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Spiritual Atheism

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 115

A phrase like spiritual atheism may seem like a contradiction in terms; however, many atheists are exploring the realms of new age mysticism through ancient practices such as meditation, T'ai Chi and yoga in settings far removed from the environments in which they originated anciently. Some are finding hospitable groups along the fringes of new age communities such as non-church meditation groups, while others are unable to identify with the notion of a godless "spirituality." They consider the term to be an oxymoron and beyond their comfort zone.

Likewise, the word "spirituality" bothers many atheists, probably because, for centuries the word has been associated with religion, especially Christian mysticism with its cloistered adherents who live their lives in strict obedience to man-made tenets. Still, the sense of oneself as a distinctly spiritual being with an inner life persists in the minds of many who do not embrace a belief in god and who relish the modern world with its science and technology.

And while the word spiritual puts off many atheists, the word "atheism" seems to frighten some people who think of themselves as spiritual. In fact, watching the reaction of some folks when they hear the word "atheist" reminds me of the early standup comedy of George Carlin when he differentiated between the grungy unkempt beards worn by hippies and the fluffy, well-washed whiskers of Santa Claus. "Beard bad, whiskers good."

Well then, is there an acceptable euphemism for "atheist?" And while we're at it, should we substitute another word for "spiritual?" Is it really a good idea to invent new terms to make everybody comfortable? Might it not be better to rehabilitate the old standby descriptive words like "spiritual" and "atheist" that served us for so long and put them together to honor the birth of a new generation of individuals who are, indeed, spiritually and morally introspective while rejecting a belief in god? Can we lay claim to the truth about our own evolving nature without paying homage to outdated systems that were born of superstition and primitive magic? Can we assert that human nature contains divine aspects and that to fully experience our own humanity practices like meditation, T'ai Chi and yoga can take us deeper into our self-exploration?

I like to think so, and I hope that the time has come to claim the right to name ourselves by whatever term describes us best and fits most comfortably, like "spiritual atheist."

About the Author Alexis Mohr is the Author of We Are God ~ A Brief Treatise on Love, Web site: and a regular spiritual writer and new age book reviewer on the New Age Blog

Source: EzineArticles
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