intuitive atheism

July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments

the strange thing about being an atheist is well other atheists and other theists.  i was trying to put my finger on what felt off to me and i think it is this:

talking to people who arent artists about spirituality or god is like talking to someone who doesnt speak my language.  artists, for the most part, spend a lot of time in touch with an intuitive sense of how the world fits together.  talking to someone about spirituality who treats intuitive understanding, that flash of ‘this’ or ‘yes’ or ‘right’ when looking at the world, as a rare event, i don’t understand where their spirituality, their sense of totality, their sense that  the whole is greater than the parts, i dont understand where that sense is grounded.

non-artist spirituality seems to become a bunch of rules and dogmas.  of authorities, of fears, of hopes, of memory verses, of parables.

i was thinking about this as i was wondering what do i believe, what am i loyal to, if not a god.  really, not even a ‘higher power’.  i realized i am loyal to my intuition.  i spend a lot of time waiting to hear it.  and i see that that loyalty pays off in ways that i cannot imagine in the moment as i am simply practicing my disciplines.

and when i dont listen to it, man, do i get burned sometimes.

so intuition to me is a really practical type of knowing.  it guides me in art, in writing (like right now as i struggle through trying to put into words what comes originally to me as a feeling-sense), in conversation, in creating relationships, in work, in everyday activities like eating, sleeping, and laughing.  it is my intuition that helps me make decisions.  and an intuitive sense that i follow even when it breaks the rules and dogmas that were created externally from me.

not sure if i am making sense.

that is why i call it a mystic atheism.

intuition does not feel like something that is greater than me.  more knowing and understanding than my lil ego, sense of self, self-identity — yes.  but not greater than me.

where does this intuition come from?  i guess the same place that my fingers and my hair and my voice come from. the same place that trees and stars and aza’s determination and will come from.  it seems that everything comes from everything, it is all interrelated growing out of each other and dying into each other.  and my intuition sees the whole, while i am busy moment by moment dealing with this part and that part of life.  i have no need ( and a bit or irritation at) scientific materialism.  i work to de-center myself.  its not about me, existence is not about me.

existence is about existence.

and my intuition lives that reality.

i found this quote and wrote it in my notebook.  even though i didnt note the source, i would like to share:

oh! i did note the source: a book called: simple zen


unconscious as nonconscious, ever present, deep within, healthy and natural, source of our potential – as we go through life, we learn from the consequences of our efforts what we can and cannot do, what ewe are like and what our limits and capacities are.  we develop conscious thoughts and beliefs.  some of them are accurate and useful, some are inaccurate and limiting.  these conscious thoughts, beliefs and concepts are where problems come from, not the unconscious. we should return to the unconscious to the source of all that we are and can be.  from the unconscious as foundation, new abilities can emerge.



§ 5 Responses to intuitive atheism

  • revolutionaryandjoyful says:

    I feel you on this. I’m such an atheist and a naturalist yet I listen to my intuition a lot as well. I often do things that aren’t quite “rational” because I “feel” they are right. For example, there are people who I meet and in an that moment I feel comfortable telling them more about myself than I tell people I’ve known for years.

    And even though I don’t think science is evil, I believe that due to our limited understanding of such a complex world we often do more harm than good. I think it’s a reductionist mindset that often brings harm to the world, not necessarily an atheistic or scientific one. A person can be very reductionist (“God said this was good and that was bad therefore it must be so”) and religious.

    I intern at community gardens a few times a week and every time I go I’m always astounded buy how much life there is soil and how it all just works together and fights against each other to survive and ends up helping create a plant that I eat. And to think that most people, atheist and theist, take all this for granted!

    Life on a physical and material level is so dynamic! the good, the bad, and the down right atrocious. And I think because so many of us are always looking for a deeper meaning to it all we miss out on so much that is right in front of us.

  • Mamita Mala says:

    I am not an athiest, I believe that there is some higher powers guiding, sending signals that in essence function as intuition, my gut. I listen to it as a I go through my day. It, like you said, is all around us, me and it is me and us.

  • sweetjamaican says:

    As someone who is pretty much the opposite of an artist (I’m a super logical software engineer) I was about to be indignant and insist that I’m very much mystical and not dogmatic at all but then I started to think about all the ways in which my life is quite ordered and now I’m not so sure…

    I’m probably more fluid in my approach to life and being than you would expect though 🙂

    • mama says:

      my father was a mathematician. and i grew up reading einstein who was definitely a mystic as well as scientist. trust me for all my intuitive thinking, i struggle with keeping discipline (which is a very important quality for an artist), and w/o discipline artists can become too wishy washy to really produce anything of value. and it takes a certain amount of consistency and discipline to keep an intuitive life. like, meditation everyday, no matter what. so i am playing with, in essence, a false dichotomy. 😉
      i think that being a software engineer is probably like being a translator (i studied classic languages) in that there is definite set of complex systems in which you work, and there comes a point when the most efficient and elegant solution is as intuitive as it is logical. which is kind of how life works, n’estce pas?

  • nicoleh73 says:

    What a wonderful blog post! I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself an Atheist (I did not grow up in a home with religion) But I do feel a direct connection with nature, the Planets (I study Astrology) and animals. I am a very watery type (Pisces) and I am highly intuitive and sensitive/psychic to the feelings of others and the energy around me. The part where you mentioned the community garden really touched me. I often find myself looking at fruits and vegetables (The colors/textures) in awe of what nature gives us on a daily basis. ❤

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