist) or if you claim there isn’t a God… you have a belief. Your belief implies that you’ve done the research, you’ve investigated, gathered all the facts and as such you can say for certain that your conclusion of this evidence is the absolute truth.

If you can see this, observe that this isn’t my (Echo’s) opinion this simply is the way things are.

I’m not making anything up, the facts are… there are people who believe in god and they label themselves one of the many god believing labels e.g. Scientologist, Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Jew, Muslim, Wicken, Born Again Christian, etc. Opposite of them on the other side of the same coin there are people who don’t believe in god and they label themselves any number of labels mainly, Atheist.

What I would like to talk about today are the Atheist, the so called non-believers. I’m fascinated and amazed by people who call themselves Atheist for a number of reasons. The reason for my fascination primarily is being an outsider looking at the believers and non-believers (Atheist) I can clearly see that they are one in the same.

For as much fighting and fussing that goes on between the two groups (believers and non-believers) they fail to see just how similar they truly are. If one takes the time to seriously look into the fundamental mind of a believer and non-believer you will observe that their BELIEF in a god or lack thereof is divisive, destructive and gives rise to conflict, fighting and great suffering in the world.

In my observations Atheist are very quick to point out that the believers of a god are the reason for wars, fighting, killing, etc. What the Atheist fail to see however is that fundamentally the same thought process that brought the believers to their conclusions about there being a god is the same exact thought process that brought the Atheist to believe there isn’t a god.


The believers and non-believers are similar in several ways. They both subscribe to a belief (in god or no god), they both have spokespersons e.g. authors, preachers, reverends and they both organize to protest their rights to believe what they believe. Above all the most shocking similarity is they both have annoying bumper stickers! To my surprise Atheist even have advertisements in public places and websites that ask for donations to support “the cause”, just like churches.


It is apparent to me that the Atheist mind certainly has good intentions and sees the devastation that has been brought about in this world by the many different faith based religions. It seems as though the Atheist mind sees that because the different religions have taken a stance, because they have come to conclusions, these steadfast absolute conclusions are what give birth to fear, conflict and war.

In seeing this obvious pattern of divisive and destructive behavior the Atheist does not subscribe to a god, the Atheist does not allow themselves to be trapped in the box of religion because obviously it manifest the great horrors and suffering in the world.

Atheist In A Box
The Atheist mind has certainly taken a step in the right direction, they’ve stepped out of the trap, they’ve stepped out of the box but the irony is that they have simply stepped into another trap, another box.

The person who calls himself an Atheist has just traded one label for another, what they are painfully not seeing is that subscribing to any label is what causes conflict, aggression, hate, fear, war and all the rest of it.

Being an observer like myself standing on the outside of this whole beautiful mess one can see that the only difference between an Atheist and a Christian is the spelling of the two words. FundaMENTALLY the Athiest and Muslim share the same mind, they share the same process of thought. This process of thought has given them the audacity to claim truth for themselves one way or the other… god or no god.

If the Atheist mind can go deeper and find it WITHIN himself to not limit himself and this reality with a labels then perhaps he can come to a wonderful realization. Before the Atheist mind can come to this realization he must quiet his mind, be humble and set aside all of his research, scientific proof, book knowledge, etc., if one can do this then perhaps the Atheist mind will find out that… he doesn’t know.

There is a great sigh of relief that comes with not knowing. There is a wonderful weight that is lifted off of ones consciousness in the realization that one simply does not know.


When you subscribe to an idea, concept or set of beliefs and give yourself the label Atheist or Christian or Jew, etc., the flag you’ve raised above your head now requires that you constantly have to maintain and defend your label… your conclusion. People will continually want you to prove your conclusion wrong, and you will be all to happy to do defend and justify your label. The problem with proving your beliefs, justifying your conclusions is that you don’t have any energy to live in the NOW, you’re constantly defending knowledge and thoughts from the past.

The believer and non-believer BOTH have to take care to fastidiously maintain the walls they have built up around themselves. The moment a person claims to be an Atheist or Hindu in that same moment there will be someone trying to prove you wrong and you will naturally feel inclined to justify or prove that you are correct, that your way is the way… this is the truth! Whether you are a peaceful passive believer or non-believer your belief in a god or no god, implies conflict with the other.

If it weren’t for the constant building and tearing down of these walls (labels) that eventually breed conflict, fear, aggression and war it wouldn’t be a problem. The facts are however that because people have come to their individual conclusions and beliefs the world is full of fearful people who absolutely KNOW they have the truth and a world like this will never know peace.

The purpose of me writing this article is to hopefully reach at least one Atheist and perhaps point out that what seems to be a non-aggressive act in calling ones self an Atheist does in fact imply aggression. You could be the most peaceful, kind and loving person on the planet the moment you call yourself an Atheist you are (for lack of a better phrase) waging war on all the believers in god.

I would ask all Atheist who may come across this article to set aside all your beliefs, all your research and proof that there isn’t a god… and ask yourself one question.

Please don’t casually ask yourself this question, don’t simplify it… really go deep with it and sit with it. There is the definition in the dictionary of Atheist and it says“a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” What if there were no dictionary, what then?

If you can humble yourself and see that the act of applying a label to yourself be it Christian, Buddhist or Atheist will eventually lead to conflict perhaps you might consider stepping out of this box. Perhaps in seeing this reality you won’t be fooled by the comfort that yet another label brings. Perhaps you’ll see that in calling yourself an Atheist your subscription to this idea, definition, conclusion or belief is the only thing standing between you and the truth. The truth is… you, like me and everyone else on the planet doesn’t know.

When someone asks you is there a god or what is your religion perhaps instead of blocking yourself with an impenetrable wall of a labels like Atheist, Jesus or whatever you can simply say I don’t know. When you say I don’t know you leave the door open for conversation, you are open for discussion… you don’t have to prove anything!

You will find that if someone does approach you and asks you about god or church and you say I don’t know they will go on to explain matter of factually how the world came to be and why reality is the way it is but when you say “I don’t know” there isn’t any conflict there, you don’t give them any reason to argue or become aggressive.

Now that you have spoken the truth “I don’t know” you have the energy to listen to this person and observe them completely. When you have complete energy and are listening to them totally without agreeing or disagreeing, without blocking or denying them it will be easy to see how they HAVE TO TELL YOU their truth.

Don’t judge them but see it for what it is. They are fearful, confused and afraid just like you and in order to deal with this fear they must tell you the way, they must have you agree with them because if they get you to agree with them then they take great comfort in that. It can also be said that if you do not agree with them some people will revel in your not subscribing to their belief and they will take great comfort that YOU are wrong, that you are going to hell and all the rest of it.

The magic here… the real revelation is that in acknowledging that you don’t know you then have the energy to find out!

Whatever it is that has given you and I life and created all the wonders and beauties of the world, the trees, the butterflies, the clouds, earth, wind, water and fire… surely it can’t be summed up by our words, ideas, books, knowledge or labels. However beautiful a language we devise, whatever ideas, poems, verses we come up with to express our ideas about reality, god or no god those words and ideas will only keep us from whatever it is that is actually the ultimate unspeakable truth.

I can see that the Atheist mind is so close to this realization, you’re (almost) ready to say, I don’t know and not knowing is a beautiful loving way to be.

Go deeply Atheist, find it in yourself, you’re almost there… whatever it is that gives rise to this reality, whatever it is or isn’t that gave you and I consciousness trying to describe it with ANY label including “Atheist” will only frustrate others, cause conflict, bring aggression, pain and war.

If you want peace in the world like I do, like everybody does deep down then see this label for what it is… a trap, a limitation, a box and step out… free yourself. There is no shame in not knowing, I (Echo) don’t know and I can tell you standing naked in the winds of truth without clinging to anything is the most loving and liberating action you can take. Not knowing is what will bring peace to you and the world.

Peace and love to you all, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

“I was an Atheist until I found out I am god”

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24 Comments so far
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Congratulations, you pretty much got everything you wrote about both atheism and agnosticism wrong. I don’t think that there was a single accurate statement here, from ignoring the definition of atheism as “disbelief” to treating all atheists as if they were the same (“the Atheist” – you manage to recognize multiple types of theists, but you act as though mutually incompatible types of atheists don’t exist).

Please try again, but this time do a little research on the subject first, mkay?

http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutatheism/a/BeginnersBasics.htm

Comment by jack

Hi Jack!

With all due respect I think you missed the point… ANY label is destructive, divisive and breeds aggression and war. Can you honestly say you read the article without a dialog of what you were going to reply back rambling in your head. Please don’t take the article personal… it is a fact labels are negative and divisive and bring about war. Can you see this?

If you are an Atheist, why do you have to call yourself that?

Please don’t tell me, please ask yourself seriously… why do you have to hold on this this label, why do you have to cling to this definition?

Peace to you.

Comment by casualtyofdesign

Ok, I get your point. The post is interesting and well stated. The difference for me is Atheism, and atheism. A tree is called a tree because we’ve chosen to call it a tree. I find no evidence for god, therefore don’t believe in god, and am therefore defined as an atheist. Some organizations, like American Atheists pictured above, expect you to spell it “Atheism.” I don’t want to promote atheism as a group ideology. It’s simply a definition.

Another thing is that religious people have “faith” which is the belief in something without evidence. I don’t have faith.

Whether you call yourself an atheist or not, you are an atheist. Your idea that if there was no dictionary, then I couldn’t use that argument is true until someone wrote a dictionary. Plus, a dictionary was simply a collection of and agreement upon how a word was being used; atheism would still be atheism without a dictionary.

I’ve seen the same argument from Christians that say the Mormonism and Catholicism aren’t Christian religions. I’m sorry, they are because they both purport to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck; even if it wants to call itself God.

A better question is why is there even a word that means no-god-believer? There isn’t a word for other beliefs’ negations. There’s no word for people that don’t believe in astrology, or phrenology, or creationism. So, why is there a word for not believing in god? But that’s all it is, a word.

There’s no system of belief for atheists; you’ll find many different atheist groups that have a wide range of ideas about the future of atheism.

You choose to call yourself, God. Great, nice to meet you God, I’m God too, a.k.a. atheist.

I don’t cling to the definition, I’m merely accepting the definition.

I also label myself liberal. You don’t like to label yourself, OK. To each his own.

Comment by Godless American

Godless American… Thank you for your reply!

First of all I didn’t say I was god I said here is a quote I like, you’re more than welcome to read into it what you like. The overall point of the article is to point out the dangers that come with subscribing to ANY label. I do hope that’s what people get out of it. The danger of calling yourself an Atheist is just the same as someone calling themselves a Muslim.

In any case thanks again for your thoughts they are appreciated and welcome.

Peace.

Comment by casualtyofdesign

Very interesting, the comparing of believers and “non-believers” and to point out how the labeling alone starts a conflict from the get go.
It’s like you imply with the asking of questions to oneself and really taking the time in peace and quite to ask ourselves these types of questions “why do i have to call myself atheist?” it is very important to look within these days when there is so much obvious struggle for control between individuals and of the masses.

Just Be!

Comment by Marques

Casualtyofdesign,

I don’t call myself an Atheist. I am an atheist; I’m also male, hetrosexual, liberal, educated, professional, compassionate, etc., etc.

It doesn’t define me. It’s just another word out of many used to describe me.

Comment by Godless American

And so it was written… so shall it be done.

Peace Godless.

Comment by casualtyofdesign

Hi!

I am an atheist too and don’t like the way you’ve labelled me. To paraphrase you, as a ‘nearly there’ but not ‘made it’ kind of guy.

No! thats not me either.

It’s seems to be a very sad thing that ‘the believers’ should take so much offense that ‘non-believers’ exist.

I am sorry if I choose not to believe in a ‘Creator’ who created the world and now looks down on us, who listens to our prayers, and actully cares whether we believe in him or not. (That’s an every day common sense persons definition of God)

To me that is just absurd.

I used to believe in that type of God too, and hence I can definitely understand people who do. If they cannot understand or do not wish to tolerate me because I have changed the way I think, that is a different question.

I also do not believe in sitting on the fence with the ‘I don’t know’ line…

I believe in ‘Tables & Chairs’ because I have direct experience of them. I don’t believe in God because I do not have any direct experience of that kind or any other that I would care to label as ‘real’.

I have had mystical experiences but do not equate that with the traditional God.

Furthermore, the fact that I do not believe in God does not mean that I negate him/her totally. I am ready to accept God if he/she comes to me in a form that I can intellectually/rationally accept.

Also I don’t believe that I am bowing to a ‘God of Rationalism’ by saying this. If I have any intelligence in the world, then I must use it.

To abandon the notion and just say I don’t know is something totally else.

I do know that ‘I don’t believe in God’, I don’t know if this belief is the Ultimate Truth.

See the difference?

Comment by vukini

Hi Vukini!

Thank you for writing in and I look forward to this dialog.

It is not my mission here to sway you one way or however it would be nothing less of a miracle if you could simply ask yourself quite seriously… “why do I have to call myself an Athiest?” I’m not saying it would be a miracle because you’re incapable of actually doing this but it would be a miracle because people don’t actually do this.

Can you do that? Can you take the time seriously without any previous assumptions, knowledge or thoughts? You call yourself an Atheist because of all the facts or lack of facts you’ve gathered up to this point in your life… can you forget about this accumulated knowledge and series of experiences and look at what BEING an Athiest right now truly implies?

I wonder if there is an Atheist out there who has actually read this entire article and at the end of it actually taken the time by him/herself and inquired deeply to themselves… “why do I have to call myself an Atheist?”

It seems as though most people responding here and on other blogs where I’ve posted this article don’t ask themselves this question, missing the entire point of the article, the article actually titled “why do I have to call myself an Atheist?”. As a matter of fact every Atheist that has replied to this article despite my “don’t take this personal” disclaimer at the beginning of the article writes in to defend, explain and justify being an Atheist.

Why?

There isn’t anyone here to defend or justify being an Atheist to (over here), if you’re an Atheist that is your choosing… be an Atheist. All I’m asking is that you look at the “LABEL” you subscribe to and inquire into it yourself.

It is not my hope move you one way or the other but I know that if you truly see the danger in calling yourself an Atheist like you would see the immediate danger of a person pointing a gun at you… you will get out of the way.

Either you see the dangers in subscribing to labels be them Atheist, Christian or Buddhist or you don’t.

This article has nothing to do with YOU per say so perhaps you can leave your justifications and explanations of being an Atheist to your own investigation, YOU deserve that much. If you investigate and see the dangers in subscribing in labels then perhaps we can then look TOGETHER at these dangers and in seeing these dangers will be the action that is needed to get out of the way of them.

At the beginning of your response you said “I am an atheist too and don’t like the way you’ve labelled me.” I did not label you an Atheist you are labeling yourself. You calling yourself an Atheist is the wall you’ve built up around yourself and you’re the only one that can take that wall down. How can we truly communicate otherwise? Being an Atheist implies you know something the rest of us don’t know, you know there isn’t a god and your KNOWING this is conflict.

Peace.

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

Dear Echo!

Glad to hear from you. I guess we are very happy misunderstanding each other! What I am trying to say, label or not label, is that I have a certain feeling and a certain inclination not to believe in GOD.

Whether this is wrong or not I do not know but It is somewhat the same reason I don’t believe in Dumbo the flying elephant. I do not want to wait an eternity waiting, sifting through, evaluating and then deciding on this fact.

I do not take any of your comments personally (in fact I enjoy the conversation) and will right now spend a good deal of time thinking about why I have to call myself an ‘Atheist’.

Simply for the same reason a Christian calls himself that, or a Buddhist calls himself the same. In other word because…

I have a set of belief’s or in this case a belief in an absence of belief in the Traditional ‘God’ and hence the label fits me. I am happy to admit it. I do not believe that I should hide this fact. When some one asks me if I am an ‘Atheist’, I however, do not always say ‘yes’ and hence I don’t ‘have’ to do anything.

You may think that this is incredulous, but I do this more as a safety feature. Some people cannot understand ‘Atheism’ and may even dump it with labels like, ‘heretic’, ‘devil worshiper’ or even worse. To those people, I just say, I don’t believe in labeling the supreme power with words and then try to find out what they believe.

And you are absolutely right, labeling anything can be dangerous. But would you then also concede that we should not label anything? A table is not a ‘Table’ lest somebody mistake it with ‘table’ or whatever…. no. Labels are fine, it’s just how seriously you wish to take them and if you wish to differentiate one thing from the other. And how strongly this differentiation affects your perception of reality.

I don’t think many of the ‘believers’ in GOD actually believe in him anyway. Just one look at most peoples behaviors would lead us to conclude that the ‘belief’ is just a convenience agaisn’t going against the stream of popular thinking or perhaps an insurance, just in case he actually exists. Better believe than go to ‘hell’. It takes a lot of hard thinking and courage to say you don’t believe, sincerely. Believe me, I have been in airplanes during heavy turbulence and it is very hard at that point to say, ‘There is no God and I am not going to pray to you’

Again, more seriously, you asked, ‘Why do I have to call my self and Atheist?’ and ‘what it implies’

I think that you are implying that Labels lead to separation and conflict. Am I right there?
I agree with you that they can.

I also believe that labels are extremely useful tools for communicating with other people. In the absence of labels there would be no communication.

I am also assuming that you think that by labeling myself an Atheist I have fallen in the same trap as the rest because I am IDENTIFYING with a label.

Yes, it is an Identification, but I do not confuse this with a Qualification. Again, there can be no communication without identification but the error is in thinking that the identification ‘is you’.

There we go again, I am talking about myself too much.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

Comment by vukini

Have you ever heard of the phrase… “if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem?” Without sounding too crass I think this expression applies to one who subscribes to the label of Atheist.

What exactly is the problem?

The root of all the worlds problems is fear, fear of the unknown. Ironically to remedy this fear and shared anxiety between all humans on this planet what the believers and non-believers both cling to is what is KNOWN. Both you (the Atheist) and them (the Jew, Christians, etc.) are playing the same game, using the same tools and speaking the same language. You’ve both climbed the mountain and are standing on different peaks looking back down talking about and expressing where you came from, what you passed on your way to the top… what is known to you.

This method of living has been the way of living for man since the beginning of time for both the believers and non-believers. You gather your experiences which then becomes your knowledge and then your knowledge and the knowledge of others before you is used to function in the world. Knowledge is useful when it comes to changing your babies diaper, how to operate your DVD player to watch the latest “Dumbo” movie but knowledge has nothing to do with facing fear.

Facing your fears, not dealing with your fears, getting rid of your fears or putting a label on them… but facing them and understanding them completely. Understanding this fundamental fear and anxiety that we all share is the action that is needed to bring about peace in the world and truly loving one another not just tolerating your brother and sister.

What is needed is a fundamental change in the way we (((think))). The destroyer of the world is thought. What is thought? Thought is the process of accessing the knowledge that we and those who have come before us have gathered and accumulated in our books, Bibles, governments, philosophies, Democrats, Atheist, etc.

Accumulating knowledge, gaining new experiences and using thought to function in the world is a necessity but when it comes to bringing about order in yourself thoughts and knowledge only block you from yourself and your neighbor. Our thoughts which reference our knowledge devise systems, governments, religions, labels, the Mormon, the Atheist.

Thought is limited and is limiting you. You’re limiting yourself when you say I am an Atheist you are literally saying I don’t believe there is a god.

YOUR belief whether there is a god or not has nothing to do with god but has everything to do with YOU. Its your belief, its your accumulated knowledge, its your ideas, your experiences your division, your separation, your thoughts.

Your belief along with the Christians belief amounts to thoughts referencing knowledge which you subscribe to one way or the other. Neither of you can see that whatever it is that has brought about you, me and the rest of the world cannot be described by what is KNOWN. Whatever it is is ineffable.

Everyone is so busy knowing what they know and playing in the world of thoughts and knowledge that you’re missing the real miracle the real revelation.

Peace within will never come from what is revealed to you (out there, knowledge) but rather when you can see that the peace is in that which is revealing. You have consciousness, by some miracle you have the ability to bring to light that which is revealed… that is revelation!

There isn’t any need to label it, sum it up, write it down, its dynamic, liquid, moving, forever changing you are simple a miracle.

Forget about your knowledge, experiences and what you’ve been taught. See the true miracle is the very next thought that pops in your mind as you’re reading this. The next word that you read and process is the miracle is all there is… there it goes, look here’s another one… and it goes on and on and on and on…

Don’t stop, don’t identify with those words from the paragraph you just read and in the same way don’t identify with the words, sentences, paragraphs, stories, books and knowledge of your past experiences and the experiences of others.

Why would you?

I surely can’t understand why you would but as most of the world does perhaps it’s your prerogative to go on with what you already know. But what you know is limiting you from being who you truly are. This isn’t my philosophy, this isn’t what I think… you along with everyone else is so much more than what you think you are.

It takes my breath away when I look at how far we as humans have come with all our advancements in technology, look at how far we’ve come in just the last 30 years nothing less of miraculous the UNTHINKABLE we have managed to manifest with regard to technology. Its a shame that fundamentally mankind, humanity as a whole psychologically still operates the same today as we did 5000, 10,000 years ago.

We know what we know, we build our systems from what we know and that’s that.

Freedom is beyond what is known and freedom is a world of peace and understanding fear not labeling it, solving it or running from it.

Peace.

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

A final note from me on this subject, as we can continue our discussions on something we really disagree about.

Personally, I am very aware of my fear, I am even aware of the fear that I can find no reason in me for having, it’s like a floating fear, a need for security. I, like you, try to practice constant mindfulness to explore this realm.

Here, I think there has been a great deal of confusion between ‘knowledge’ and ‘belief’. Belief by definition is based on partial knowledge. When you say, ‘I believe’ therefore you are admitting that ‘I don’t know’ and that ‘I am jumping to a conclusion based on some criteria’. Religious people call this ‘FAITH’ and are usually very open about it.

Then if atheism is a belief, it is also a right and mindful jump to the conclusion that ‘The Traditional, patriarchal/matriarchal god(es) does not exist.’ And yet, it is a jump, not knowledge.

I do not wish to cling to this position to grasp a piece of fresh air and to hide from Fear. I am although very aware at how fear plays in our lives. In today’s world it seems to be the dominant force. Atheism is just a conclusion I have come up to if someone asks me the question about GOD. There is no reason at all to go around all day reminding yourself and others that you don’t believe in something… that’s counter productive.

The main difference between believers and non-believers is that more often than not, believers go around trying to convert everyone to their beliefs. And more often then not, believers will be very violent towards people who do not accept their beliefs.

Atheists (with exception to perhaps Communists, depending on definition), as far as I know have never burned at the stake a believer, although, I do qualify that humans are humans and will hurt each other (for some reason). Hence, it is wrong to throw both sets in the same camp. Again there are all types of Atheists too, perhaps ‘Militant Atheists’ are horrible people! I don’t know any thank heavens.

Have you tried the works of Ken Wilber. I read him very recently and his ideas about the development of human thought, I think, would very much interest you.

You say, ‘the destroyer of the world is thought’. I say, ‘the destroyer of the world is one who thinks that ALL there is is THOUGHT or ALL there is GOD’. Without thought we might as well be some protozoa in the ocean. Without thought, you an me would not argue about ‘Atheism’ and what not.

Without GOD on the other hand, perhaps there is nothing to aspire to, no guiding light, no SECURITY from FEAR, a horrible emptiness of existence.

Thought is great! Yet it is not all. Atheism, is a simple position on one set (of beliefs) out of an infinitude of beliefs and dimensions of thought.

Atheism is not a claim to ‘the truth’. It is a negation on one set of beliefs and any true atheist should know that a negation isn’t a claim to truth.

So, yes be mindful, but don’t find your own enemy…

(yours by the way is ‘FEAR’)

Have I missed the point completely?

Comment by vukini

Welcome back! 🙂

You mentioned that “without thought we wouldn’t have anything to argue about”. I want to clarify this is not an argument although typically it would be. I don’t know if there is a god or not I’m looking into it, inquiring, investigating. As a part of that inquiry you and I are looking at this together (sort of). You on the other hand have a belief already, you’re an Atheist so you… to a certain extent trying to get your point across… I’m listening, not arguing.

I say looking at this together (sort of) because to truly look at something together there isn’t any accepting or denying on another but we look dynamically and observe the way things truly are not our ideas of how things are. Investigating together would require a great deal of care and awareness, its hardly something that happens between people communicating all to often the person listening isn’t listening but thinking of what to say next.

I see where you’re coming from with thought being different from belief, belief being a leap, jump or act of faith. But I question that line of thought. I believe if we look at it closer and examine the process of belief you will see that it is still thought and accessing previous knowledge that has brought you to your belief(s).

Whatever it is you believe in be it Dumbo, Jesus or no God… thought brought you to that position. Your thoughts accessed your previous experiences and the experiences of others to manifest your beliefs.

Our thoughts are limited by our knowledge. You can’t think outside of what you know, nor can I. Any word we try to stamp on ‘God’ or lack of is folly, it’s limited. Any conclusion we can come up with is fundamentally incomplete because it was born from knowledge, from the known.

I’m not denying thought is useful and necessary. When you hop in your car to go to work you need knowledge and thought. When you want to communicate with others you need knowledge to function this is simple enough.

When we try to use our knowledge to explain the unexplainable we invoke conflict, aggression, fear and war.

Its that simple… nobody knows.

Those who insist they KNOW either way in that instant set in motion the cause and effect of conflict and war that continues to cycle over and over again in our societies.

One who calls himself an Atheist gives the Christian something to war against. If there weren’t an Atheist there who would they fight and war with? (rhetorical question)

See it for yourself. Yes of course you have the right to call yourself what you want, and of course the dictionary says this and that so obviously this is what I am but that is the thinking of the same mind that has had mankind waring amongst each other for thousands of years.

You and I are more than these silly flags we stand behind. What is it to be an American, Eastern Orthodox Roman Catholic, Marine, Private, Kernel, Californian, etc. I mean really what does any of it mean… nothing! This is where I was born, this is the kind of people I grew up around but its much more than just that. All of our labels and divisions are bringing about great suffering and wars.

Why are we so content on separating ourselves from one another, I don’t understand. Its so obvious to me anyways that these labels are poisonous to the whole body of humanity, they serve no useful purpose. No useful purpose for peace anyways.

If we continue as a world to live the way we live today, the same way we’ve lived and thought for thousands of years nothing will change and there will never be peace. I find it hard to imagine a world sustaining life for much longer here either. A terrible shame indeed. What is it going to take to shift humanities consciousness so that we live and treat one another as family?

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

might be of interest:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,3695,n,n

Comment by vukini

Fair point, mostly agreed…

But I will answer your rhetorical question!

If there weren’t an Atheist there who would they fight and war with?

Other believers, they’d fight Muslims, Hindu’s, Catholics, old Shinto grannies, in short everyone who doesn’t believe their brand of GOD!

In other words, we must engage with believers. We cannot avoid them, in fact believers control the world and their beliefs control world policy.

for example, I currently am in deep discussion with an Evangelist (he is my friend), who believes that we are all sinners, and that the true people of god, will be persecuted like Jesus and rise again in the Kingdom of Heaven.

If enough people believe this kind of thinking it will change the way the world works. I am not sure but I feel a lot of the ‘Atheism’ movement that we are commenting on is a reaction and a fear of such beliefs taking over the world again.

Again, I am not sure how people will deal with that. You and I can ‘discuss’ this on the net. But in real life, people over the world get very violent about this stuff. People are put in prison or killed for what they believe!

Your last question is ultimately valid, ‘What will it take to shift humanities consciousness?”

What will it take?

Comment by vukini

Oi!

Well my rhetorical question… “If there weren’t an Atheist there who would they fight and war with?”

An answer isn’t what we need here, what we need is action. You can assume and philosophize what will happen if you didn’t call yourself and Atheist or you can find out.

What is it going to take to shift humanities consciousness?

It is going to take you and I, that is all. You and I cannot change the world by any system, idea, religion or government as those ways have all failed by numerous examples, all one has to do is open a history book to see this as factual not an opinion.

We have operated as a species and continue to operate with the same social and psychological model. We create systems, patterns based on ideas that draw from past knowledge and experiences… all of this has nothing to do with what actually is happening.

We have an idea of world peace but it is just that, an idea… nothing more. These ideas or not actual and serve no purpose for we have never known world peace so how can we have an idea about how to manifest world peace? We all insist however that we do indeed have the answers, follow this path, be patriotic, vote for this president, etc.

We have never known world peace so we don’t know what it is so logically what would seem appropriate here is instead of guessing or formulating new ideas about it we should turn our attention to what it is NOT.

World peace in not, Christian, Catholic, Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, Communist, Democratic, Green Party or anything other system, label or idea you can come up with. WE’VE TRIED ALL THAT already.

Peace isn’t out there somewhere its within each one of us. In order to shift the consciousness of mankind we must start with ourselves. We have to live our lives by example, we have to have our house in order first. We can’t assume what it would be like not to call ourselves Atheist, Jews or Christians we have to find out, we have to do it.

If one observes the world as it actually is and our history its easy to see that all these things above don’t work, they aren’t peace and in seeing that move away from that action and ‘shift’ in a new direction.

Seeing this fundamental truth that the shift, the CHANGE starts within each one of us NOT on a presidential campaign poster is the first step, the only step necessary. Once you can see that it is your conditioning that has had you viewing the world through a filter and you remove that old way of looking and taking action then there is no going back. Now you have the energy to observe the world truly as it is. You’re not diluting yourself with ideas, philosophies, systems, etc., your not trying to do anything you’re seeing things as they truly are. The term “seeing is believing” no longer applies.

In order for there to be peace on this planet we must stop believing, talking, formulating and philosophizing about it and actually find out.

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

Echo,

I am on board with what you are trying to communicate, I think…
I recently had an exchange with someone who is trying to sort out if they will continue being a “Christian” or are becoming an “Atheist”. In the conversation we had I was not trying to persuade the person at all in any direction, I was just conveying some of my experience and thoughts. I described myself as “agnostic by default”, but that I do not identify myself as “an Agnostic”. I don’t think that she really got the somewhat subtle distinction and I did not belabour the point. As someone who is aware that I don’t propose to know the nature of God, or if there even is a “God”, I can be cool with everyone (Christians, Muslims, Atheist, Agnostics, Whatever’s) but not everyone can be cool with me.

Comment by Steve Schuler

Hi Steve!

Thanks for writing in I appreciate you taking the time to say hello and sharing your story. I too am cool with everyone but as you said not everyone is cool with me. One thing that has taken some time to learn is that what other people think about me really doesn’t matter, I just have to be true to myself and keep my mind open.

Someone might not like what I have to say or they might not agree with my views but at the end of the day that’s on them. I’m always coming at you from a place of love, curiosity and understanding. If someone furrows their brow at me or cuts me down with words, I understand that they’re usually coming from a place rooted in fear and misunderstanding, with that said I remain open to them and observe.

Peace to you Steve!

~ Echo

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

Echo,

I came to your website via a link you left at the KFA forum announcing that you were making some Krishnamurti videos available here. I have not had time to really explore your site, but it seems pretty cool. Thanks for putting it together. I am sure I will be checking out a lot of the resources that you have collected here.

I first encountered Krishnamurti in 1978 when I bought one of his books while living in Alaska. I was really intriqued by his thinking and over the next year read several more of his books. While I had the sense that he was trying to communicate some profound truths, I did not really understand what he was trying to convey. I contacted the KFA, and much to my surprise found out that he was still alive and would be giving a series of talks in Ojai, California in May of 1980. I hoped that by hearing him speak I would be able to understand what was so elusive in my reading. Well, the radical transformation in my consciousness did not occur upon hearing him speak during that 2 week period. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see him. Now, nearly 30 years later, the man and his message still remain something (big understatement) of a mystery to me. Well, thanks again for creating your website and I will probably be dropping some comments hither and thither as I check it out.

Peace Out

SteveO

Comment by Steve Schuler

Let me answer your question, really simple. I call myself and Atheist, because I’m not a theist. That is the truth.

Comment by ReLaX

Hi Relax!

Thank you for your response, I do have one question for you. Can you see the danger in subscribing to the label Atheist?

Lets not talk about definitions, the dictionary says this and that… rather let’s stay with the question for a moment and take it from there. Can you see the danger in subscribing to the label or any label for that matter?

Peace,

~ Echo

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

hi echo,
your artichle was realy very interesting, many pieces were very strong and reflective ;i also think that the phrase : ‘I dont know’ is absolutely the key for being a better person..basicaly i share the same thoughts as you. and in fact the general idea was reminding me somehow ‘The Road Less Traveled’ from M. Scot Peck (i dont know if you had read it)..it was the first book which was changing my way of thinking, lets say a katarsis:)

well, what im double minded and i dont fully undestand is the last phrase like: “I was an Atheist until I found out I am god”
.. maybe you are againsts the labels but a person who thinks like that, what can it be??
is a spiritualist,religious, agnostic, humanist, buddist, superman ??? what can be the god then?
i would like to have your opinion about this..and what means for you agnosticism, does an agnostic belongs to any of your boxes or he is the one who observes out of them??

i hope i was clear and hope that you are not going to answer : “i dont know” 🙂

thnx

Comment by eno

Hello Eno!

The book “The Road Less Traveled” I have not read but will definitely check it out the next time I get to the book store, thanks for the suggestion.

Regarding the phrase “I was an Atheist until I found out I am god” was put there to stimulate the mind of whoever read it, perhaps spark a new line of thought in the reader. I don’t think most people have ever put the question to themselves the possibility that they are in fact God. I’m not saying its true or false but I would much rather look inwardly than outwardly.

It seems to me that the majority of people in the world are conditioned from the time they are born that the answers are out there somewhere… you can find, God, salvation or enlightenment out there somewhere on a high mountain top or in a book. I would much rather start with myself.

The fact that you and I are having this conversation right now, communicating me on my end and you on the other… the both of us conscious and aware of our surroundings is a miracle… the miraculous.

You and I are miracles, however we came to be isn’t important seeing this saves so much time and energy allowing you and I to explore and enjoy the miracle, the unspeakable, the moment.

It often seems at times that there are two kinds of people in the world those who are worried about where we came from and those who are worried about where we go when we die. This way of thinking is old and on it’s way out. Where did we come from, where do we go?

I have another question…

Who cares?

If we can see this question more clearly the other questions will be answered.

~ Echo

Comment by Michael-Echo Roberson

hello Echo,
thank you for answering!
I just wanted your opinions from your point of view regarding what i was asking, now im more clear about it..but however important is that im feeling conscious like you do and i fully agree with you..

thanks again!

love & peace forever 🙂

Comment by eno




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